The Importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace
Diversity & Inclusion has been on the priority list of smart organizations for quite some time. However, recently the need for its genuine inclusion has risen significantly owing to some very high profile incidents. For instance, the film industry has been reporting incidents of sexual harassment for quite some time. Also, there have been initiatives like the gender pay gap reporting. The rise of such instances has been responsible for making diversity & inclusion a priority.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons as to why diversity & inclusion is significant and why it should be on the top of your priority list regarding your organisation’s people agenda.
- You will understand your customers better
One of the most obvious reasons for adopting better diversity & inclusion is that it will help your organisation to understand its customers in a much better way. According to reports, in 2014 the combined disposable income of around 12 million disabled people in the UK was estimated to be roughly around £80 billion. However, the 2017 report indicated that out of the 12 million disabled people, only around 3.4 million disabled people are employed. It is obvious that those organisations that employed disabled people will certainly be able to design products and services which are best suited for their needs. This automatically gives them a competitive edge. Likewise, the same will apply to customers belonging to other demographic groups as well. With this growing awareness, organisations now realise the significance and benefits of diversity. Around 49% of employers who were surveyed for LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends in 2018 have stated that they are focussing on diversity so that they can represent their customers better. Some of the other reasons stated by the respondents of this survey included improving the organisational performance (62%) and improved organisational culture (78%).
- Diverse teams lead to better performance
When you have cognitively diverse teams, they can solve problems faster compared to teams of cognitively similar individuals. Apart from this, according to a report published by Deloitte in 2013, when employees notice their organisation’s commitment and support towards diversity, they tend to feel included and thereby their ability to innovate seems to increase by around 83%. Also, when you have diverse teams, they are reportedly found to be 60% faster regarding decision making compared to non-diverse teams. Reports have further corroborated the fact that an all-male member team seems to make around 38% of decisions in a large organisation. This gap worsens in organisations which are less diverse such as the firms in Silicon Valley.
- Diverse teams promote greater creativity and innovation
When you have a workforce that comprises of people from diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences, the ideas that emerge out of such teams are indeed more creative as well as innovative. According to statistics generated out of a McKinsey study, US public companies with a diverse executive board seem to have around 95% higher return on equity as compared to non-diverse boards.
- It becomes easier to hire and retain talent
When an organisation supports a diverse demographic group, it has a direct impact on the retention and engagement of employees as per a study conducted by Women Ahead in 2017. Some organisations have shifted their focus from diversity & inclusion towards the concept of ‘belonging’. The feeling of belonging offers employees psychological security which thereby prompts them to give their best at work. It is a fact that the most diverse of organisations cannot retain and engage their employees if the employees don’t feel accepted and included.
- It will enhance your organisation’s brand
Most large organisations in the UK needed to publicly disclose their gender pay gaps for the first time in April 2018, it has created a more significant level of public awareness. According to a PWC survey conducted in 2017, around 54% of women and 45% of men seemed to have researched if an organisation had diversity & inclusion policies in place before deciding to join the organisation. Another 61% of women and 48% of men opined that they assessed the diversity of an organisation’s leadership team before deciding to take up an offer.
As a result of such transformation, a recent Glassdoor study revealed that a lot of organisations are expected to increase their investment in diversity & inclusion. Around 59% of organisations were of the opinion that since they lacked to invest in D&I, they are facing a crunch in attracting high-quality talent. On the other hand around 20% of organisations said that owing to their organisation’s diversity & inclusion initiatives, they have been able to influence a candidate’s decision of joining their organisation.