When the cultural diversity (also) adds value to businesses
To promote the cultural diversity and inclusion in organizations is a very important initiative to enrich their organizational culture, in addition to boosting productivity and profits through the sharing of knowledge and experiences that promote new ideas and innovation. Sharing experiences in the workplace can be an extremely valuable factor for the companies’ success and to increase employees’ sense of belonging and strengthen relationships among peers.
Although it’s a way to promote social justice – in fact, that’s the guiding principle of these initiatives –, investing in cultural diversity within organizations has become a trend in the job market. A study conducted by McKinsey in 2020 reinforced the link between diversity and company financial performance, that is, inclusion strategies result in a competitive edge in the marketplace. According to the study, companies with greater ethnic and cultural diversity were 36% more likely to experience above-average profitability compared to their counterparts.
To conduct the study, McKinsey looked at racial and cultural diversity in six countries. Data showed that companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability. Yet those that are not diverse on both measures are 29% more likely to underperform their industry peers on profitability. The report also suggests that organizations whose leaderships welcome diverse talents and include multiple perspectives are more likely to emerge stronger after crises.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) also showed that companies concerned with diversity had profit increases of between 5 and 20%. In organizations with a better understanding and deeper connection with their ecosystems, diversity becomes a driver to unlock innovation and improve processes, products and services. High levels of diversity and inclusion in the workplace are not only associated with higher results, but also provide employees with a healthier environment, a key factor to attract and retain top talents.
Today, a good compensation and generous benefits packages are not enough to attract and retain skilled professionals. Today’s employees expect a welcoming environment that offers new perspectives to their careers, such as ideas, knowledge and innovations in the implementation of processes, something that’s possible only with a diverse team, according to a recent study published by Randstad that polled 35,000 employees across 34 markets.
Numbers are very clear. According to the survey, in a sign of growing interest in social causes, 41% of respondents said that they would not accept a job with an employer unwilling to make efforts to improve its diversity and equity in the corporate environment.
Additionally, showing their support to equity in the organizations, 13% of employees said they would like to be offered training to fight unconscious bias in the workplace, and 33% said they would rather be unemployed over being unhappy in a job.
Accordingly, creating and implementing programs that welcome a diverse workforce is something that must be legitimate and experienced in a company’s culture, as well as offering equal opportunities in hiring processes and providing employees with professional qualification and training. Moreover, with the ever-evolving innovative technologies and the home office model, organizations can hire people from other states and countries, further contributing to the cultural diversity among their teams.
Although it’s not an easy task, large and small businesses have been more and more focused on these initiatives. Offering positions for a diverse pool of candidates shows that the company is not only concerned with results, but also with a more equal society. A company is a representation of the society it is part of and, accordingly, it must mirror its diversity. People are at the center of every innovation and their diverse perspectives, education and cultural background are at the center of every bold idea.
Marcelo dos Santos – Founding Partner and Vice President of Services and People at Iteris
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