Diversity is not an option. It’s a necessity

Ikea’s HR manager talks about how a diverse working environment can help withstand upcoming changes.

Alessandro LagazioAlessandro Lagazio (Source: Archive of Alessandro Lagazio)
Read also: Diverse groups are more innovative and more profitable Read more 

Companies should not be afraid of opening a dialogue about diversity in the workplace. It may help unleash the spirit of togetherness and make diversity a living reality, said Alessandro Lagazio, Regional HR Manager at IKEA Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, in an interview with The Slovak Spectator.

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The Slovak Spectator (TSS): Why is it important for companies to support diversity? How might it benefit them?
Alessandro Lagazio (AL):
All companies should understand what business advantages they may find in it. There are different components. First, we cannot continue to learn and improve if we aren’t able to expose people to different backgrounds, different life experiences, and different points of views. Learning refers to our ability to be enriched through individual differences and be better.

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The second component is how happy people are with their work. People need to interact. You are most satisfied when you are able to deliver something together with different people. Another extremely important point involves unleashing creativity. Diversity offers the possibility of making people feel that they are included, that they can be themselves. This generates creativity, which is the best resource we need at a time of change, transformation and disruption.

All these ingredients together make me think that diversity is not an option, but a necessity. We cannot be successful if we do not bring different points of view and different experiences to the business environment.

TSS: What is the approach of Slovak companies to diversity? Are they open to supporting it?
There is some positive evolution and there are also many good examples. I think there is a need to continue to expand the dialogue and bring more attention to diversity to make an impact in society, as well as companies.

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TSS: Apart from Slovakia, you are also responsible for the Czech Republic and Hungary. Compared to these countries, where is Slovakia in terms of supporting diversity?

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