Diversity and inclusion are definitely trending topics in all aspects of our life, but what does that really look like in business today?
With the definition in mind, diversity is going beyond just race and ethnicity, diversity in the workplace includes having a variety of staff from different cultures, gender, religions, demographics, socioeconomic backgrounds, political affiliation/beliefs, and beyond. But it is more than that – diversity is not simply defined by differences in racial groups among an institution, but benefits us as a whole in more ways than just simply reaching a desired quota or set-asides.
So what can diversity and inclusion do for your organization or business?
- Diversity makes you and your team brighter
- People from diverse backgrounds might actually alter the behavior of a group’s social majority in ways that lead to improved and more accurate group thinking, according to the Harvard Business Review
- Diversity creates a culture of ideation and innovation
- Overall, studies have shown that a diverse workplace drives innovation, leads companies to be more likely to achieve financial success, while inspiring creativity
- As a business owner or manager, it is important to have a workforce reflective of the environment in which your business is interacting
- Diversity is critical to business success
- A Forbes study, including “Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce,” has identified workforce diversity and inclusion as key drivers of innovation and growth
- Varied values, perspectives and views gives organizations a competitive advantage that breeds success
- For example, research has found that every 1 percent increase in racial diversity correlates with a 9 percent increase in sales revenue.
- Service-oriented industries especially benefit from a more culturally varied workforce
Guidelines to create a strategy around diversity and inclusion in your business or organization:
- Success of diversity training is strongly associated with top management support for diversity
- Develop of a company culture that fosters open discussion and collaboration
- Develop a hiring strategy to make your workforce resemble the community in which you operate
- Provide diversity training in your workplace
- Create a committee to help implement diversity/inclusion policy and come up with new ideas on how to attract more diversity to the company
- Amend the company mission statement to reflect this change
Resources to help navigate the process for existing and start-up businesses: