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The role of curiosity in creating more inclusive work environments

36% of U.S. employees aged 18-44 say diversity & inclusion policies/practices are an important factor when searching for a new job, according to new research by Glassdoor. But at the same time the research shows 43% of employees have still witnessed or experienced discrimination (e.g., racism, ageism, sexism, homophobia).

With increasing importance being placed on diversity at work, the question arises of how brands can create an inclusive work environment.

A diverse workforce can be a competitive advantage but at the same time a source of internal conflicts. So how do you avoid the latter? Fostering curiosity might help. In his recent book The Art of Insubordination, Todd Kashdan, a professor of psychology at George Mason University, points out that greater curiosity can make people more open to hearing others’ opinions, even if they differ from their own. That’s essential if we want to have productive disagreements and avoid issues like confirmation bias and groupthink. One way brands can support employees in staying curious is by encouraging them to try a range of different projects and professional activities (like Unilever).

Although the topic of diversity at work is very complex, supporting your employees in staying hungry, foolish and curious can keep you one step ahead in creating a more inclusive work environment.