Part 1 - Visioning Diversity & Inclusion


If you feel yourself getting bogged down in the minutiae of policy development or action plans, remember that at the core, diversity and inclusion represent an ongoing investment to advance your organization.

New perspectives increase your ability to respond to change. 
Reaching out to and working with a broad range of communities increases opportunities, long term viability and financial stability.

Opening up to diversity – inviting new voices to be heard, having new people access your organization and communicate within your space, having a broader range of skills and perspectives, and having leaders that reflect your community – builds a stronger organization and, on a very practical level, provides greater access to and for your community.


Benefits – or, what’s in it for me?

To achieve commitment to an inclusion strategy, it will be necessary to consider and promote the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive organization.  The ones you choose to highlight will depend on your organization’s needs, but should reflect its core values. Below are some arts-focused suggestions.

Benefits of an inclusive approach might include:

  • Expanding the pool of talent and enhancing creative diversity and innovation
  • Training new generations from a range of backgrounds in order to address succession challenges; also, taking advantage of the expertise of all generations of cultural professionals to make better decisions  and solve problems
  • Developing cultural self-awareness and improving cross-cultural communication for individuals
  • Expanding opportunities for partnerships, markets and audiences, potentially opening up new revenue streams
  • Enhancing community engagement with broader and deeper networks that could give an organization better support and visibility
  • Making employees feel valued as an integral part of the organization by removing cultural barriers
  • Promoting organizational values such as social justice, empowerment, equality, creativity, diversity and social inclusion

Diversity is not easy. But the advantages are too great to reject if we want to create viable, relevant organisations that are flexible enough to adapt and change in response to changes in its environment.
Navigating Difference, UK Arts Council 2006




Dig Deeper

Why a diverse workplace matters -  the Human Resources Council websites offers more detail about the benefits of diversity in a workforce

A Fresh Look at Diversity and Boards -  Blue Avocado, an American magazine which looks at non-profit boards, talks about the benefits of diversifying boards

Better Decisions Through Diversity - Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University business school; article on how diversity can bring better performance and decisions