Public health crisis, economic hardship... All businesses face destabilising and complex situations at one time or another. But did you know that diversity and inclusion (D&I) goes hand in hand with greater productivity, that it encourages creativity and innovation and, above all, that it creates resilience? "And building this resilience actually boosts a company's economic performance", says professional coach Sara Bruzy, who was invited by the Cala Learning Hub network to talk about the subject.

Why is diversity and inclusion so important for organisations?

Implementing D&I policies has a number of advantages for companies. Firstly, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, there is a strong correlation between the diversity of management teams and overall innovation: 45% of the revenues of companies with particularly diverse management come from innovative products and services, compared with 26% for companies with below-average management diversity.

According to another Harvard Business Review study, employees of diverse companies are 70% more likely to say that their organisation has recently conquered a new market. "What's more, diverse teams stimulate creativity and open-mindedness, improve the company's brand image and make it easier to attract the best talent," adds Sara.

What is resilience and why is it essential?

But there is another advantage to these D&I initiatives: the resilience and adaptability it provides. What exactly is resilience? "From a personal point of view, it's more akin to a state of mind, an attitude," explains Sara Bruzy. For the participants in the webinar, it's akin to an ability to "bounce back" or an "inner strength". "In business, it's the ability to anticipate, adapt and react effectively while accomplishing one's mission and maintaining one's functions, values and performance", she continues.

"Employees who are resilient in situations of stress or challenges are generally more confident, more focused and more positive," adds Sara. But there are many obstacles to resilience in the workplace... On the one hand, companies communicate little on this subject, and on the other, employees are not sufficiently aware of it and lack training.

How can diversity and inclusion be harnessed to build resilience?

In fact, the two are directly linked," explains Sara Bruzy. In an environement where D&I is fostered, you have a greater capacity to broaden your skills and solve problems, you are also more flexible in your thinking and more open to different ideas". "I really like the concept of the 'inclusion network' from Sally Helgesen's book," she continues. This inclusive work environment will encourage cultural skills, promote diversity of thought and foster inclusive leadership.

In addition, there are many tools available to strengthen this resilience. Among those used by Sara Bruzy are the Diversity Fresco, the DiSC and co-development workshops.

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Blog article written by par Laure Blancard :