The world is becoming increasingly diverse. Many people identify themselves distinctly in terms of their gender, socioeconomic background, race, and professional background. According to Brookings, the United States may even become “minority white” by 2045—with whites comprising 49.7% of the population.
Having a diverse workplace will enable your organization to adjust to the ever-changing marketing landscape. In this article, we’ll discuss why diversity matters and the steps you can take to build a diverse team.
Why Workplace Diversity Matters
Many leaders emphasize the importance of recruiting people from all walks of life. This will allow them to brainstorm creative campaigns and products that resonate with consumers from different backgrounds. While workplace diversity seems to be increasing, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
52% of Black and 35% of Hispanic Americans believe companies don’t have fair hiring processes. 61% of workers state they witnessed or experienced discrimination in the workplace based on age, gender, and race.
Some businesses think that diversity is merely a numbers game—but it’s more than that. Workplace diversity gives companies access to a broad range of skill sets and new ways of thinking. In fact, a study revealed public companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity were 33% more likely to have financial returns than the industry average.
What Does Diversity in the Workplace Actually Look Like?
Many companies hire people from multicultural backgrounds and claim to have diversity. However, this effort is meaningless and inauthentic without inclusivity.
Workplace inclusion takes place when employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas. It may entail creating an environment where employees can share criticisms or engage in tough conversations when creating products geared towards their communities.
Let’s say you own a restaurant chain launching a menu for Asian consumers. For the best results, consult your colleagues with an Asian background. What do they think about the dishes? Are the ingredients and their flavors aligned with their cultural norms and practices? Take it a step further by getting feedback from Asian consumers involved or reaching out to Asian communities near your area.
Diversity and inclusivity aren’t limited to outside appearances; they’re a necessity. It’s easier to come up with the best products and solutions when you have access to a broad range of professionals. Otherwise, your business won’t reach its maximum potential.
Reasons to Diversify Your Workplace
Why should you diversify your workplace? Below we’ll highlight some of the top reasons why you should consider it.
Generate Creative Ideas
Like-minded people from identical backgrounds tend to have the same thought process or perspective. In contrast, a diverse team is likely to have distinct backgrounds and perspectives, which propagates creativity. They would be able to brainstorm different ways to solve a problem or tell a story. Because they are more creative, they are more likely to be successful.
Connect With a Wider Customer Base
If you want to widen your customer base, you’ll need a diverse workforce. This way, you can create authentic campaigns and products that appeal to a broader audience.
An Experian Simmons study, as reported in Forbes, discovered that 56% of Spanish-speaking Hispanics remained loyal to companies with Spanish advertisements. Similarly, 3 out of 4 black millennials state they’re likely to consider a brand that positively represents their black culture.
Organizations with diverse teams usually enjoy an increase in profits. McKinsey found companies with gender diversity in executive teams outperformed their peers by more than 20%. In addition, firms with executive teams with members from cultural and ethnic minorities were 33% more likely to experience industry-leading profitability.
Attract Top Talent
Encouraging top candidates to join your company often involves an arduous and competitive process. However, you can turn the odds in your favor with a diverse and inclusive culture.
According to Glassdoor, more than 77% of adults would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. Interestingly, 56% believe company culture matters more than salary. Not surprisingly, candidates feel more comfortable with a company that values diversity.
Investors prefer companies who value diversity and inclusion. Researchers analyzed 49 gender diversity reports and found businesses with higher diversity numbers had higher stock prices. Among companies that surpassed the diversity numbers of industry leaders, the increase in stock prices was higher.
Boost Employee Retention
A diverse and inclusive workforce makes employees feel that their ideas and contributions are valued. This phenomenon increases job satisfaction and encourages more employees to remain at your company. As a result, you won’t have to spend a lot of money recruiting new employees, and you have more money to invest in what matters to your business.
How to Actively Increase Diversity in Your Workplace
Here are some tips for increasing diversity in your workplace.
Make Diversity and Inclusion Part of Your Business Strategy
Diversity isn’t merely a numbers game—it also serves as an asset in your business. You’ll be able to reach consumers from varied backgrounds. Plus, you can steer clear of stereotypes and assumptions that could put your business in a negative light.
For example, Netflix believes diversity and inclusivity help them tell innovative stories that will resonate with their global audience. This may range from uplifting stories about Black British men or a gay man with cerebral palsy.
Half of their team (50.5%) is composed of people from the global majority. The company also has 16 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for Black, Latino/a/x, veteran, and disability communities.
Remove Bias From the Hiring Process
Unconscious bias and unfair recruiting processes could be a hindrance to hiring diverse employees.
To eliminate unfair practices, hiring teams must undergo diversity and inclusion training. You can also recruit a diversity officer and diversify your hiring team to evaluate hiring practices and policies that may be discriminatory to applicants.
Sometimes people may develop unconscious bias based on the pictures, names, or age in a resume. Thanks to modern HR software, it’s possible to censor this information so people evaluate solely based on the skills of potential candidates.
Actively Look For Diverse Talent
Finding talented individuals exclusively from your network and social circles could be an obstacle to diversity. So, expand your search and increase your sources for your talent pool.
Don’t limit your search to colleges or universities of your managers or board of directors. Target colleges with a diverse student population and organizations that advocate and support minorities. Eventually, you’ll be able to find qualified candidates with real-world skills and unique backgrounds or experiences.
Evaluate Your Efforts
No initiative is perfect—and the same goes for your attempts at diversification. There will always be room for improvement, so continuously evaluate your efforts.
Set goals with your team and discuss your progress on an annual or quarterly basis. For example, if your objective is to aim for diversity within all departments, brainstorm what needs to be done to retain your diverse workforce and foster belongingness.
Host focus group discussions and meetings to understand how your business or products can address the needs of their community. You can even commemorate events like Black History Month, Pride Month, or Asian Pacific American Heritage to increase awareness about various cultures in your organization.
Pivot from Diversity Training to Leadership Development Coaching
Many diversity training programs aim to eliminate biases without making lasting changes. A better approach is integrating diversity in leadership coaching so managers and executives develop these skills over time.
Teach managers to improve their relationships with their colleagues, regardless of their backgrounds. They can also personalize their interactions to create an environment where teams are comfortable with sharing their ideas and offering feedback to others. With this strategy, managers can make fair decisions on performance measurement, tasks, and promotions within their teams.
Diversify your team with Ndiwano
Making your team more diverse can seem like an intimidating challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. You can easily broaden your search and widen your pool by actively looking for diverse talent, removing bias from the hiring process, and focusing on leadership development coaching.
The good news is that there’s no need to look far to build a diverse team. Ndiwano has writers, designers, and developers from across the globe. Our global talent pool lets you connect with experienced professionals that can help your business grow.