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Reasons Diversity is Important in the Workplace
Workplace diversity has been a popular topic in the corporate world for a while. Now it seems, more than ever, that teams are prioritizing diversity initiatives. In this blog, we dive into what diversity in the workplace is and why it should be implemented into business strategies.
Diversity is an unending list of characteristics that make us stand out from one another in our own beautiful ways. Workplace diversity is becoming more of a business requirement than a way to show values and uphold social responsibility. Yet, many organizations are struggling with diversification.
Workplaces that have emphasized having a diverse workforce, experience increased productivity and profitability. Why? The simple answer: an inclusive workplace culture is better for people and in turn, better for business.
What is Diversity in the Workplace?
Workplace diversity refers to an intentional practice of building a heterogenous workforce by hiring and promoting people with different characteristics from a wide range of backgrounds. These traits commonly include ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, gender, and education, among others. Diversity in the workplace is achieved when an organization implements policies that promote inclusion and equity.
There is more to diversity than a list of attributes that barely scratch the surface of what diversity encompasses. Diversity has multiple benefits for people and businesses alike. Let’s look into what those are and what they mean for your organization.
Why is Diversity better for people in the workplace?
- Stronger teams – When employees can work with others from diverse backgrounds, they are given the opportunity to create better quality service and results. They earn a mutual respect for their coworkers and can promote these kinds of innovations to problem solving that any organization looks for.
- Employee engagement – Having a workplace that fosters diversity will allow your employees to interact, grow and thrive together. The average employee cares more than just about their paycheck. They want to be included in an environment where all voices are heard so that they feel their work has meaning.
- Representation in Leadership - 78% of employees who responded to a Harvard Business Review (HBR) study said they work at organizations that lack diversity in leadership positions. That is a number that needs change. Diversity in leadership talent leads to many benefits seen and unseen. Most importantly leadership diversity contributes to a better company culture overall and allows meaningful networks to be formed. This gives more meaning and comfort to the members of your organization by having representation.
Why is Diversity better for business?
Businesses that understand their social responsibility to implement diversity in the workplace are known to perform better both financially and culturally.
- Elevated business reputation - Ultimately, your company’s image is affected by the value that is placed on diversification. Letting the world know your organization’s values also attracts top talent to you. 76% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering a potential employer.
- Recruiting – Financial success isn’t the only measurable metric of a diverse workforce. A wider recruitment pool closes many skill gaps and brings much more to your organization. Your business should strive to not only to keep current talent pool, but to attract future top talent from diverse groups as well.
- Employee Retention - People expect organizations to have and act on DE&I initiatives. Diversity in the workforce and in leadership make employees feel more included and therefor are less likely to leave, reducing your employee turnover. As stated, job expectations are no longer just about a paycheck anymore, but rather about work life balance and company culture.
- Creative Ideas - Another benefit of diversity in your leadership pipeline is having a wide range of cultural backgrounds and beliefs contribute to more innovative ideas and thought processes when strategizing. In fact, Deloitte research shows that inclusive teams outperform their peers by 80% in team-based assessments. New perspectives through diversity and inclusion are valuable when you need to deliver for the organization.
Mentoring programs are useful bridges that promote diversity in the workplace. If you’d like to learn more about how to create a mentoring program to encourage diversity, read our blog 5 Tips to Create a Mentoring Program for Diversity.
Request a demo with one of our experts to learn how mentoring software can support your organization’s diversity and inclusion program.
Judy is the Director of Consulting and Mentoring at Insala. She has over 30 years of experience providing customized human resources consulting services to medium to large organizations across a variety of industries. In the area of mentoring, Judy has designed and delivered workshops, training, and a complete mentoring methodology. Judy’s mentoring process is the foundation of Insala’s mentoring solution we know today. Her thought leadership articles have been published in journals such as The Diversity Journal and Industrial and Commercial Training and she has spoken at many conferences throughout her career.
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