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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the 21st Century Workplace

DEI in the Workplace

Notably, the role of DEI, which stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, is crucial in the 21st-century workplace. Gill et al. (2018) suggest that companies and organizations should implement strategies that promote DEI to enable inclusive and diverse team environments for better employees’ experiences and engagement. While the vibrant and diverse demographic groups variety can provide challenges for working environments and businesses, it can also offer an opportunity for positive development and growth (Gill et al., 2018). Recognizing and accepting variety, namely the spectrum of employee distinctions, is critical for company success.

Professional education and training centered on DEI rather than diversity alone are impacting the workplace and teamwork atmosphere. According to Gill et al., 2018, changes should begin with senior leadership, sharing accountabilities with middle management. It is critical to include and connect all personnel to achieve meaningful transformation. Thus, every employee should act as a culturally competent mentor for others and share one’s skills and expertise (Gill et al., 2018). Corporations need to have dialogues and address unethical behavior or institutional procedures to mitigate discriminatory workplace practices. Consequently, the essay demonstrates the gender gap in leadership, wages, and employment, defines seven discriminatory practices, and proposes three strategies to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Gender Gap in Leadership, Wages, and Employment

The gender gap in employment, leadership, and wages remains a relevant issue in the 21st century. Lyness and Grotto (2018) state that nowadays, women demonstrate tremendous progress in advancing to senior positions in business and politics. For instance, June 2017 is illustrated as the first time when thirty-two out of the Fortune 500 companies were managed by female CEOs. Essentially, women work in nearly all industries, with over three hundred professions recorded by the United States federal government (Ammerman & Groysberg, 2021). Lyness and Grotto (2018) claim that notwithstanding these women’s achievements, overall data reveal that women continue to be underrepresented in senior management roles in both the corporate and governmental sectors in the United States. According to Lyness and Grotto (2018), in 2017, almost half of S&P 500 companies were females. Nonetheless, women were outnumbered in management and leadership departments, holding approximately thirty-six percent of first- to middle-level managerial roles and twenty-five percent of senior management positions (Lyness & Grotto, 2018). Ammerman and Groysberg (2021) emphasize that women lead just eight percent of Fortune 500 businesses. Consequently, female employees continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions.

Notably, when male and female employees are not given equal opportunities to work and grow, employment becomes biased, with lower-status projects and roles regarded as the realm of female colleagues. Ammerman and Groysberg (2021) argue that the recruitment and selection process, involvement, and loyalty are crucial for any company, and businesses worldwide have stated their commitment to progressing female employees into management positions. Nonetheless, numerous organizations are not oriented enough on their female talent. For instance, in a recent Mercer study of more than one thousand companies in fifty-four countries, eighty-one percent felt obliged to have a plan to enhance gender equality; however, only forty-two percent implemented the strategies (Ammerman & Groysberg, 2021). Sangster (2019) acknowledges that even after acquiring an MBA, female employees face the wage and management gap expanding in many organizations. Hence, the crucial reasons for inequality relate to organizational concerns such as authoritarian corporate culture, unfair recruiting methods, and strict regulations about face-time and work schedules.

The problem of the gender gap should be addressed by not only policies but employees themselves. Adapting the critical approaches and techniques is vital, but without executives involved in evaluating and monitoring the outcomes, the best practices will not work to encourage equity, diversity, and inclusion (Ammerman and Groysberg, 2021). Closing the gap between men and women should be a concerted and continuing effort. Measuring results such as attrition, recruiting patterns, salaries, and promotions is critical for an organization, and all leaders should demonstrate commitment to continuous development and learning (Ammerman and Groysberg, 2021). To resolve the issues, companies can minimize using loaded language in job advertising, anonymize candidate resumes and cover letters, promote a culture of inclusion and diversity, enhance women’s access to leadership, provide explicit criteria for wage offers and bonuses, and conduct flexible work arrangements (Ammerman and Groysberg, 2021). Thus, the systematic approach and practices focused on mitigating gender biases will enhance the DEI of the working environments.

