Hello, welcome to the Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace course created by ESSEC Business School . From the introductory quiz, you saw that the three most common statements that firms make about diversity and inclusion are, first, diversity is a source of creativity and innovation for firms. Second, diversity is a source of performance for firms and it's collaborators. Third, firms need a workforce that reflects the diversity of the customer base. Firms perceive diversity as an important ingredient for success that encourages creativity and innovation, and helps to understand and develop new markets. This is generally referred to as the business case for diversity. In my experience working with firms in France on diversity and inclusion issues, I have come across two main approaches. In the first approach, firms perceived diversity as an ethical and social responsibility, in which they have a responsibility and commitment to address existing social inequalities which are reflected in their workforce, and to promote inclusion of underprivileged populations into the workforce and in management. In the second approach, firms present diversity as an important ingredient for exchange of different perspectives and collaboration, with the final objective being to encourage innovation and corporate performance. In order to achieve this end, firms feel that it is important to have a workforce that reflects their potential customer base at all levels of the hierarchy, so as to continue to develop pertinent products and services. Most firms will emphasize both elements in their approach to diversity and inclusion. But the business case for diversity is essential for diversity and inclusion initiatives to succeed. Even though the playing field is far from level for the majority of minorities and for women, the most important factor for firms to address diversity is the competition for talent and new markets. For example, according to UNESCO data, women have become the majority in tertiary level education in most countries, including the USA, Brazil, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK, Russia, China, and the list goes on. According to these figures, as women become as well educated as, or better educated than men, they will become the main driving force for future businesses. For example, in 2019, in the EU28, the proportion of women aged 25 to 34 with a higher education degree was 46% as opposed to 36% for men. In the UK, a significantly higher percentage of students whose ethnicity is Chinese or Indian, attain the British A levels compared to white and other ethnic students. All of this indicates that in many countries there are an increasing number of qualified and talented minorities and women coming onto the job market. Firms need to tap into this diversified talent pool at the risk of losing out to the competition. An important point to keep in mind is that businesses have been working on some diversity issues for several decades now. Women have been on the agenda in some countries for over three decades, and many countries have also been focusing on people with disabilities. However, when we look at the current situation for both populations, women are still outnumbered by men particularly in the upper echelons of corporations, and still fighting for equal pay, despite laws in place to address the gender pay gap. Moreover, many firms are unable to fulfill disabilities quotas in countries that impose them and end up paying a fine to the government or state agencies. So in conclusion, previous diversity strategies and initiatives have not been highly effective in eliminating differences. Although diversity and inclusion in the workplace has become an important factor for businesses, we can see that it is a complex issue that is not easy to manage. We already know from studies that firms whose top management is driving the diversity initiative, and whose diversity strategy is integrated into their core businesses, benefit most from the growth potential of diversity. This course is about discovering more about how diversity and inclusion is the key to future performance for firms, and for you, as leaders of today and tomorrow. You will hone your awareness of your and others’ diversity perspectives and reflexes. You will understand how these perspectives and reflexes impact our interactions, group dynamics, and group performance. And why diversity strategies have not been highly effective to date. The course also presents a methodology to work on our autonomatic diversity reflexes cognitively in order to develop more inclusive attitudes and behaviors. In a professional setting, this awareness will be an asset in working with diverse collaborators and generating value at the individual and collective level.