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Several studies have already validated the business case for diversity and inclusion. A McKinsey study found that ethnically diverse businesses are 35 percent more likely to outperform their less diverse counterparts. Talent guru Josh Bersin found that the cash flow of more inclusive companies are 2.3 times higher than their less inclusive counterparts. A Boston Consulting Group study found that above-average diverse management teams have 19 percent higher innovation revenue compared to those with below-average diversity.

In addition to financial impact, the majority of employees also consider diversity and inclusion as two of the most important aspects of their employment.

Fifty-seven percent of employees would like to see their companies do more to improve diversity and sixty-seven percent of job applicants prefer a diverse workforce when evaluating job offers and the companies they apply for.

Despite all the evidence, why do companies keep ignoring the competitive advantages of diversity?

It could be because the implementation of inclusionary and diversity practices is an emotional task. Prioritizing diversity issues and incorporating it into an organization’s culture requires people to rethink how they see the world and will require them to disrupt their everyday routines. The Implicit-Association Test can be used to help people understand their feelings and thoughts outside of conscious awareness, which, in turn, can help them better understand and appreciate others who are not like them. This is important because even people who believe they practice fairness and goodwill are not exempt from a biased mind. It is also necessary to create and structure processes and systems to disrupt bias and patterned thinking to leverage a diverse workforce.