Diversity is a term used to describe a group of people with different ethnicities, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, cultural background, education, language, abilities, beliefs, etc.
Diversity in the workplace refers to having employees that include at least some of the diverse characteristics mentioned above.
Having people working for you with diverse backgrounds and upbringings means having lots of different perspectives. This can only translate into better problem solving and greater ideas coming together for the benefit of the team and the company.
Think for a moment about having a team with people that are similar regarding their education and ethnicity, when it comes to solving a problem or having to decide something important, most likely they’ll all come up with similar solutions and decisions, while this scenario may seem to achieve decisions faster and with little effort, it doesn’t mean the results will be beneficial.
Now, when having a culturally diverse team, the problem solving and decision making processes become richer, offering different perspectives and opening a whole new world of possibilities, therefore obtaining solutions you never have thought of and that will benefit your company in ways never imagined.
If you’re wondering why is diversity important, this is definitely one of the strongest answers. A diverse workforce with different points of view leads to greater innovation and creativity.
Think that a group of people with different viewpoints focusing on the same problem to solve will offer you a variety of creative solutions. In the end, when people are exposed to different perspectives, it sparks creativity not only when it comes to problem solving, but in other areas too. This is why a diverse workforce tends to develop more innovative leaders.
Prospects are no longer looking for the typical corporate job because they know there’s so much more interesting offers nowadays, with benefits that don’t just focus on salary, but development and employee wellbeing as well. (To learn more about employee engagement, check out our article “Sustaining Employee Engagement Best Practices”). According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor:
With so much work there is to do to stay competitive, it’s refreshing to know that we can recruit from a broader talent pool and be able to obtain the best talent to work for us. It’s even better now that companies are moving towards a hybrid model of work, because we literally can search all over the world for candidates and hire the best talent out there. While you still have to be picky regarding the skills you’re looking for to fill a position, it’s great to know there’s a broader pool of talent to pick from and that people with diverse backgrounds will bring so many different things to the table.
A lot of studies have shown that companies with diverse teams perform better and increase their profits. A 2015 report by McKinsey, that included over 350 companies, showed that:
And it’s not just about race and ethnicity: a 2012 global analysis by Credit Suisse found that organizations with at least one female board member reported higher net income growth and higher return on equity than those without any women on the board.
Companies with cultural diversity in the workplace make decisions faster and with richer purposes, giving them a significant advantage over their competitors and, therefore, resulting in better results.
It’s a proven fact that environments with homogeneous individuals instil peer pressure to fit in. Employees in these environments tend to be more reserved and perform cautiously out of fear of rejection, resulting in low performance.
Having a culturally diverse workforce creates an inclusive environment. When employees experience a variety of viewpoints, upbringings, backgrounds and culture they feel safe and driven to be themselves; which develops richer discussions and debates and provides a lot of knowledge among team members. When employees feel like they can be themselves and enjoy being around their teammates, performance reaches higher levels and employees engage with their company in a positive way.
Also, companies with more inclusive environments, experience way less turnover than those companies who lack diversity.
As you can see, the benefits of cultural diversity are worth considering implementing a more culturally diverse workforce. As a society, we have learned the importance of diversity and inclusion, but we still have a long way to go and a lot to learn. The world is changing everyday, and if we don’t keep up with it, we’re going to get stuck in the past and in ways that no longer work. There’s always room for knowledge and improvement, and we need to keep our minds open, we never know when someone will fill in the blanks we’ve been looking to fill for a long time. We hope you’re ready to impact your company in a positive way when implementing the benefits of cultural diversity!
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BY Laura Iñiguez
BY Michelle Sheridan
BY Laura Iñiguez
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