Diverse perspectives and an inclusive culture are powerful tools for driving meaningful innovation and achieving impactful business goals. Many business leaders are recognizing that the future of work rests upon teams of people bringing their whole selves to work, representing diverse perspectives, and creating better outcomes.
At ICL Diverse teams of authentic leaders at all levels of a company have the power to do meaningful work.
What is Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging?
In the workplace, diversity, inclusion, and belonging are all critical. They’re often used together, though they aren’t synonymous.
Diversity is representation: of backgrounds, genders, races, ages, sexual orientations, and ethnic backgrounds. Diversity is easy to measure through attracting and retaining diverse talent is a key focus for many companies.
Inclusion is about creating an environment in the workplace where diverse thoughts, ideas, and perspectives can be shared and matter. Inclusion allows people to bring their whole selves to work because they feel safe. Employees can bring their talents and aspirations alongside their insecurities and worries.
Belonging is a feeling that results from inclusion efforts. Belonging comes from a shared connection or sense of purpose and is closely linked to intrinsic motivation that develops through feeling included and valued.
Importantly, diversity, inclusion, and belonging are interdependent. Without inclusion, hopes of diversity driving innovation and business growth will not happen. Without inclusion, diversity backlash can occur.
How are Inclusion and Belonging Different?
Inclusion and belonging are closely linked; in many ways, inclusion is a precursor to belonging. But they are not the same.
Inclusion is about behaviors that encourage participation and involvement. Inclusion leads to the integration of diversity into everyday life. Employees in inclusive environments feel accepted and appreciated.
Belonging is the outcome of inclusive behaviors that create an environment where people feel accepted and connected. Belonging, as a basic human need, leads to people enjoying their work and finding fulfillment from it. Belonging is very individual, based on interpersonal motives.
Why Do They Matter?
Diversity, inclusion, and belonging have the power to transform companies and our world. Diversity of thought drives business outcomes like increased innovation and decreased risk. Team collaboration and decision-making quality improve under inclusive leadership. Talent retention and engagement increase in a diverse and inclusive culture.
There are financial implications of incorporating diversity in the workplace, too. According to McKinsey research, companies in the bottom quartile for gender, racial, or ethnic diversity at the top management and board level are less likely to achieve above average returns. Those in the top quartile are 35% more likely to achieve financial returns greater than national industry medians.
In fact, in the United States, for every 10% increase in senior-executive team racial and ethnic diversity, earnings before interest and taxes rise .8 percent.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at ICL is a journey, not a destination
At ICL, promoting equality and becoming a more inclusive and attentive organization is a constant focus. ICL is committed to providing employees with equal opportunities, treating employees fairly, and developing an empathetic and compassionate workplace. We know this is the blueprint for diversity, inclusion, and ultimately belonging.
Diversity at ICL means understanding and celebrating differences between people of different races, nationalities, religions, genders, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, and ethnicities. Differences in education levels, personalities, thought processes, experiences, and knowledge bases are all valued.
At ICL, inclusion means creating an environment where all employees are welcome. ICL is dedicated to a workplace where differences are embraced, and unconscious biases are addressed. Inclusion creates a fair, collaborative, and supportive environment for diverse employees and diverse ideas to thrive.
We understand that humans need to feel a sense of belonging. That sense of belonging is unique to each of us – but we are dedicated to unlocking our authentic selves and creating interconnected, highly engaged teams with a shared sense of purpose.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Initiatives at ICL
When it comes to the diversity, inclusion, and belonging journey, we know that actions speak louder than words. ICL strives to be an Employer of Choice that promotes equality across the best talent in the industry. To achieve this, ICL has created a global plan to increase diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
As a first step to increasing diversity, inclusion, belonging, ICL has firmly committed to becoming a more inclusive, attentive, and empathetic organization through the Employer of Choice journey. An ICL-specific Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) policy was created in 2020, and a Global ICL D&I was nominated. That role will lead the company in creating a D&I culture and enhancing D&I measures globally.
Beyond these initiatives, ICL’s newly launched interactive online intranet (MyCampus) is dedicated to D&I. It’s designed to inform and educate employees on diversity, inclusion, and belonging issues to bring the whole workforce along on the diversity, inclusion, and belonging journey.
ICL was recently awarded Platinum Plus, the highest rank in Maala, for the fourth consecutive year. This signifies ICL’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, among other key attributes of corporate social responsibility.
ICL’s journey towards a diverse and inclusive culture where employees feel a strong sense of belonging is just beginning. Efforts to increase the diversity of the workforce are underway.
ICL is collaborating with various NGOs and other partners to enhance the pool of diverse talent. This work will ensure under-represented groups are aware of the opportunities and engaged in the hiring process. A new advancement program will help elevate high-potential, diverse candidates within ICL.
ICL is committed to empowering women in the workplace, too. ICL was included in the 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, one of only 418 public companies worldwide. ICL is also aligned with the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles.
These principles guide businesses on gender equality and are grounded by the recognition that businesses like ICL have an important role to play in women’s empowerment. The principles are informed by international labor and human rights standards.
As a global company, ICL is taking steps to promote teamwork and inclusion in multicultural teams. The Country Navigator was introduced as part of the D&I journey, and is a cultural intelligence tool that ensures ICL employees have the resources they need to succeed.
ICL’s diversity, inclusion, and belonging journey is critical to the company culture, innovation, and future business outcome. ICL is committed to creating a fair, equitable, and empathetic environment for employees to bring their full selves to work. Ultimately, ICL strives to create a workplace where team members feel interconnected with each other and a critical purpose, united in meaningful work that motivates and retains top talent.