PwC’s multi-year, cross-industry Global Diversity & Inclusion Survey finds that a staggering 75% of organizations call diversity and inclusion a top priority.
In October, as the world observes Global Diversity Awareness Month, we celebrate all cultures, backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, talents, and beliefs, no matter what our business or industry.
Why Is Diversity so Important?
Diversity, equity, and inclusion. This term, abbreviated as DEI, is something many companies have committed to embracing, particularly in the past few years. Why are they doing so — and what’s the impact?
It Means Stronger Collaboration
DEI fosters a more collaborative environment. When workplaces consist of people with all the same qualities, backgrounds, and demographics, conflict inevitably arises. But differences actually bring us together. People are bringing unique experiences and building working relationships with their colleagues based on respect for those differences.
Workplaces will need to recognize that these differences mean diverse work styles and approaches, which will, in turn, prompt them to reconceptualize the way they’ve been doing things and develop more ways to accommodate everyone. This leads them to develop a stronger, more inclusive, and more varied work culture.
Diversity is key to productivity. When you have a wide range of perspectives on your team, you will generate more ideas and leverage different skill sets — skill sets you need for a more cohesive and efficient company. People are also bringing their unique qualities and approaches to your workforce, leading to new ways of working and better solutions to problems.
Additionally, diversity often means higher morale, which is linked to better productivity, greater motivation, and a more effective team.
It Leads to Better Products and Services
Did you know that organizations with executive teams that represent more cultural and ethnic minorities are 33% more likely to have “industry-leading” profitability?
When you have teams that are comprised of diverse individuals, you will produce more ideas and spearhead more brainstorming initiatives. Diversity opens the doors for creativity, pushing your business to develop better products and services — and ultimately leading to increased profitability.
It Means Attracting Top Talent and Greater Retention
This probably comes as no surprise, but people seek out businesses that embrace diversity and create a welcoming atmosphere for all employees. When organizations don’t have a diverse community, this can be detrimental to their retention and ability to attract talent.
Glassdoor found that 32% of employees and job seekers won’t apply to a job at an organization with a lack of diversity. This figure is higher among Black job seekers and LGBTQ job seekers — each at 41% — compared with their white and non-LGBTQ counterparts.
Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of job seekers and employees say that a diverse workforce is an important factor when they are considering job prospects.
You Will Strengthen Your Reputation
Having a positive reputation matters. It will attract talent to you. It will also engage users and consumers.
Diversity in the workforce is critical for strengthening your brand and reputation. You are showcasing your values and mission by demonstrating that your brand cares about people, and that starts with your community: your people, your employees, and your users.
How Can You Create a More Diverse Workforce?
1. Start With Leadership
All major movements start at the top. To make DEI initiatives and programs a success, you must engage the leaders at your organization. They need to take a vested interest in the cause. And they can’t just take a supporting, observatory role — they must be active participants in strengthening your organization through diversity.
These are the individuals who should be spearheading conversations and assuming accountability. They are the ones who will make meaningful changes possible. Remember, too, that diversity initiatives require funding, and leaders are in the position to provide a budget and the necessary resources.
2. Be Transparent
Transparency in all aspects of the business is essential. DEI is one component of the organization that absolutely demands it.
Business leaders should communicate with their employees and stakeholders, delivering data and information about their efforts honestly and frequently. If they are making a real effort toward improving diversity within the company, they should demonstrate they are doing so by sharing quantitative and qualitative data.
3. Establish Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) and Affinity Groups
ERGs and affinity groups help employees within the business find connections, opportunities to give and receive guidance, and more. These groups of like-minded people with shared characteristics serve as a means of supporting people from underrepresented backgrounds within your organization. They can also spearhead initiatives and make recommendations about how the overall organization can become more inclusive.
4. Evaluate Your Hiring and Promotional Practices
Thanks to the adoption of digital tools and technologies, we now have a wealth of data available to show us our hiring tendencies — and perhaps illuminate unconscious biases. Unfortunately, these biases can affect employment decisions, including hiring and promotional practices, even if we don’t realize they are.
Take a hard look at your employment practices, and use this data to start conversations and make meaningful changes in how you and other hiring managers make decisions within the organization.
5. Embed DEI in All Areas of Your Business
DEI isn’t a single area, initiative, department, or program. It encompasses every employee and every aspect of your business. In order to create a truly inclusive environment, you must embed these practices into every part of your organization — from recruitment to day-to-day activities to promotions and beyond.
You must work on making your diversity initiatives sustainable, and that involves everyone in your organization. It’s an ongoing movement — one you must continue to invest in and nurture as a community.
Global Diversity Awareness Month: It’s More Than a Month!
At BairesDev, we know that the secret to a thriving workforce is a diverse workforce. But we also know that like every other organization and individual around the world, we can do better. That’s why we commit ourselves to improving our organization and diversifying even more every month of the year — not just October. We encourage you to do the same!