Updated: Dec 1, 2020
The importance of diversity is becoming more and more apparent as our country, and world face a reckoning with the racial disparities that torment our past and are still apparent in the future. Diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and every other way imaginable are critical for the success of anything, - especially business. If your company is struggling with creative branding or content, diversifying your workforce may be the place to start. Diversity in the people who make up your team will result in a diversity of thought, which is integral to any company who wants to experience growth.
Higher levels of innovation & creativity
Diversity in companies has a direct correlation to innovation. Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be leaders in innovation in their respective fields, (Bersin, 2017). Diverse workspaces foster creative, and original thinking, through exposing employees to a multitude to perspectives and worldviews. Not to sound cliche but, none of us are truly as smart as all of us, - when unique perspectives are combined, the doors of innovation are opened.
A diverse workspace means a workplace with an abundance of varying perspective. Diversifying your workspace means adding employees with different backgrounds, and skills, who therefore inherently bring fresh new perspectives with them. Having different perspectives means having different ways of approaching, and tackling problems. Being able to view, and approach complex challenges from multiple angles is integral to developing a successful business strategy and maintaining an overall successful business.
A diverse workspace also leads to increased creativity. As previously mentioned, different experience and worldviews correlate with different perspectives. When a group is exposed to more idea, the merging of these ideas is what leads to incredibly innovative, and creative plans and solutions. By putting people together who see the same thing, but in a different way, you get a melting pot of creative, new ideas, and in doing so improve the creativity of your workforce.
Harvard Business Review finds that diverse teams are able to solve problems faster than cognitively similar people. Diversity leads to faster, more efficient problem-solving. Employees with similar backgrounds have relatively similar past experiences, and therefore relatively similar ideas. The more varying perspectives you have, the faster you will be able to come up with efficient solutions to all the problems your company faces.
Diversity in the make up of your workforce results in a diversity in thought within your workforce; significantly improving creativity, productivity, and overall leading to greater innovation.
Increased profits & hiring results
At the end of the day, the end goal for most businesses, and companies is to make the most revenue possible. McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm, found that companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers. The study included companies from 180 countries including the United States, Germany, and United Kingdom, and all the results pointed towards the same thing: increased diversity results in increased profits, regardless of where your company is located. Companies that have achieved higher levels of diversity benefit from increased creativity, and innovation which once implemented, all translate into increased profits.
Diversity in a companies workforce also leads to reduced employee turnover. Diverse companies are inherently more inclusive. When employees feel accepted and valued they feel more content about there work, and work situation. The happier employees are, the likelier they are to stay at the same company for longer. Even when companies lose employees, those with diverse workforces are much liker to recruit new candidates who are qualified, when compared to those lacking in diversity. A recent study by Glassdoor found, 67% of job seeker said diversity in the workplace was an important factor for them when considering job offers. Employers who are able to market themselves as having a diverse and inclusive work environment are much more appealing to future recruits than those that cannot make the same promise.
Better company reputation & support of younger audiences
When a company is finally able to claim they foster a safe, inclusive, and diverse workspace, the media, and public begin to gain a more positive picture of the company. Consumers want to see that their products are coming from companies that are dedicated to promoting diversity in the workplace, as they seem more humane, and socially responsible. When a consumer sees themself in a companies workforce, they are much more inclined to support it.
Younger audiences, specifically Gen Z, and Millenials are huge supporters, and advocates for equality, so naturally, diversity is important to them. With an increasing spending power and huge say in the media, it’s in the best interest of companies to appeal to the youth. By maintaining a diverse workforce, a company is one step closer to achieving this.
The benefits of a diverse workspace are apparent in partially every aspect of a company. By diversifying who works for your company, you will not only achieve higher revenues, and have happier employees, you’ll create opportunities for historically underrepresented groups in the corporate world, and in doing so set an example for others to follow. Diversity in business is the key to success.