While there are many ways to conceptualize diversity, a commonly used definition of diversity is “acknowledging, accepting, understanding, and valuing differences among people.” To apply this definition to the workplace means providing an environment that offers equal rights and opportunities for people of all ages, races, ethnicity, genders, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, and veteran status.
While diversity is important in all walks of life, diversity in the workplace offers a range of benefits, some tangible and some intangible. This blog will take a closer look at why diversity in the workplace is so important for your employees and your business.
Why is Diversity in the Workplace Important?
Workplace diversity improves the quality of the environment you’re offering your employees. That alone can have a significant impact on the productivity and efficiency of your workplace, but there are also some measurable benefits that make workplace diversity important for any company. Just a few of the advantages of workplace diversity include:
Workplace diversity contributes to improved decision-making processes and results
Workplace diversity means your company is collecting more ideas from a range of perspectives. This helps to provide more varied solutions to common and even uncommon challenges in the workplace. Because you have more perspectives to approach those challenges, it’s easier and more efficient to find effective solutions. What’s more, embracing diversity helps to create new ideas and dispel negative biases, creating a better work environment for all.
Diversity offers your company a competitive advantage
Employees who feel accepted and valued at work are happier and tend to stay at a company longer. This offers a wealth of competitive advantages, not the least of which is that your company is likely to retain more senior employees who are experts in what you do.
Employees who are happy are also more likely to be engaged with your workplace, which means you get more meaningful participation and feedback that helps your company grow.
Diversity has been shown to increase company profitability
The Peterson Institute for International Economics completed a study on companies with diverse leadership teams and discovered that:
- Companies in the top 25% of gender diversity for executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profits
- Culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 35% more likely to experience above-average profits
- At the board of directors level, more culturally and ethnically diverse companies were 45% more likely to see above-average profits
Diverse workplaces are better able to envision challenges, markets, and products from all angles and perspectives. With thorough analysis and evaluation, they are able to build stronger, more profitable companies where employees are accepted and engaged.
Workplace diversity contributes to a positive company reputation
Companies that invest in and truly foster a culture of diversity are seen publicly as humanitarian and socially responsible. Not only does this improve customer sentiment about the company, but it also helps the business attract more talent. Today, potential employees are seeking employers who accept and celebrate those from diverse backgrounds.
Diversity in the workplace supports improved market awareness
Just like workplace diversity improves decision-making processes and results, the benefit of multiple perspectives can help companies improve market awareness. Businesses with diverse company cultures are more likely to understand consumer needs from the perspectives of a variety of populations. That means they can provide better, more personalized support, improved product features, and better-targeted campaigns.
Knowing your audience is the key to growing a successful business, and workplaces that embrace diversity have a significant amount of social capital they can use to better understand and support their audiences.
Diversity Builds Stronger Workplaces
Today’s modern workforce expects diversity. Diverse workplaces bring a well-rounded approach to how companies serve customers, as well as how they resolve internal challenges. Diverse workplaces are shown to be more profitable, more likely to retain top talent, and more likely to create positive environments where employees thrive.
Diversity in the workplace means embracing, celebrating, and appreciating the differences that each employee brings to your company. Not only does this create a more inviting and supportive workplace, but it also makes your workplace a better place to be. If you’d like to incorporate general awareness level training about diversity in your workplace, we invite you to check out eSafety’s Diversity in the Workplace training course.