Is Your Workplace Really Inclusive and Diverse?

By taking action to create a more inclusive workplace, leaders can help their employees feel appreciated and respected and ultimately create a stronger, more successful business. This means creating an environment where everyone feels like their voice is heard and valued.

But even if your company strives to make their workplace inclusive, it’s not always easy to tell when it’s working or when you’re falling short. Cluing into key indicators that your organization needs to improve its diversity and inclusion efforts (DEI) can help guide your company on a better path.

The Benefits of Having a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

It’s been found that companies with a more diverse workforce outperformed their less diverse counterparts. The study also found that companies with a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative in place were more likely to experience increased creativity, innovation, and employee engagement. In today’s global economy, success depends on a company’s ability to tap into the collective talent and experience of its workforce. 

A diverse workforce brings with it a wide range of perspectives and ideas, which can lead to new ways of doing things and improved products and services. It also helps to create a more positive work environment where employees feel valued and respected.

Finally, a diverse workforce can give a company a competitive edge in the marketplace. Customers are increasingly looking for brands that reflect their own values and identity, and a company that is seen as supportive of diversity is more likely to win their business. By promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, companies can reap the benefits of a more engaged, creative, and productive workforce.

Signs Your Workplace May Not be Inclusive or Diverse Enough

As our world grows more connected, it’s important for workplaces to reflect the diverse tapestry of perspectives and experiences that make up our society. A lack of inclusion and diversity can not only lead to missed opportunities, but it can also create an environment that is unwelcoming or even hostile to certain groups of people.

A recent study found that while 17 percent of respondents were concerned that their workplace wasn’t as diverse as it should be, 40 percent of respondents thought their workplace wasn’t even diverse enough to have a DEI policy.

If you’re concerned that your workplace may not be as inclusive or diverse as it could be, here are a few signs to look out for:

  1. There is a lack of representation of people from minority groups in management or leadership positions.
  2. There is a noticeable lack of diversity among employees in general.
  3. Complaints about discriminatory treatment or micro-aggressions are frequent or go unaddressed.
  4. Employees from minority groups regularly report feeling isolated or uncomfortable at work.
  5. The company is not doing anything to actively promote diversity and inclusion.
  6. There are no Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or Diversity & Inclusion Committees.
  7. People are using offensive language or making discriminatory jokes.
  8. Employees feel uncomfortable discussing diversity-related topics openly.
  9. The company culture is not very welcoming to newcomers or those who are different from the status quo.

How to Create a More Inclusive and Diverse Workplace

Creating a more inclusive and diverse workplace is an important goal for many organizations. It’s been reported that a vast majority of small businesses are making DEI a priority. There are a number of steps that can be taken to achieve this goal. 

  • Define what diversity and inclusion mean to you.
  • Evaluate your current workplace culture.
  • Commit to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • Implement diversity and inclusion initiatives in your workplace.

One way to promote diversity is to provide training on unconscious bias and cultural competence. This type of training can help employees become more aware of their own biases and how they might impact their interactions with others.

It’s also important to create a workplace culture where employees feel comfortable speaking up about issues of inclusion and diversity. There has been more attention paid to these issues post-pandemic, with 64 percent of business owners feeling they have made a safe and open environment for employees to discuss DEI.

This can be done by establishing clear policies against discrimination and harassment and by encouraging open dialogue about these topics. By taking these steps, organizations can create a more inclusive and diverse workplace that is respectful of all employees.

Leading the Way to Create a More Inclusive Workplace

While we can’t change everything overnight, there are small things each of us can do to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace. By following the tips in this blog post, you can take the first steps toward making your workplace more welcoming for everyone. By creating a more inclusive and diverse environment, workplaces can become more innovative, productive, and successful.


First Black Female Puppeteer of Sesame Street

Sesame Street is a renowned children’s show that almost every youngster in the country is familiar with.

Since its inception in 1969, the show has seen generations of youngsters develop and become professionals.

It wasn’t until last year, however, that the company decided to hire a full-time Black female puppeteer.

Megan Piphus Peace was the first Black female to work on the popular children’s show.

The 29-year-old expressed her thankfulness for being chosen by the production. The casting is especially significant for Peace since it made her a part of large entertainment production and the first colored female cast member.

