Traditionally, D&I has been the focus for the human resources department, but as our panelists and experts have highlighted, office design and layout play an essential part in translating policy into practise.
While D&I from a workplace design perspective traditionally conjure up images of supporting individuals who may have a physical disability, in reality this applies to a much broader group of people.
For instance, for someone joining an office-based organisation from a family where nobody has worked in that kind of setting before, the space can feel like a secret handshake. A space they’re unable to navigate confidently. This may also apply to underrepresented groups such as the LGBTQ+ community - or perhaps an introverted individual who finds the open plan office overbearing.
Some of these groups are largely ignored, simply because most people believe that they are now broadly accepted in society and therefore don’t need any ‘special’ treatment in the workplace.
For instance, a recent McKinsey survey found that the LGBTQ+ community is still widely underrepresented in corporate environments and highlights that more than 1 in 4 LGBTQ+ employees worldwide are not broadly ‘out’ at work. And even of those who are, 1 in 10 revealed that they had to come out on a daily basis to correct colleague assumptions.
Through the Great Indoors, we have also shone a light on the challenges faced by neurodiverse colleagues - individuals who are on the autistic spectrum, have ADHD or dyslexia and how great workplace design can support them better.
To further explore the theme of diversity & inclusion, The Great Indoors has hosted the Design-in workplace belonging webinar as well as a Q&A with Richard Bateman looking at how to build inclusive & diverse workplaces. You can also read more about designing the neurodiverse workplace in this article with Kay Sargent from HOK.
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