When we think of diversity, we envision a group of unique individuals sharing the same space in a peaceful, empathic, and respectful way. Diversity is not just about visible differences, such as race or gender, it’s about representing various religions, beliefs, sexual orientations, education levels, abilities, and other traits.
Achieving workplace diversity is not only a moral endeavor, it’s also a good business decision, according to this McKinsey study. Examining data from 366 public companies throughout Canada, Latin America, United Kingdom and the United States, the study concluded that companies with greater racial and ethnic diversity perform at least 35% better than their counterparts.
Building diverse teams might seem like a natural occurrence and simple task, after all, our world is full of diversity. But in reality, most industries have a lot of work to do in unwinding the decades of exclusive hiring practices. Companies need to do more than hire diverse candidates, they also need to build a culture that supports and empowers them. “Fighting for this cause is our daily motivation,” says Ximena García, CEO at EQUALSTRUE.
In Ximena’s recent Yahoo News article, “How to find and nurture your ‘Dream Team,’” she shares her invaluable experience with building successful companies (hint: it starts with building teams of great people). According to Ximena’s article, “having a diverse workforce with a range of different perspectives and backgrounds can boost creativity. Diverse teams also help forge closer relationships with customers because they reflect the real-world demographics of almost any technology product/service. And with the benefit of such varied perspectives and experiences, complex problems and issues are more quickly and effectively resolved.”
It should come as no surprise that a company is only as good as it’s people. Technology provides unlimited access to information at our fingertips, it’s no longer a race to know everything. Understanding complex problems and finding the best solutions is what puts businesses at the forefront in their industry. But it takes fresh voices, ideas, and collective collaboration to truly innovate. And we know the best way to do that – empowering teams of diverse, talented people to do their best work. The business world has begun to recognize and improve their hiring practices, employee programs, and benefits to support diversity. We still have a long way to go. Embracing diversity when recruiting talent is a humane, socially responsible, and highly business-smart decision.