By Christine Stewart, manager of Diversity and Inclusion for Xerox Services

In recent years, there have been a plethora of articles and credible research linking a diverse workforce to improved organizational performance, a greater ability to attract and retain high-quality people, serve customer needs, and develop more innovative products.  “Why diversity matters,” published by Catalyst, cites extensive global research proving the organizational benefits of diversity and inclusion (D&I). Bottom line: Embracing D&I goes beyond regulatory compliance and is core to business performance. No doubt about it.

“Inclusion is about creating an environment that maximizes the contribution and potential of all employees by respecting their unique skills.” -- Christine Stewart, manager of Diversity and Inclusion for Xerox Services

“Inclusion is about creating an environment that maximizes the contribution and potential of all employees by respecting their unique skills.” — Christine Stewart, manager of Diversity and Inclusion for Xerox Services

The one question I am often asked is, how does Xerox define the terms ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion?’ At the outset, diversity is much more than the existence of women and minorities in the workplace. It encompasses characteristics such as age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, geographic origin, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation. It also includes unique traits such as an individual’s behavior, communication style, education, experience, generation, languages spoken, perspective and style of thinking. Inclusion is about creating an environment that maximizes the contribution and potential of all employees by respecting their unique skills. Simply put, diversity is the mix; inclusion is making the mix work.

At the core, diversity and inclusion are about all of our people. It is about enhancing our company’s ability to compete and reach new markets, improve business results and gain new perspectives. Xerox has 140,000 people and we do business in over 180 countries. Think about it. Our global presence makes D&I critical to our success in the marketplace.

How Xerox Fosters Diversity

So, what are we doing to foster a diverse and inclusive work environment? First and foremost, a sharp focus on building D&I awareness across the organization. We meet with senior leaders to review D&I performance for their area, soliciting feedback, and determining tangible actions to meet our D&I goals.

We are making efforts to ensure our candidate selection process takes diversity into account. As an example, , for all executive level hires we hold managers accountable for interviewing a qualified diverse slate of candidates for all positions.  This process will drive progress to our diversity and gender balance goals at the executive level.

In addition, Xerox actively supports employee caucus groups.  These employee initiated, independent organizations are focused on ensuring their members having equal employment and promotional opportunities, receive training and development, and give back to the community.

Diversity and inclusion is a corporate imperative at Xerox, and we are making significant progress.

Learn More About Diversity & Inclusion

Workforce Diversity — A Key to Success in the Global Landscape on RealBusiness.com.