By now, talk of racial and gender inequality has made its way into mainstream news enough for businesses to know it’s a very sensitive topic and one to be taken into special consideration. We’ve seen recent shifts in companies pushing for a more diverse workplace to support their organization. Companies such as AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and Disney are all making monumental shifts for diversity in their company culture. From employee programs to incentive opportunities and focus groups, the importance of having a diverse, inclusive workplace has become a priority for many businesses.
Benefits of a Diverse Workplace
“A diverse organization will out-think and out-perform a homogeneous organization every single time,” CEO of Proctor & Gamble, Alan Lafley, states.
From a corporate side, there are many benefits that can come from an inclusive workplace. Studies show companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. In addition, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
While there is no direct link between correlation and causation, it can be noted that a company who strives for overall diversity have access to a wider range of skill sets. Furthermore, companies who exhibit strong cultural diversity have a better chance of recruiting and retaining top talent in the workforce. In the ever-competitive ‘war for talent,’ job seekers are looking for more than just salary when choosing an employee.
A positive, empowering work environment is important in creating employee satisfaction, and as a result, employees will develop a strong sense of loyalty to the company and exhibit more productivity in their performance. On top of employee improvement, companies will also see an increase in customer relations and satisfaction.
Angela Naef, senior vice president at DuPont, stated, “A commitment to diversity and inclusion makes you more able to know who you are innovating for and why.” When customers see that a company is well-represented, they will be able to build a stronger connection to that company and its brand. This in turn creates a relationship in which a customer develops brand loyalty and is more likely to share their experience with that company via word of mouth.
A survey by McKinsley & Company shows that 79 percent believe diversity initiatives have had a positive impact on company culture, and 89 percent of executives believe a diverse workforce improves their company’s ability to capture and retain a diverse client base.
Diversity comes in many forms: gender, race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and many more. Including diversity and inclusiveness in your workplace isn’t just “the right thing to do,” it is an empowering move that creates an overall sense of positivity and respect for both your employees and the company’s image. A multi-culturally represented company will benefit from stronger customer relations, brand loyalty, and a better bottom line.
Diversity is a great investment for the long run, and a shift in race majority and demographics in the near future will dictate a strong need for company diverseness. The road to greater diversity can start with anyone at any level and will ultimately lead to a more inclusive environment with happier and more productive employees.