Diversity in the workplace is not just for ethical reasons. It is also smart business, and the benefits are well-documented. To be profitable in a global economy, companies need access to the insights, experiences, and world views of the entire marketplace—not just a small percentage of it.
Here’s what it means:
Successful Companies Represent All of Their Customers
The digital revolution has made it possible for businesses of all sizes to expand their reach into an international market. A diverse employee base brings more knowledge, perspectives, and experience to the company, so that it can serve the needs of its diverse customer base.
A Company without Diversity is Playing to a Limited Market Place
In a company of like-minded people with the same experiences, certain aspects of work are easier, communication can be more seamless and things move more quickly. While the situation may result in better efficiency, the company will only grab a specific piece of the market. With a diverse workforce, the company can generate massive returns because the employees see potential problems before the customer complains.
That’s why organizations with best-in-class diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs deliver a better ROI and outperform in the stock market than those without them.
DIVERSITY TAKES TIME AND CAREFUL PLANNING
Businesses struggle to have diverse workforces because of the benefits. The main setback here is unconscious bias that everyone has. Due to unconscious bias, recruiters are more likely to hire someone from their same demographic group while candidates are likely to avoid companies where the workforce doesn’t look like them. All companies need to recognize unconscious bias and take intentional steps to overcome it.
Diversity doesn’t happen overnight.
Leaders have to work for diversity every day and make it a foundational part of their business. It takes commitment and transparency, and it will be a long process to bring diversity into the organization. Diversity is now a key component of a successful business strategy targeting a more diverse marketplace.