“I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be on Sesame Street and encourage other kids to dream as big as their imaginations will allow. I always dreamed of working in television, but I never imagined myself being at Sesame Street,” Peace shared.

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A passion growing up

Piphus Peace has always been fascinated with puppetry. Her childhood ambition was to become a puppeteer and play in front of an audience.

She recalls being invited to a puppetry conference by a woman in their church when she first encountered the art of puppeteering. Throughout the seminar, she was astounded by how the ladies used the puppets to become their voices.

When Peace returned home, she addressed her parents and informed them she wanted to pursue ventriloquism.

“I had never seen a ventriloquist before. And at the time, I didn’t realize that Shari Lewis, one of my idols … was a ventriloquist until I was much older because she was so good,” Piphus Peace recounted.

Peace went on to say that she was always happy to see Lamb Chop, a character from the show “Lamb Chop’s Play-Along,” which she grew up watching.

“Lamb Chop was my friend, and Shari was just her friend too. I realized I found my passion in making children laugh and smile through puppetry.”

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The first black female puppeteer of Sesame Street

“It’s a matter of representation. It’s not very often that you see women puppeteers in general and also Black women puppeteers. I can probably count on one hand the number that there are,” Peace shared.

She hopes that her inclusion on the program’s roster will encourage other individuals and women of color to walk into the spotlight and exhibit their skills.

After all, it was Black women on television shows who originally motivated her to follow a career in the entertainment world.

“One of the lessons that we have was on using your voice. It speaks subtly to equity. You know, we didn’t have Gabrielle go into the camera and say, ‘Black Lives Matter.’ She says that we all have a voice that matters, and we can use our voice.”

“I want her confidence to just shine through the screen, so that little girls and boys around the world are filled with confidence in themselves.”

New Study Reveals Health Benefits of Coffee

According to a new study, taking two to three cups of coffee each day can guard an individual against early mortality and other cardiovascular illnesses.

“The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle,” said Peter Kistler, the author of the study.

Kistler is the director of clinical electrophysiology research at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. He is also the chief of electrophysiology at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.

They discovered three varieties of coffee, together with numerous other scientists, that greatly reduce the likelihood of several ailments, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure.

Caffeine-containing ground and instant coffee lower the risk of arrhythmia. However, according to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, decaffeinated coffee does not reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat in people.

Drinking 3 to 5 cups of black coffee can help with heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease.

“This manuscript adds to the body of evidence from observational trials associating moderate coffee consumption with cardioprotection, which looks promising,” stated Charlotte Mills, a nutritional sciences lecturer.

However, Mills claims that the researchers’ findings are observational in nature and so cannot rule out causation between the disorders mentioned above and frequent coffee intake.

“Does coffee make you healthy, or do inherently healthier people consume coffee? Randomized controlled trials are needed to prove the relationship between coffee and cardiovascular health,” Mills noted.

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Caffeinated ground coffee helps

The study made use of data from the UK Biobank. Over 450,000 persons who were free of arrhythmia and other cardiovascular disorders were surveyed in the research database.

The authors categorized them into four sections: those who preferred caffeinated ground coffee, those who preferred decaffeinated coffee, those who preferred caffeinated instant coffee, and those who did not consume coffee.

The researchers compared the patients’ data over a period of 12 and a half years, considering the data revealing cardiovascular illnesses, arrhythmia, stroke, and mortality. Other considerations were also looked into.

Obesity, high blood pressure, age, diabetes, ethnicity, sex, smoking status, alcohol, and tea use are among them.

When the investigation was done, the researchers observed that all varieties of coffee were slightly associated with lessening illnesses.

Duane Mellow, a nutritionist and lecturer at Aston University Medical School, believes caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Mellow, on the other hand, believes that other substances in the coffee might induce the results.

“Caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components. It is likely that the non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease and survival,” argues Kistler.

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The study needs more input

While the study offers quality news for coffee lovers, experts are split on the study’s findings.

According to Annette Creedon of the British Nutrition Foundation, the study had a weakness when respondents self-reported their coffee use.

“This study had a median follow-up period of 12.5 years during which many aspects of the participants’ diet and lifestyle may have changed,” she said.

While coffee is marketed as a refreshing beverage, Creedon claims that some people, such as those who have difficulties sleeping and those with uncontrolled diabetes, respond unfavorably to it.

