From high-profile gender pay gap reporting to the Hollywood sexual harassment scandals, the equality and diversity agenda has gained significant momentum and ever-greater attention.
When most of us think of diversity in the workplace we think of age, race, gender and cultural backgrounds, but diversity and inclusion is about more than simply how we identify; it is also about how we interact with others.
While most companies have built equality and diversity programmes into their core values and embedded clear inclusion policies into their hiring practices, effective diversity management needs to be implemented if our teams are to work successfully together.
To do this, organisations should promote equality and diversity throughout every element of their business. Valuing diversity can significantly influence everything from retaining excellent staff members and creating a media-friendly brand identity to accessing exciting new talent pools.
Diversity in the workplace benefits all companies, in all sectors in so many ways. Here are just 5 of the most significant benefits to companies.
1. Equality and diversity adds new skills to teams
People who come from different backgrounds can add new experiences and skills to your team, all of which improve company performance. Teams diverse in gender, age, and geography made better business decisions 87% of the time. Valuing diversity and employing people from various backgrounds with different perspectives can massively improve your business output.
2. Diversity in the workplace promotes innovation
Diversity in the workplace creates more innovative business outputs. A diverse team with a widespread skillset can bounce ideas off each other generating more creative and innovative ideas. What’s more, a 2013 report by Deloitte concluded that when employees think their organisation is committed to and supportive of diversity, their ability to innovate increases by 83%. With a greater public focus on diversity in more recent years, this figure is likely to be even more substantial.
3. Diversity and inclusion opens a business up to new markets
When you introduce people into your teams with different social, geographical and cultural backgrounds, you instantly get a new knowledge base spanning many potential new markets. The business economy is becoming increasingly globalised. So, whether you’re looking to open your markets to working-class Welsh communities, translate your core message into Hungarian, or expand operations to New Zealand, hiring a more diverse team will ensure your team has the core skills needed to push your business forward.
4. Valuing diversity improves your brand reputation
Potential candidates will be looking at your hiring history and if you have proven success in hiring diverse candidates, especially into senior roles, it can positively affect their decision to apply for a job. Word travels fast in the modern world, especially through social media and channels like Glassdoor. Get your diversity right and your employer brand will strengthen significantly.
5. Diversity management opens access to new talent
People want to work in a company with values that reflect their own. With society becoming ever-more aware and young talent in particular being passionate about inclusivity, your brand needs to demonstrate your core inclusivity values clearly. If you are recognised as a progressive and inclusive company, you will begin to attract people from every sector of society and new talent will emerge.
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