D for Diversity! Yes! More and more, we see small to large companies stepping to the plate to ensure a more diverse workforce. With rainbow flags of celebration and inclusion initiatives rolling out in droves, a large part of the world is finally celebrating all the thoughts and things that make humans different.
And at the same time, we can’t hide the C-suite’s number one desire for their company and shareholders. They really want to know how or if Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) innovation will positively impact their bottom line.
Now before I whip out the statistics and spreadsheets, remember that all profit starts with people. Relationship currency transverses many peoples, and without diversity, companies will not be able to flourish and grow to their full potential.
Here are three essentials to approaching diversity from an effective DEI change perspective.
1) Diversity Has Many Dimensions
The first step in understanding how diversity can benefit your company is to understand what diversity actually is. Diversity can be defined in many ways, but at its core, it is about including people who have been traditionally underrepresented or excluded. This includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, religion, disability, thoughts, and experiences.
It is important to note that diversity is not the same thing as affirmative action or quotas. Affirmative action programs are designed to address past discrimination by giving preference to candidates from underrepresented groups. Quotas set a minimum number of hires that must come from these groups, regardless of qualifications. On the other hand, diversity is about ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to be hired and promoted based on their merits.
2) Diversity Has Its Benefits
There are many reasons why diversity is important, but perhaps the most important is that it leads to better business outcomes. A study by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. Another study found that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability.
These benefits are not just limited to large companies, either. A study of small and medium-sized businesses found that those with diverse leadership teams were 70% more likely to capture new markets.
However, it is important to note that simply having a diversity of employees is not enough to reap these benefits. For diversity to positively impact business outcomes, companies must create an inclusive environment where all employees feel comfortable expressing their unique perspectives and ideas.
3) Diversity is Beneficial to the Bottom Line
Diversity can lead to better products and services, more innovation, improved customer service, and marketing strategies that are more effective at reaching new audiences. An organization with a diverse workforce is better able to understand its customers than those without it because they have access to different perspectives on how people live their lives.
How Can Your Company Be More Diverse?
Consider why your company needs diversity in its workforce before deciding what steps you should take toward creating it within your company culture.
Ask yourself questions such as “Why do we need this?” or “Which of our objectives will be best served by making an effort toward improving our work environment?” this helps clarify what your goals are when thinking about diversity at work.”
Diversity is here to stay, and it’s a trend that you should embrace. The benefits of a diverse workforce are clear, but we have just scratched the surface of what can be accomplished by tapping into the full potential of all employees.