Why is diversity in the workplace important?

The world is constantly changing, and diversity is an important aspect for businesses looking to remodel their workplace to accommodate people of all backgrounds and experiences.

It’s a proven fact that companies with diverse executive boards have the strongest impact when brainstorming ideas and solutions, revealing a staggering 20% increase in innovation; combined with improved problem-solving skills and a clear decision-making attitude.

But to understand why a diversified workforce is important, we need to fully understand, what exactly is diversity?

many coloured hands

What does diversity mean in a workplace?

When we come across the term ‘diversity’, our first thought is around including people of all races. Of course that isn’t wrong, but this one word has become much more than just adjusting to the needs of a specific crowd.

With an increased awareness of key issues surrounding diversity, the term has evolved to represent something far greater than its traditional meaning. Having a staff and leadership team full of diverse individuals has become an essential mindset, necessary in order to scale a business and make you more approachable to other businesses.

At the most basic level, a diverse workforce includes people from:

  • Different nationalities and races
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Embracing new staff irrespective of their educational backgrounds
  • Disabled staff

The Covid-19 pandemic may have forced businesses to readjust their operations. However, creating an open culture where people of all backgrounds are not only welcomed but also given a platform to voice their concerns, leads to an increased boost in employee confidence and productivity.

Why is diversity in the workplace important?’

Diversity is more than just accommodating people of different needs; it helps businesses to access a larger pool of talent and helps shape the company to cater to a wider range of audiences.

The new-age generation has stressed, time and again, for better representation within organisations, as it was revealed that 67% of the Gen Z employees value diversity when considering employment opportunities.

This not only applies when it comes to hiring quality and experienced staff, but employers embracing diversity have managed to capture new markets, drive internal innovation and business growth, compared to those companies who neglected to include diversity into their workplace.

In fact, according to a study done by McKinsey, diverse companies outperform their less diverse peers in profitability.

Here is what a diverse team can help your organisation achieve:

  • Being exposed to staff from different nationalities with different ways of thinking may help provide key insights to companies trying to capture a specific consumer base
  • A college drop-out may bring a renewed zest of energy and dedication to take your business to the next level
  • A diverse workplace can open up new creative avenues through the sharing of ideas, advice, and perspectives.
  • Exposure to people from different cultures and religions will help create strong ethical values and bring unique perspectives to the table – benefitting companies of all sizes
  • Recruiting from a broader talent pool will help increase a wide range of candidate representation in the workforce, and counter any stigmas that come along
  • Diversity initiatives should be done for the right reasons, but being seen as an organisation that embraces inclusivity can improve brand reputation and improve your status in your industry.

Several research studies have shown to highlight the importance of diversity in the workforce, leading to increased productivity, a boost in morale and confidence, and sparking innovation and development to achieve long-term goals.

To know more about how increased diversity can benefit your organisation, or arrange some awareness training contact an independent HR advisor.