The Importance of Acceptance and Equality in the Workplace

We don’t notice it right away, but it’s always there, one way or another. A dash of inequality, a bit of unfairness, and a sprinkle of discrimination. You try to shrug it off,  but it stays with you for a while. 

It’s a common reality for most of us. Coming from a quite conservative Filipino community, it takes a bit of time and effort to accept and adapt progressive ideals and values. However, no matter how slowly you put one foot in front of the other, you are still moving forward, albeit slowly and steadily.

This is how we are going to integrate acceptance and equality in the workplace. Inequality and discrimination are deeply rooted in old-fashioned beliefs and culture. Old values and beliefs, however, change as time progresses, and what seemed right before will not necessarily be what is right in the present. By promoting and implementing inclusive policies, we can slowly shape the current work culture into one that accepts everyone.


Benefits of a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

Diversity encompasses more than just visible differences; it includes varying perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. Embracing diversity can help enrich the organization, making it a boiling pot of creative ideas and innovative problem-solving solutions.

Being open and inclusive to all kinds of people encourages them to speak up, take initiative, and be productive in their work. A sense of belonging makes them willing to step up and contribute to the growth of the company in creative and innovative ways. Allowing people to be who they truly are enables them to be the best version of themselves.

Once seen as something threatening, diversity is now the key to progression, not just as an organization, but as a human community. Creating an inclusive workplace where everyone is welcome and encouraged to be themselves can help companies thrive in ways we have never imagined. 


Understanding acceptance and equality

Acceptance and equality go beyond just hiring people of different backgrounds; it is about understanding their story, learning about their culture, and taking the time to get to know them. It is also not about making sure everyone is treated exactly the same. Making an inclusive work environment is more about equity than equality, as not everyone experiences life the same way. What might be fair for one might be unfair to another, and putting in the effort to know everyone and understand their experiences will go a long way.

Make small changes first. A nod of encouragement when you see someone struggling can mean the whole world to them, and a gentle reminder to colleagues when you see discrimination in the office can push the movement further. 


Challenges to Achieving Acceptance and Equality

Acceptance and equality are ideals often hindered by systematic barriers, unconscious biases, and ingrained stereotypes. These obstacles manifest in various forms, from subtle microaggressions to overt discrimination, creating a climate of exclusion and discomfort for many. Acknowledging these challenges is the first step in creating an inclusive environment in the workplace. 

There’s also a social side to it, since promoting acceptance and equality will eventually lead to major changes in the workplace. Some may not welcome it or even resist it. Resistance to change often stems from fear of the unknown or a desire (or pressure) to maintain the status quo.

Combating discrimination and promoting acceptance and equality is definitely a mission that requires a lot of patience and time. Since some of the outdated values have been here since time immemorial, it would take a lot of effort to uproot them. Addressing biases requires introspection, education, and a commitment to challenge stereotypes on a daily basis. 


Strategies for Promoting Acceptance and Equality

So how do we do it? Well, we start at the roots – educating others. By implementing diversity training and taking part in awareness programs, we can help others recognize these issues and encourage them to join in the collective action for change. By offering these initiatives, organizations can empower employees to confront biases and champion inclusivity.

Another active approach is to also integrate policies and practices that encourage inclusivity and discipline discriminatory acts. Establishing clear guidelines and accountability measures reinforces a culture of fairness and equity.

At their core, acceptance and equality begin with oneself. By being empathetic and respectful to one another, we can foster a culture where everyone feels comfortable, included, and finally, loved.


Building something more 

When we open our arms to diversity, we’re not just opening doors; we’re tearing down walls that once divided us. By fostering an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected, we’re unlocking not only the full potential of our team but also setting a powerful example for the world around us. It’s not just about business success;  it’s about building a better future for all.