How can you benefit from diversity in the workplace?
Diversity is praised within many aspects of society. But should it be praised within a company?
In order to answer this question, we must first ask ourselves: what is diversity? The simplest form of diversity might include differences in religion, nationality, gender and culture. Historically, many companies -- particularly those in the industrial sector -- have demonstrated a marked lack of diversity in areas of race and sex. Today, owing to globalization and the evolution of the internet, companies have seen some major changes, especially those within the services sector.
Of course, there is always room for more diversity. For example women currently make up less than 5% of all Fortune 500 companies. Ultimately, diversity is a form of wealth that must be understood in order for it to be beneficial. Let’s explore some of these benefits.
Having diversity in your company enables employees to feel accepted -- not alienated -- for their differences.
In such an environment, people are more likely to feel confident, happy, and integrated within the company culture. This, in turn, helps to boost their productivity and efficiency. A recent Gallup survey shows that employees in companies with at least a 40% minority workforce are 13% more productive than other companies.
The other benefit of an inclusive environment is that it is easier to attract -- and retain -- top talents. First of all, they are more likely to be left with a welcoming impression during their first interaction with the company. Second, this impression is more likely to last when the candidate begins working for the company.
Diversity fosters competition within a company. This leads to a better financial outcome for each employee. A recent Gartner study shows that inclusive companies generate 1.5x more revenue and are 110% more capable of meeting their financial targets.
Moreover, diversity carries many benefits for building your client base and expanding your market. After all, a diverse team is simply better equipped to reach out to potential clients and partners around the globe.
Difference carries with it the potential to promote a healthy friction within a company; one that stimulates debate, an exchange of new ideas, and an overall better understanding of the world. These features represent the very core of innovation. For many successful companies, good products are born out of diversity and a melting pot of fresh ideas.
So be proud and praise diversity within your company. It may well be the very thing that carries you forward.