Diversity and inclusion make a difference

Sonia Rodriguez
VP, Human Resources, Reed Elsevier Technology Services

When I was asked to join the Reed Elsevier Diversity and Inclusion working group in December of 2010, I was delighted to be involved with this initiative.  Diversity and inclusion is important to me professionally and personally.  As individuals, we all want to work in an environment where our ideas and voices are heard.

Employees understand diversity as it is a mainstream term for hiring a diverse workforce.  So what is the big deal about diversity and awareness? Well, it is about creating a work culture where employees are aware of their prejudices and making a conscious effort to see beyond them in the workplace. It may sound so simple; yet how many times have you felt as though no one is listening to you, or your ideas do not matter? Awareness is the key to developing a diverse workforce and creating an environment where individual differences are acknowledged and respected.

The challenge today is knowing all of the differences which contribute to diversity. Most of us understand diversity as it relates to ethnicity, race, gender, sexual preference and religion. In 2012, we need to look at other diversity issues such as:  generation gaps, physical handicaps, stereotypes, and many more. As the workforce continues to evolve, companies with a diverse and inclusive workforce will attract and retain the best talent.   

Inclusion was added to diversity to achieve a healthy environment. With inclusion, employees work collaboratively with individuals who have different experiences, points of view, and ideas. There are many benefits to working in an environment that encourage new ideas and diversity of thought across a diverse workforce. Many global organisations have developed diversity and inclusion programmes which contribute to the success of their business. More diversity within an organisation can result in more innovation.

We all want to work in a diverse and inclusive environment. There are many benefits to diversity and inclusion such as driving innovation, employee engagement, and creating a workforce which mirrors our customers.

Diversity and inclusion is a “win win” for employees and the company.

Sonia Rodriguez

Sonia Rodrigeuz, vP, Human Resources, Reed Elsevier Technology Services