Workplace Diversity Goals are not just a PC Initiative
Why diversity brings dividends
Australia is a diverse country with a diverse population. Walk down the street, attend a function, go for lunch and take a moment to notice the different groups of people and individuals that make up our cities and communities. But what about your work place? Does it reflect Australia’s cosmopolitan culture or is it, well, somewhat lacking? International Women’s Day has just flown by and its theme this year is #beboldforchange. Delegates have challenged businesses to question whether they are doing enough to bridge the gender gap specifically, the diversity gap more broadly, and to ask themselves: Are we bold enough to take a stand? If you think this sounds like an initiative in political correctness, you should think again. Diversity in the workplace isn’t only good for Australian communities, it’s good for Australian business and here’s why.
What is diversity?
Diversity is any characteristic, perspective, or approach to work that different employees bring to the work place. It is not limited to visible diversity such as gender, age, or race. It includes non-visible diversity such as heritage, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, marital or family status, and lifestyle. All of these characteristics build up a person’s identity, which informs their values and behaviours within society. The 21st century is showing us that far from business’ defining individuals, individuals are defining business. Therefore, to stay competitive in a globalised demographic, and to develop new avenues of growth, businesses need diversity.
The stats of the matter
First of all, think about the Australian demographic. 28% of Australian society was born overseas, another 20% have a parent who was born overseas, and about 20% speak a language other than English at home. These numbers are only likely to rise. A work place that lacks diversity lacks the talent, innovation, and productivity wrapped up in the people behind these numbers, and it doesn’t end there. The Financial Times released a range of studies that show diversity brings dividends. A study into the experiences of 1,550 employees in three large Australian businesses reported an 80% improvement in business performance when levels of diversity and inclusion were high. The American Sociological Association found that for every 1% rise in the rate of gender and ethnic diversity in a workforce there is a 3% and 9% rise in sales revenue respectively. Finally, if the employment rate of women in Europe doesn’t change, Europe will experience a shortfall of 24 million people in the active workforce by 2040.
So the point of diversity is this
Diversity encourages innovation while sameness stifles it. Furthermore, people are more productive when they can be who they are. Disallow their identity in the workplace and your business suffers. Also, diversity attracts talent. Organisations that are dominated by straight-white-middle-aged-males are harder to recruit for. Young, smart, keen, creatives don’t fit the outdated MO, and more to the point they don’t want to. Finally, business that lack diversity risk missing out on the growing spending power of minority markets. The business case for diversity is proven.
How is your business doing with diversity? Do you need a recruitment strategy that will ensure top talent is attracted to your company? Logical Executive Solutions can help. Get in touch with us today.