Author: Valerie Thaller

Diversity and inclusion – our differences are a strength!

© Greiner AG

We all know about pigeonholing, unconscious biases, and cognitive shortcuts. These behaviors are part of our lives, allowing us to make quick decisions and respond to new situations at short notice in our everyday lives. But in a professional context, making judgments based on preconceptions can create an environment in which people are disadvantaged and unable to achieve their potential as individuals.

Diversity is the key to ensuring an inclusive work environment. And unconscious biases are one of the biggest barriers to increased diversity in organizations. It is only when everyone becomes aware of these thought patterns that we can create a work environment in which different perspectives, opinions, and ideas are truly heard. Embracing this sort of diversity is also an essential factor in the business performance and success of organizations that want to be run innovatively.

“What do prejudice, diversity, and inclusion have to do with me, if anything?”

Recently, some of our colleagues took part in a workshop entitled “Bias and Inclusive Behavior.” Manfred Wondrak from factor-D Diversity Consulting led the session, giving a deep insight into the world of inclusive culture, unconscious biases, and strategies for combating these biases.

© Greiner AG
© Greiner AG
© Greiner AG

“A global company is naturally bound to be diverse, isn’t it?”

Greiner employs 11,494 people with a wide variety of personalities, nationalities, and viewpoints – but that on its own does not mean an organization necessarily has a diverse and inclusive culture. Embracing diversity means respecting and valuing social and personal differences, allowing people to openly embody those differences and have them accepted when working with others. This behavior starts at the personal level with each and every individual.

Portrait Alexander Berth

"We have to listen to each other and learn from one another. This is the only way we can keep growing as human beings. Ultimately, inclusion relies on us valuing each other."

Alexander Berth, Sustainability Communications Manager, Greiner AG

“I don’t feel comfortable sharing my opinion in meetings a lot of the time because it’s often different from that of my colleagues.”

In the workshop with Manfred Wondrak, a range of unconscious biases were examined. Stereotyping, self-fulfilling prophecies, and peer pressure are just a few examples of the 170-plus different forms of bias. Addressing biases and holding meetings in an inclusive manner are just the first steps in fostering an inclusive culture – and on top of this, it is crucial to put long-term strategies in place to reduce pigeonholed thinking. As well as the way organizational structures and processes are designed, personal awareness can also help to improve equality of opportunity and inclusion. Continuous personal development is therefore essential.

Want to find out more? Listen to our podcast episode with Ana-Cristina Grohnert, titled “Diversity for Future”.

© Greiner AG
© Greiner AG
Portrait Valerie Thaller

Author:

Valerie Thaller

Sustainability Communications Trainee Greiner AG

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