As you may have heard, last month Klika received the ‘Excelling in Diversity’ certificate. This is an important recognition awarded to companies and institutions that treat all employees and job candidates equally in the employment, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, or other characteristics that classify people as marginalized groups. Being very proud of this accomplishment, we decided to dedicate the whole month to Diversity, since we believe that it is important to talk about that and to present the importance of this value to a broader community.
We talked to Klika’s CEO Edin Deljkić about diversity, and what can other companies learn from Klika regarding the implementation of D&I Strategies.
Let’s start with the same question we asked our audience on social media – Why do you think that diversity and inclusion are important in business?
Frist of all, I think it is important that diversity and inclusion are practiced in every aspect of our lives including the work environment. I believe that diversity and inclusion should be a significant part of the culture of any organization. Many studies have shown the benefits that D&I has when it comes to business. For example, teams made up of people of different backgrounds and characteristics show much more creativity and thus can achieve greater success. Also, diversity generates different approaches to the same issues and gives us a better understanding of business service users. Last but not least, employees working in diverse and inclusive environments show higher productivity and are more satisfied with their job.
Diversity is one of the core Klika values. How is this value implemented in practice?
Yes! #diversity and #showingRESPECT are some of the core Klika values. We believe that everyone should have equal opportunities and be accepted and appreciated regardless of individual characteristics. Seven years ago when we founded Klika, we realized that very few companies in the public and private sector practice diversity and inclusion. For this reason, we decided to incorporate diversity as one of our core values and since the beginning, we have been trying to show that we are an inclusive company through our work and practices.
The ‘Excelling in Diversity’ certificate that we received last month only confirmed that we are really on the right path. We are proud to say that our current team of more than 150 people in offices in Sarajevo and Banja Luka is really diverse. Our team consists of people of different nationalities and religions, members of the LGBTQI community, people with disabilities, and 45% of our employees are women.
However, I would like to emphasize that we do not consider our employees as marginalized groups, we are proud of our diversity and we believe that it only makes us stronger!
What do you think is the most common mistake in an organization’s understanding of diversity?
I think it often happens that organizations and institutions think that everything starts and ends with employing people of different characteristics and backgrounds. This is the biggest mistake companies can make, as this is just the beginning of the story of diversity and inclusion. Employment of different people or groups means nothing and it is not enough if these people do not feel accepted, appreciated, and respected in their work environment. Thus, it is extremely important to think and implement inclusion, equality, and equity in parallel with diversity.
How can Klika inspire other IT companies to implement D&I strategies? What would you say to other companies?
Diversity has great potential, and we should always keep that in mind for many reasons, and I listed some of them at the beginning of this conversation.
It is essential that all of us have the same rights, and are provided with equal opportunities regardless of characteristics that make us different from each other. Our goal for Klika is to set an example and inspire other companies to apply for the ‘Excelling in Diversity’ certificate and go through all the steps required to receive this certificate led by a professional team.
We will definitely continue to talk about the importance of this topic and the importance of implementing D&I strategies into business models. Inspired by this, we are going to launch a podcast series very soon in which we plan to include other IT companies and other industries as well. Our aim is to start a discussion not just about significant topics for our community but for society as a whole as well. We’re going to take charge of the conversation around diversity and inclusion because we think it’s a crucial topic for the development of our country and business community.