5 Reasons Why Diversity and Equality in the Workplace Are Key to Success in 2022Reading time 6min
Diversity and equality in the workplace have become increasingly more important over the last decade. And for good reason.
You've probably read about these topics on LinkedIn, in the news, with your peers, or even from your friends during casual ‘pizza Fridays’.
Yes, diversity in the workplace has been on everyone’s mind for good reason. It contributes to a more inclusive, effective, and innovative organizational culture. This, in turn, leads to higher productivity, job satisfaction, and decreased employee turnover.
But let’s not get into spoilerville by blurting out all the seemingly endless benefits of diversity and equality in the workplace as if we were listing Sunday’s grocery items. This subject is too important to be simply skimmed through.
That’s why in this article we’ll dig into 5 main reasons why having a diverse workforce is key to business success in 2022.
What Do Diversity And Equality at Work Imply?
Diversity is when people of different races, genders, ages, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, backgrounds, and cultures feel valued and treated fairly in the workplace.
Statistical data show that workplaces with diverse workforces and people who feel they're treated equally perform better than others.
In fact, it’s been gaining momentum over the years. The reason why everyone seems to be talking about this now is that only recently has it become a business imperative.
According to a recent study by EPI, “The United States workforce is becoming more racially diverse, with 70% of all workers projected to be nonwhite by 2020.” The study also found that “women will make up 46% of the workforce by 2027” — an increase from 43% today.
5 Biggest Benefits of Having a Diverse Workplace
It’s clear as the water in the Bahamas: companies of all sizes can’t afford to ignore the growing need for diversity in the workplace.
More and more, these companies are realizing that diversity and equality in the workplace are critical to their success. That’s because:
- More diverse companies are better at problem-solving.
- Cultural diversity reduces employee turnover.
- Diversity improves company culture.
- A diverse workforce is more innovative.
- Diversity and inclusion lead to increased company performance and higher profitability.
Let’s go over each of these, one by one.
1. More diverse companies are better at problem-solving.
It's been proven over time that companies with more diverse workforces are better able to solve problems, innovate and create new products.
That's because a company that’s more inclusive of people from different backgrounds is more likely to take risks and create products that appeal to a wider audience.
A new report from McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity had 35% better financial performance than their peers in the bottom quartile. The same was true for ethnic diversity — at least concerning sales growth, operating profit, return on assets and return on equity.
“Diverse teams tend to be more open to new ideas and ways of doing things”, said Daniel Stuckey, a partner at McKinsey. “The more diverse a company is, the more likely it is to have considered multiple points of view when it comes to making decisions”.
2. Cultural diversity reduces employee turnover.
That’s a fact. Employees who feel respected, accepted, and included are more likely to stay.
This means that organizations that embrace diversity are more likely to have employees who are engaged in their job. These workers are more likely to stay longer in their jobs than those who feel their voices aren’t being heard (or who believe they don’t fit into a certain model at work).
Also, these employees who work in more culturally diverse environments are less likely to experience feelings of isolation or discrimination — both factors that can contribute to high turnover rates in companies. Adding on, a diverse company not only helps maintain your top employees but further helps you attract new ones.
So if you're looking to keep your employees happy and engaged, this might be a good place to start.
3. Diversity improves company culture.
Diversity enhances company culture by bringing new ideas and perspectives into the workplace while moving away from tired negative stereotypes and personal biases against minority groups.
By simply broadening the scope of workplace diversity, companies are better equipped to further understand their employees, which contributes to a more collaborative work culture.
And helping your employees to recognize and respect “ways of being” that are different from their own will help to foster a more inclusive work environment.
4. A diverse workforce is more innovative.
A diverse team has access to a wider range of ideas, which leads to more innovative products and services. This makes sense when you consider that different people have different ways of problem-solving.
Research from Harvard Business Insider shows that people from different backgrounds bring different perspectives to the table that may lead to better solutions than would have been possible if everyone were from similar demographics.
As an example, women may be more likely than men to see things from a caregiver’s perspective or vice versa. This can lead to new ideas for products or services that appeal to different types of customers.
5. Diversity and inclusion lead to increased company performance and higher profitability.
Diverse teams make better decisions. That’s because being more innovative and productive ultimately leads to higher profits. A more diverse team will also build better products and services to serve a wider audience, something especially important in global markets where customers are more diverse than ever before.
What’s more, a diverse team is better equipped to anticipate problems before they occur or even become problems because it understands the needs of its customers better than a more homogeneous group would.
By understanding what your customers need, you can better serve them—something that is key for any business's success!
Companies that embrace diversity and equality hiring practices perform better than those that don't.
The takeaway is clear: diversity provides a competitive edge for any given company, regardless of how big, small, or new said company is.
A diverse, equal workforce is essential to business success today, and companies should take an active role in advancing equality in their organizations and communities.
By recognizing the potential each person has, companies can effectively foster an environment of creativity, fairness, and inclusivity.
This is especially important in a global economy where the ability to connect, collaborate, and empathize can be crucial to the continued growth of organizations. If we recognize these qualities in our employees and allow them to flourish, meaningful partnerships can be formed that can lead to great things!