Seven Types of Discriminatory Practices in the Workplace

In order to address the inequality issues and enhance diversity, it is essential to identify types of discriminatory practices in the workplace. The United States Department of Justice (2021) defines the most crucial kinds of employment discrimination. First, race and color discrimination limits any individual fair job opportunity because that person is of a particular ethnicity or has features, such as skin color, complexion, facial features, or hair texture, related to a specific race. Second, national origin discrimination refers to rejecting fair employment conditions due to an individual’s country of origin, ethnicity, accent, or traditions. Another crucial type of discrimination is based on sex, which includes attempting to deny any individual equal work opportunities because of their gender. According to the United States Department of Justice (2021), gender discrimination involves treating a pregnant person negatively, stereotyping based on gender preconceptions, or opposing based on a human’s incapacity to adhere to gender norms. Essentially, gender bias also refers to mistreating someone because of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

The fourth type of discrimination practice is based on an employee’s religion. Discrimination on the grounds of faith restricts individuals’ equal career prospects because of their personally held religious, moral, or ethical views (The United States Department of Justice, 2021). Consequently, military status discrimination practice is characterized by abusing, discriminating, or rejecting an individual’s rights to fair job possibilities because of the previous, present, or future participation, service, or duty in a uniformed service (The United States Department of Justice, 2021). Hence, the sixth type is retaliation discrimination, which includes taking hostile action against an employee who made public statements against a discriminatory employment practice, for instance, gender or race discrimination, complained about inequality, or helped in the investigation of a discrimination complaint (The United States Department of Justice, 2021). Finally, Francioli and North (2021) identify age discrimination in many companies and organizations. For instance, older employees suffer considerable difficulties due to their age or, more accurately, due to organizational members’ judgments of their age. Essentially, these seven fundamental discrimination practices should be addressed and eliminated to provide a healthy, fair, and positive working environment.

Three Strategies to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Essentially, the three strategies to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion include implementing a strategic DEI management plan; second, hiring professionals who understand the significance of DEI values; and third, providing comfortable and fair working conditions and helping employees express themselves. According to SHRM (n.d.), a strategic DEI management plan assists companies and organizations in making the most of its diversification by establishing an inclusive, fair, and diverse culture and employment opportunities. Workplace diversity refers to the combination of individual and organizational qualities, attitudes, views, perceptions, backgrounds, interests, and habits (SHRM, n.d.). Although diversity generates the potential for higher creativity, growth, and productivity, inclusion allows firms to thrive on this promise. Employees should be treated fairly in opportunities and development. Discovering and removing obstacles to equitable treatment for vulnerable groups is part of this endeavor, namely equity.

After implementing the DEI plan, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of hiring professionals who understand the importance of DEI values and promote continuous training in the company. Forbes (2021) states that If a firm chooses managers and executives who do not value DEI and the importance of providing a safe environment for all employees, the company will be unable to shape a friendly and welcoming corporate culture. Workplace diversity is fundamental and should not be neglected. Therefore, it is critical to hire people from various backgrounds to continuously progress, innovate, and develop in all directions by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Finally, the third strategy ensures comfortable and fair working conditions and helps employees express themselves. Forbes (2021) acknowledges that fostering an environment where employees can express themselves based on their viewpoints is critical. Organizations and firms should respect every individual, regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, or origin. Therefore, leaders and managers are not permitted to engage in discriminatory activities. Essentially, they should successfully promote diversity to enable employees to feel comfortable expressing their concerns and ideas without risk of being harassed, abused, or maltreated. To conclude, the cooperate culture should encourage a wide range of viewpoints and strive to make everyone feel valued and respected.


Ammerman, C. & Groysberg, B. (2021). How to close the gender gap? Web.

Forbes. (2021). Eight important ways to promote inclusion and diversity in your workplace. Web.

Francioli, S. P., & North, M. S. (2021). The older worker: gender and age discrimination in the workplace. In Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (pp. 215-235). Academic Press. Web.

Gill, G. K., McNally, M. J., & Berman, V. (2018). Effective diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. Healthcare Management Forum, 31(5), 196–199. Web.

Lyness, K. S., & Grotto, A. R. (2018). Women and leadership in the United States: Are we closing the gender gap? Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 5(1), 227–265. Web.

Sangster, E. (2019). The leadership gender gap is beyond repair, it’s time to reinvent. Web.

SHRM (n.d.). Guide to developing a strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion plan. Web.

The United States Department of Justice. (2021). Types of employment discrimination. Web.

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