Diverse organizations are more successful.

We know this through research studies as well as empirical data, and yet many companies continue to have non-diverse boards, executive teams and employees. We know that inclusive workplaces maximize talent and productivity, which leads to innovation. Companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Diverse companies are 70% more likely to report that the firm captured a new market, according to Harvard Business Review.

Here are just a handful of statistics regarding diverse workforces:

  • 69% of executives rate diversity and inclusion an important issue, according to Deloitte.
  • 83% of millennials are more actively engaged when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture, according to Deloitte.
  • Decisions made and executed by diverse teams deliver 60% better results. (2)

And yet – we are behind in making the workplace equitable to everyone.

What we can do ?

  • Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, according to McKinsey.

When hiring from the outside, be sure to look at the candidates you receive from agencies and Human Resources. Are they identifying and submitting diverse candidates? Also, it’s not just about getting a diverse population through the doors. Check on your company’s policies and procedures to identify current high-potential candidates within.

A 2017 study showed that diversity needs to be followed up with inclusivity at all levels of decision-making to maximize business performance. (3). Companies may have some diverse talent currently within their ranks– but many people can remain stuck near the middle to the bottom of management and staff. Diverse talent needs to rise to management and beyond, in positions with hiring decision power. Another consideration – according to Glassdoor, 57% of employees want their company to do more to increase diversity.

How we can do it ?

  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, according to McKinsey.

Look at the current employee handbook and review it through a diversity lens. Are the company benefits fair to everyone? Set aside a time and place for unconscious bias and diversity and inclusion training. Make this training mandatory and create a cadence of accountability for managers of people. It they are not hiring and promoting diverse candidates, their pay raise and bonuses should be affected accordingly.

The diverse talent pool needs mentors who can help them through the paces and skip over land mines. Mentors can provide a map to the next level and the steps it takes to get there. Create diverse mentorships that are one on one. Make each person in the pair serve as a mentor to the other person for an equal amount of time. (4). Build diverse teams that are intact teams as well as teams assigned special projects. Make diverse teams commonplace throughout the company.

Check the scoreboard

  • Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market, according to Josh Bersin research

Measure the results of your diversity initiatives to track success and find eventual bottlenecks. Set goals and decide which metrics you want to improve, then track them to see progress.

Sustainment

Continuously assess your diversity level, but not just in terms of quantity (% new hire goals). More importantly, assess diversity in terms of quality: how many people are promoted to next level roles? To middle management? To upper management?

Unleash the power

We know the research states that diverse teams produce more innovation, more engaged employees and more revenue. Diverse companies report a 51% increase in creativity and 38% better assessment of consumer interest and demand. (1).

 

Diversity means: diversity of minds, ideas and approaches – which allows teams to find a solution that takes into account multiple angles of the problem, thus making the solution stronger, well rounded and optimized.(3) Now, it’s time to foster diversity from the ground up and unleash the power of innovation.

 

Bibliography

(1). Catalyst, Quick Take: Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter (June 24, 2020).

(2). 2017 Boston Consulting Group: The Mix that Matters: Innovation through Diversity, BCG Focus, April 2017.

(3). Cloverpop: Learn How Inclusion + Diversity = Better Decision Making at Work.

(4). TalentLyft: How to Build, Manage and Promote Workplace Diversity?, Anja Zojceska, December 22, 2018.