Organisations prioritising diversity and inclusion have better performing employees
Dr Sarina Siyavudeen, Assistant Vice-President – Provider Relations, DAMANA / SAICOHEALTH
D&I has become a crucial pillar across firms globally and organisations which prioritise diversity and inclusion have employees that are happier, more productive, and better performing, said Dr Sarina Siyavudeen, assistant vice-president – Provider Relations, Damana and Saicohealth.
Studies have also shown that having a more diverse workforce impacts on the bottom line, with one set of findings showing that organisations with a diverse workforce are 35 per cent more likely to experience greater financial returns than their respective non-diverse counterparts.
76 per cent of job seekers state that in the process of evaluating job offers, D&I in the workplace is essential. Organisations have seen a substantial difference in existing employees’ work ethics once D&I had been incorporated into their work environment. They were found to be more engaged with higher levels of trust and in possession of better decision-making skills.
"The UAE is highly welcoming to the global workforce and has made it a policy to support diversity and inclusion. This is a not new phenomenon - 2019 was celebrated as the year of tolerance across the country and this is reflected by the increasingly diverse population making the UAE their home and place of work," said Siyavudeen.
There have been tremendous developments in labour laws across UAE, KSA, Bahrain and Qatar that aims at bridging the gender pay gap between men and women in the workplace. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has granted female workers more rights than before. Moreover, UAE has implemented paternity leave. These strives have not gone unnoticed however it is only the initial steps towards an uphill battle to establish D&I in every organisation.
"We’ve already discussed diversity in the workplace being a critical component of success and happiness in an organisation, supporting social integration. However, there are challenges in bringing together a diverse group of people, particularly experienced during the transition phase. Workplace diversity may encounter challenges around integration. Supporting employees so they feel included and valued is key in facilitating their transition in any organisation," added Siyavudeen.
Damana continues its policy of enhancing inclusion and diversity and has employees from across 20 countries, and most crucially, in a field where men dominate, 40 per cent of workforce is female.
"We are strong believers in growing these numbers further and are working actively as management to ensure we create effective programmes to make our employees feel a part of the team and have clear routes of progression," said Siyavudeen.
Research has shown that female leaders can bring specific benefits to leadership, for instance by assisting team members to maintain a balanced work-life, making sure that their workloads are sustainable, and looking after their wellbeing. When managers promote employee well-being and organisations do the same, employees are happier, experience less burnout, and are less inclined to consider leaving their employment.