Diversity and inclusion have become notable buzzwords in business over the past several years, and led many leaders and executives to wonder how these issues could affect their companies. After all, hiring and promoting people from more diverse backgrounds might not seem like it will "move the needle" for your organization in terms of the bottom line, but data suggests this is actually the case in a number of different ways.
For instance, almost 4 in every 5 workers in a recent CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey indicated that they would want to work for a company that "values diversity, equity, and inclusion issues." Moreover, if they felt their companies were lagging behind industry norms in this regard, they tended to be less satisfied with their employers. Why? Laura Wronski, a research science manager at SurveyMonkey, said that it seems as though this aspect of a company culture reassures more people that they have the opportunity to actually advance within the organization.
Indeed, people who felt their companies are "not doing enough" to center diversity and inclusion had an average "happiness index" rating of 63; the survey average was 72, the report said.
Beyond employee satisfaction
Of course, keeping a workforce happy is important for a company's bottom line — as it fuels higher retention rates, which help businesses continue to streamline operation and avoid the cost and loss of efficiency associated with a search for replacement hires. However, there are some hard numbers associated with a more diverse workplace that underscore its importance, according to McKinsey. For instance, in 2019, companies in the top quartile of the workplaces that were most diverse in terms of ethnic or cultural diversity outperformed those in the bottom quartile by roughly 36% in terms of profitability. That was up from 33% two years earlier.
Likewise, among companies that had women in leadership roles, the top quartile's profits outperformed the bottom by 48%.
Getting it right
With all of the above in mind, you might be wondering how you can achieve the kind of diversity your employees want. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, it starts with simply advertising job openings on career sites that specialize in diverse audiences, or to provide "targeted" internships, apprenticeships and mentorships.
Beyond that, you might also get a benefit from putting a focus on diversity and unconscious bias training, so that you're more aware of the central issues that feed this consideration. With that information in mind, it's important to examine your current diversity policies (if they exist at all) and see how you can improve them.
When you are trying to bolster your workplace diversity as a means of becoming more inclusive — and competitive — it helps to have experience on your side, and YES Partners can be the perfect teammate on this front. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.
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