As a result, she feels that people should visit their doctors before making coffee a daily beverage.

“(These negative side effects” can be particularly relevant to individuals who are sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Hence, the findings of this study do not indicate that people should start drinking coffee if they do not already drink it or that they should increase their consumption,” Creedon explained.

Furthermore, how coffee is brewed has a considerable impact on the findings. Mellor adds that consumers should think about how much sugar is in their coffee and the quantity of cream, milk, and other additives.

“A simple cup of coffee, perhaps with a little milk, is very different to a large latte flavored with a syrup and added cream,” added Mellor.

Photo Credit: The Manual

Source: CNN

Resorts, Authorities in Maldives Strengthen Calls to Combat Improper Waste Disposal

The majority of the islands in the Maldives are barely a few feet above sea level, making it the lowest-lying nation in the world.

The majority of the country’s population won’t be able to live there by 2050 since, according to NASA, 80% of the 1,200 islands that make up the country’s Indian Ocean territory will be submerged in seawater.

The country’s problems do not stop here, though. Travelers from all over the world visit the Maldives because of its stunning and appealing beaches and locations.

There were more than 1.7 million visitors to the Maldives annually prior to the outbreak. After the epidemic shut down the travel industry, the number decreased, but now that the majority of the world has practically defeated the pandemic, the movement is steadily making headway.

Improper waste disposal is a problem the nation must deal with because of the millions of tourists it attracts. The Maldives tourist authority has reiterated the appeal for personal responsibility in the disposal of non-biodegradable garbage.

Nevertheless, incidents of inappropriate garbage disposal still occur and must be eliminated.

The nation’s abundant coral reefs have suffered as a result. As it reflects their identity, the treasure is valuable to the Maldives.

But when scientists conducted a study of the territory in 2016, they found that more than 60% of the Maldives’ pristine reefs had been harmed by coral bleaching triggered by climate change.

CEO of Island Innovation, James Ellsmoor, said, “A large draw for tourism is the healthy ocean environment visitors come to see. Clearly, this type of environment must be preserved in order to continue attracting high-spending tourism.”

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The Tourism paradox

The Maldives’ economy is growing primarily due to the tourist industry. Tourists’ regular trips encourage regional economic expansion, especially in the supply and demand of products and services.

Simply put, the tourist industry is essential to the 540,000 people who live in the Maldives. The industry responsible for the harm done to the environment, however, is the tourist industry itself.

To serve its millions of visitors each year, for instance, resorts in the Maldives allot a significant amount of energy. Waste is being dumped into the environment in excess as a result. Experts emphasize that to protect the environment, the country’s 150+ resorts need to “go green.”

“The high cost of importing fuel to power noisy, polluting generators simply does not make sense when compared to the much lower cost of solar, wind and battery storage,” Ellsmoor added.

The Maldives government outlined its strategies for protecting the environment in the midst of this problem. Furthermore, by 2030, the Maldives should become a carbon-neutral nation and outlaw all single-use plastics by next year.

The good news is that Maldivian resorts have embraced the cause and are leading the charge toward sustainability, offering the same high-end services while preserving the environment.

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Resorts have stepped up

There hasn’t been much focus on waste in the Maldives traditionally. This is because a significant portion of the enormous waste dumped into the environment over a long time came from the tourism industry.

But several resorts and organizations have responded to recent pleas to safeguard and preserve the Maldives’ future.

The Eco Centro program, for instance, was just created by Soneva Resorts. Approximately 90% of the rubbish from the resort is recycled thanks to the project.

Soneva Resorts also leads the Makers’ Place, which enables people to redefine recycling and infuse art into it, producing sellable art and goods like glassware and wall tiles.

The Sustainability Lab at Fairmont Maldives was inaugurated this year, another resort in the Maldives. The lab would collect plastics discovered near the resort and those found within the resort and reconstruct the plastic for resale.

By taking part in the program, Maldivians develop their artistic talents, earn a living, and safeguard the environment. The management of the Fairmont Maldives claims that they want to be the “first zero-waste-generating resort in the country.”

“(We are) encouraging the next generation to care passionately about protecting the ecosystem and marine life that inhabits it,” said the company’s manager and resident marine biologist, Sam Dixon.

Photo Credit:  Parley Maldives

Source: CNN