Diversity as a Culture: That's What the World Needs
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Diversity is the Buzz word, which every organization is trying to adapt in today’s work environment. Employees, irrespective of their religion, gender, socio-economic background, ethnicity, race or age are being hired with a single vision; to contribute positively to the organization’s growth. However, a lot of organizations fail to retain such diverse talent. Regular benefits like free lunches, recognition programs, work from home policies, etc. are certainly valued by employees but the needs are much more. Many a times organizations’ fail to notice if their “diverse” employees are hiding behind an “identity cover” and if there are enough opportunity provided to air their opinion without the fear of getting branded.
In 2018, one of the tech giants of the world released data which showed how the company had an enormous attrition rate amongst minorities, ethnically and racially. Another one of the top four tech giants has only around four per cent engineers who represent an ethical/racial minority. This goes on to prove that even though companies are trying to be as diverse as possible, there is something wrong in the very fabric due to which a lot of such plans fail. Adding further, the World Economic Forum published a report which sheds light on the fact that we are 202 years away from bridging the global gender gap. India, in the same report, ranks 142 among 149 countries, on the economic participation and opportunity factor. Creating a sustainable model is difficult but that does not mean that all organizations have failed at creating a culture of diversity and inclusion. In fact, it is imperative to shed light on organizations that have been championing the cause of diversity and how it has impacted them positively.
So does diversity really help drive revenue growth for a business? One may think that having a diverse workforce and growth in revenue are mutually exclusive. However, that is not true. According to a McKinsey report, executive teams that rank in the top 25 per cent for being ethnically and racially diverse, are likely to reap financial returns of nearly 33 per cent. A similar study by Harvard Business Review states that in a diverse company, innovation revenues can increase by 1 per cent by nurturing the teams, 2 per cent with respect to industry origin, 2.5 per cent with respect to gender and 3 per cent with respect to managers with different career paths.
Creating a diverse workplace is just half of a bigger picture. The other half being inclusion. If a diverse pool of talent does not feel that the company is inclusive, it is only half a battle won.
Some key ideas that help to sustain a forward-leaning diverse culture:
Lead by Example and Consciously Build a Diverse Culture
To create an atmosphere of Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, it’s essential for the leaders to become the face of these initiatives. This is simply leveraging their standing within the organization for the overall success. It is often seen that a company might have a diverse pool of talent at lower levels but it slowly fades out as one climbs the corporate ladder
Working in a hierarchical structure is hard. There are employees with varied profiles that span across age, years of experience and sectors. In order for teams to innovate and deliver, it’s important that each member contributes and feels valued.
Actively Engage Staff
Keeping your staff engaged in a continuous effort. Simple initiatives such as regular Town Halls, fun team building activities, etc. go a long way.
To conclude, these simple initiatives help in keeping staff motivated; both personally, and professionally. Diversity and Inclusion should be at the core of everything that an organisation does. The more diverse a workforce is, the higher the chances of its prosperity.