Why Diversity and Inclusion Are More Important Than Ever

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In less than a hundred days of being sworn into office, United States President, Donald Trump, has already signed three strict executive orders related to immigration. One policy, in particular, restricts all immigrants from seven Muslim countries and indefinitely bars all Syrian refugees from entering the US.

Several business leaders have expressed opposition to President Trump’s travel ban, as it is expected to negatively impact companies and employees. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, stated in a memo to employees that the US is “a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years…. It’s a distinctive competitive advantage for our country—one we should not weaken.”

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, also stated that their company “would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.”

Companies like Amazon and Apple know that their workplace is no longer an isolated environment; it is now part of a global economy competing in a global setting. This makes it even more important than ever to ensure that your workforce recruitment is diverse and inclusive.

Importance of diversity and inclusion

Pursuing to become a diverse and inclusive company is a challenge, not just because of policies like the Trump travel ban, but also communication and cultural barriers, hegemony or the dominance of a particular group in a company, and even the ability to manage a diverse workforce.

However, the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive organization far outweigh these challenges. Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Diverse and inclusive companies have better competitive edge.

Companies that embrace diversity gain higher market share and a competitive edge in entering new markets, a study by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) found.

  • Diversity often mean higher financial performance.

In the 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, 85% of the surveyed CEOs whose companies have a formal diversity and inclusiveness strategy said it’s improved their bottom line. A report by McKinsey & Company also found that a 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior executive team resulted in a 0.8% rise in earnings in the US, while a 10% increase in gender diversity resulted in a 3.5% rise in earnings in the UK.

  • Diversity and inclusion bridge the talent gap.

Looking beyond ethnicity and gender when posting jobs will attract the best of the talent pool. This will enable companies to find the right talent that will drive their future success.

  • Diverse and inclusive organizations have increased adaptability.

A diverse workforce means having a greater variety of backgrounds, talents, and experiences that enable businesses to have higher flexibility in adapting to dynamic markets.

  • Diversity and inclusion promote creativity and innovation.

Companies with a workplace diversity and equality can gain a wider range of ideas and perspectives necessary in meeting the needs of customers more effectively.

  • Millennials seek diversity and inclusion at work.

86% of millennial females and 74% millennial males consider company policies on diversity, equality, and inclusion during their job hunt. This is especially important because millennials are now the largest generation in the US workforce.

Potential consequences of a lack of diversity and inclusion

Having diversity and inclusion within an organization is advantageous, but the lack of them also pose potential consequences. These may include:

  • Untapped potential.

When an organization focuses on or prioritizes only a particular group of people, they are not able to maximize the availability of capable and talented individuals.

  • Less employee satisfaction and productivity.

Less committed staff results in decreased motivation, engagement, and productivity—all of which lead to reduced profitability.

  • Reduced employee retention.

Lack of diversity often result in higher attrition and will make it harder to keep experienced and skilled workers in your staff.

  • Risk of being left behind.

“Companies that don’t focus on [workplace equality] aren’t just at risk of being out of date; they already are,” Dennis Nally of PwC said. In their 2015 Global CEO Survey, 77% already has a diversity and inclusion strategy or plan to adopt one in the next 12 months.

  • Loss in potential GDP.

According to McKinsey & Company, addressing the gender pay gap between male and female employees can add $12 trillion to global GDP.

There are many ways to implement a diversity program successfully, but a good way to start (or even relaunch) is by hiring a diversity consultant and doing a needs assessment without biases such as ThisWay Global’s platform to help your organization define measurable goals for a diverse workforce.

A diverse and inclusive workforce brings high value not only to the organization, but also to its employees, and even society as a whole. When individuals from all ethnicities and genders are respected and given equal opportunities within a company, the business flourishes in more ways than one.

With ThisWay Global’s Match-ic machine learning algorithms, diversity and inclusion would be achieved, along with removing business risks that may arise in hiring such as biases and cognitive dissonance.

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