In today’s business world, successful companies don’t just lead with great products. Look at thriving businesses like Amazon, Google, or Atlassian, they share a common blueprint for organizational success: workplace diversity and inclusion.
Fundamentally, diversity and inclusion initiatives mean giving equal employment opportunities and support for everyone. However, we often overlook the reality where equality doesn’t always translate to fair treatment. That’s when conversations around equity arise.
Let’s break down the distinctions between equity and equality.
While equality illustrates the ideal work environment, it lacks practicality.
Here’s a simple scenario. You may provide equal employee experience by sponsoring commuter bikes for everyone, but doing so doesn’t make it any easier for disabled employees to commute to work.
In such a case, equality of experience often equals discrimination.
Here’s a comparison of equality and equity:
Now, when you think equity, you can balance diversity and inclusion.
Everyone should have equal opportunities to shine and the right tools to do their best work. Workplace equity is all about celebrating human differences.
That said, organizations constantly look for ways to build a genuinely receptive and fair environment for their teams.
Especially in the tech-driven world, inclusion goes beyond physical boundaries. It deals with digital accessibility as part of the journey to an inclusive digital workplace.
With intranets powering day-to-day business operations and team collaboration, the lack of accessibility compliance becomes the biggest obstacle for employees with visual or sensory impairments.
Innovative leaders solve the problem of digital exclusion by deploying Confluence, and they simultaneously address digital accessibility regulations, such as WCAG and BITV, with Accessibility for Confluence.
In this blog post, we will discuss the role of accessible intranets in building an inclusive culture.
Confluence: Foster Collaboration and Diverse Thinking
Investments in technologies are the weapon to combat digital inequity.
Think of the previous commuting problem for employees as an example. Once you have addressed workplace inequity (discrimination of employee benefits), you can take a step further by removing the systemic barrier (transportation) and create an accessible digital workplace for all. That’s also one of the significant impacts of digitalization: to enable an always-on and hyper-connected workplace.
Today’s leaders are taking a broader view of equal employee experience to ensure fair treatment and outcomes for individuals. They also understand that collaboration drives innovation, hence the popularization of intranet platforms like Confluence.
Designed for innovative teams, Confluence is the backbone of digital workplaces. The software solves challenges in bringing geographically distributed teams together, allows employees with disabilities to participate in the workforce, removes the barrier to knowledge sharing, and provides complete visibility into organizational development.
Enabled by Confluence, digital workplace inclusion revolves around these core values:
- Receptive and fair workplace environment: Confluence acts as the intranet where your teams can participate in projects and company-wide initiatives. No more top-down communication, Confluence enables a flat culture where everyone can participate equally. At the same time, you can facilitate a shared knowledge hub to make sure your team members have equal access to learning and development.
- Diverse thinking: They say, “Great minds think alike,” but we beg to differ. By giving all employees the right tools and channels to share ideas, businesses can benefit from their diversity of thought. Collaboration amongst diverse groups of employees also represents your diverse customer base. With their collective inputs, you can incorporate the necessary components to make your product or service universally attainable.
“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”
– Verna Myers
- Digital accessibility: Employees with disabilities, such as visual impairments, face tremendous challenges in adapting to the digital world. They usually rely on screen readers or special devices to perform simple tasks like accessing digital information and communicating. That’s why more organizations are paying attention to policies around digital accessibility; for instance, WCAG 2.0, Section 508 and BITV 2.0. Fortunately, apps like Accessibility for Confluence simplifies compliance with these standard accessibility requirements.
The accelerating digitalization trend has stirred up concerns over digital accessibility, especially for collaboration platforms and intranets. In the next section, we uncover how Accessibility for Confluence helps to overcome these regulatory challenges and foster an inclusive culture.
Accessibility for Confluence: Building an Inclusive Digital Future
Inclusive cultures breed positive actions towards making the workplace barrier-free, so that members of minority groups are welcomed to participate in the workforce without fear of failing, judgment or discrimination. That’s the beauty of Accessibility for Confluence.
To help your organization adhere to accessibility requirements, we have created Accessibility for Confluence to break down digital barriers for disabled employees.
Fully compatible with Confluence 7, the latest version of Accessibility for Confluence boasts the following capabilities:
Screen reader and high-contrast modes
With Accessibility for Confluence, you can adjust the standard Confluence dashboard into a simple and intuitive UI for easy access to every component on the page. Note that some dialogue or interactions in Confluence are not reachable, the app essentially gives them a logical order so the information can be accessed via screen reader mode.
The Editor is also given a full transformation to aid users with visual impairments. This is the core display feature that comes with screen reader mode for visually impaired users. Now, with read-aloud text, flexible visual display and high-contrast mode, they can enjoy the same great Confluence experience as everyone else. The app is not just for information consumption. It also allows users to edit all content in screen reader mode and then convert to Confluence’s wiki markup.
Users with motor or visual impairments can now fully control Confluence using the keyboard. Typically, they would depend on tab and arrow keys to navigate the relevant elements on the webpage and perform commands with the enter key or space bar. Unfortunately, Confluence dialogs are not reachable with the tab key. The app corrects the tabulator sequence to optimize these dialogs for a smooth navigation experience.
Read more: Why Building an Accessible Digital Workplace Matters?
Accessibility for Confluence is designed to help meet the requirements of WCAG 2.0, Section 508 and BITV 2.0, so you can leverage Confluence to build a truly inclusive digital workplace.
With the right tools dedicated to everyone, your teams can thrive and your organization can reap the benefits of diversity and inclusion. We are excited to be part of your inclusion initiatives, contact us today to see how we can help!