Recognition is the secret ingredient in bringing diversity and inclusion together

Repeating a phrase often enough can sometimes give a false impression that we understand its meaning. Diversity and inclusion is a prime example. As a term, it’s embedded in organisations across the globe, but, while it’d be crass to suggest it as nothing more than buzzwords, deconstruction is necessary if D&I is considered truly a success.

The diversity side of D&I is not difficult to grasp, and it can be achieved somewhat mathematically – at least in terms of recruiting employees from a range of backgrounds, and with a range of visible or physical traits – but it is all too easy to assume that inclusivity will naturally follow.

“We have this analogy of the iceberg,” says Niamh Graham, vice president of Global HR at Workhuman. “We talk about the iceberg as above the waterline being all of the things you can see about a person – gender, colour, race, age, size – then under the waterline, which is the mammoth part of any iceberg, are all of the things you cannot see. So, if you think about orientation, religion, how one thinks, their values, their style, their work ethic: they’re all the things you cannot see.