Understanding the Business Case for Diversity

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“Diversity” talk is everywhere, but misunderstandings still tend to run wild.

After all, what does Diversity really mean? If there are diverse members of the staff, isn’t that enough?

Diversity & Inclusion is a vital part of any thriving organization. What organizations must understand is that Diversity is not actually about color. Diversity is centered around understanding cultures: the where, why, and how of the way different people look at things and embracing these differences. Inclusion is creating an environment that fully utilizes the unique contributions and abilities of each person.

Inclusive work teams have a broader base of experience from which to draw when problem solving. This presence of varying views creates a higher level of critical analysis, increasing creativity, innovation, and revenue.

Studies have shown time and time again that diverse professional teams produce scores higher than non-diverse teams. Forbes recently conducted a study regarding Diversity in which 56% of companies with more than $10 billion in annual revenue strongly agreed that Diversity helps drive innovation.

Frederic Roze, CEO of L’oReal USA, told Forbes: “Diversity fosters creativity. We need to generate the best ideas from our people in all levels of the company and incorporate them into our business practices.”

Many organizations are beginning to understand how crucial Diversity really is - It’s no coincidence that these organizations are the ones operating at full speed. Diverse organizations generate profits and create new products at a greater rate than those who don’t embrace Diversity and Inclusion. These organizations do not fear focusing on differences and have acknowledged that understanding Inclusion is the responsibility of the company.

According to Forbes, 78% of companies plan to incorporate Diversity initiatives in their overall innovative business goals in the next three years. A lack of honest criticism toward Diversity programs is what often causes these initiatives to fail; instead, honest dialogue regarding Diversity is needed to truly understand its importance.

Understanding your competitors’ Diversity intelligence, their successes, failures, and statistics, can help you build a successful roadmap toward true Inclusion. Research as much as you can about the importance of embracing differences in ethnicity, religion, gender, and all of the facets in between. This will help create an environment where individuals can achieve their highest potential.

What kinds of Diversity initiatives have you seen that succeeded or failed? How would you do it differently?

For more information on Diversity and other Competitive Intelligence, visit our Infographics Library.

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