One of the key findings is that, for global companies, diversity is no longer simply a matter of creating a heterogeneous workforce, but using that workforce to innovate and give it a competitive advantage in the marketplace. And as companies compete on a global scale, diversity and inclusion frequently have to shift, as different markets and different cultures have varied definitions of what diversity means.
I often get asked “what are the tangible benefits of investing in a diversity program?” According to American Express, here are the top advantages of workplace diversity:
It builds your employer brand. Having a diverse workforce makes your company more interesting, people can expect to learn more from your employees and you can attract better talent from around the world.
It increases creativity. When you bring a variety of different people from various backgrounds together, you’ll end up getting better solutions to business problems.
It encourages personal growth. This is a major advantage to workplace diversity because it can help employees learn new ideas, perspectives and connect intellectually and personally to different people.
It makes employees think more independently. If you have similar people at a company, it will be harder to solve complex problems.
A recent Huffington Post article concludes that there’s mounting evidence that companies with diverse boards of directors are more likely to perform better than companies with no diversity.
“A recent analysis by Credit Suisse of the performance of 2,360 companies around the world over a six-year period found that women add value to corporate decision making. As the analysis described it, the majority group improves its own performance in response to minority involvement — in this case, a male dominated board adding women who are independent and accomplished in their own right. It’s all about the mix.”
The result is a better outcome in a more diverse environment. In fact, the outcome is likely to be greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not only what the women and people of color bring to the table, it is also the fact that they’re at the table that improves the Board’s output. Now, there’s a win-win!
Our brains want to make sense of the world around us. We interpret what’s happening around us through a lens filtered through our personal experiences, values and awareness. This humorous, yet poignant video helps us appreciate how easy it is to fall into diversity stereotyping. Simple lesson – never judge a book by its cover. In 2 minutes, you can test yourself about your diversity lens.
Todays’ team leaders feel constant pressure to innovate and position their products, services, teams and themselves more creatively than ever before. However, in our highly diverse workplaces, cultural and diversity intelligence are critical to success. Diversity extends beyond race or ethnicity, religion, culture or newcomer status to include factors such as geography, language, politics, gender, beliefs, economic status, abilities, skills and interests. A diverse workplace reflects our communities.
Leaders who develop, motivate and empower people to achieve extraordinary results aren’t acting randomly. By aligning diversity intelligence with leadership values, strategies and communication practices to ensure a truly collaborative, inclusive and engaging work culture environment, we can inspire our high performance teams to manage the change that is inevitable with innovation in the 21st century.