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A quick search on diversity in business will bring up numerous articles and studies quoting stats about the increased successes of organisations with diverse workforces. These include figures such as an 80% improvement in business performance when levels of diversity and inclusion are high, and a 3-9% increase in sales revenues for every 1% increase in the rate of gender or ethnic diversity in a workforce. It also been demonstrated as having a positive impact on innovation and problem-solving; in a field such as Digital Preservation this should make encouraging diversity essential.
These figures do, however, come with a disclaimer: taking a lip-service-only approach to diversity can lead to greater conflict and reduced productivity. Individuals must feel properly supported by management and their peers, and work must go into creating a real culture of understanding. We all feel more comfortable and perform better in an environment where we are respected, understood and appreciated. Likewise, working with people who have different life experiences challenges us to think differently and helps us innovate.
As an organisation with community at its core, the Digital Preservation Coalition has decided to make a clear statement about its commitment to these issues through its new ‘Inclusion and Diversity Policy’. This presentation will explore the main themes of that document, whilst also encouraging a broader dialogue about how the Digital Preservation community can further steps towards inviting new voices to contribute to our discipline.
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