Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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Over the past few years, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace has taken a centerstage in the corporate world but what does the term Diversity and inclusion (D&I) mean in true sense? It is much more than just having policies and programs – Diversity is understanding, accepting, and valuing differences between people while Inclusion is about creating an environment that enables equal participation of all employees so that they feel valued.

Organizations are increasingly realizing the positive impact of D&I on their business. Several researches done on the topic have found diversity and inclusion links directly with an organization’s  business  performance. Consider this – as per a Deloitte report, diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee; a Gartner report found that inclusive teams improve team performance by up to 30 percent in high-diversity environments; while another BCG study cites that companies with diverse management teams had a 19 percent increase in revenue compared to their less diverse counterparts.

Diversity & Inclusion at Ericsson represents an important building block of our company and fundamental to our culture and core values. We are committed to equal opportunity for all and value Diversity of gender, age, nationality, ethnic group to personal and professional background etc.

We are convinced diversity fuels innovation and our focus on diversity and inclusion is aimed at increasing a sense of belonging and strengthening our organizational culture and business performance – an environment where each employee is able to bring their whole self to work is something we are working towards.

In fact, Ericsson has a long history of supporting D&I initiatives, and globally we celebrate October as Diversity and Inclusion Awareness Month to remind us of the positive impact a diverse workforce can have on a society. An equal world is an enabled world — this is a core part of our DNA and we incorporate this approach in everything we do.

Ericsson’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy is cemented in our values, mission, and vision. Our focus is to encourage open communication and engagement to build a culture of inclusion in which everyone is welcome, and it results in business excellence and innovation, both of which help us meet the needs of our customers.

Organizations must also understand that a diverse and inclusive workplace environment allows them access to a wider talent pool thus, increasing the chances to find best people suited for the roles. Even from the job seekers perspective, diversity in the workplace is one of the key factors in their decision-making process.

Turning to the topic of ‘gender diversity’ withing the larger context, I strongly believe that gender balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. Traditionally, the technology sector has always attracted more males, both in the academic institutions and at the professional workplace.  At Ericsson, we actively work with academic institutions to attract women to take up exciting careers within the ICT sector and to join our Graduate programs. We provide equal growth opportunities for our female employees to adopt skills in advanced technology and have created focused talent development programs such as ASPIRE to cultivate female talent for leadership roles.

Our objective is to promote gender diversity in a full cycle, building a pipeline of female talent that will be ready to take on leadership roles to take on the challenges of tomorrow, including the realization of Industry 4.0.

To conclude, any business that is able to create a diverse and inclusive environment enables a sense of belonging among its employees which in turn motivates them to work harder, leading to improved work delivery that finally results in gains, not just by way of business outcome but also innovation in the products and services.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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