Diversity, equality and inclusion have become buzzwords in the business community, as people have become more vocal about the need to broaden our employee pools. Those who are in underrepresented groups are showing their unrest on social media and beyond. Yet the face of the average tech company is still white and male, and the same can be said of many other industries.
Some companies believe that they should be making their employee pools more diverse because it’s the right thing to do. I fully support that point of view and love it when I see organizations that include family care as part of the benefits package, review salary disparities for equal positions, offer mentorship programs and cultivate a sense of belonging for everyone, regardless of their background, beliefs, gender or physical appearance.
However, I also understand that businesses often put things like profit and growth before fairness and morality. If that’s your stance, it’s time you understand that you need to be the most vocal supporter of diversity, equality and inclusion. Why? Because it makes good business and economic sense.
Meet workforce requirements.
We have a growing need to expand our skilled workforce. Women are a great resource. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make up 47% of workers in the U.S. alone. A conscious equality effort will help you attract and retain a diverse and talented employee pool.
Give your audience what they want.
Working in marketing, one of my goals is to empower businesses to sell more. One great way to make products and services more attractive to a diverse audience is to include a broad range of input in the development of those offerings.
If you sell to an audience that is comprised of more than just white males, then you should be taking into account what the rest of your audience wants. Yet how will you know what is important to them if the only people who are providing you with input represent just a small slice of your customer base?
Stay ahead of the competition.
Research shared by the Harvard Business Review shows that corporate diversity leads to greater and faster innovation. In addition, a more diverse employee pool offers improved and more accurate thinking, as well as better decision-making skills.
Innovation is a key component of staying ahead of the competition. Ready to build teams that can provide cutting-edge products that work like a dream and blow your rivals away? If so, employee diversity should be one of your top priorities.
Increase sales revenue.
A study from the American Sociological Review shows that greater gender diversity results in more customers. This, in turn, leads to increased sales revenue and relative profits. Need I say more? What business doesn’t want to make more money?
Here’s the bottom line on diversity, equality and inclusion.
In addition to all those great business benefits, when you create a culture of inclusion and you value all of your employees, you create a stronger and more effective workforce. People like to work with others who they know will truly listen to what they have to say and treat them with respect.
A happier workforce results in a more effective business where employees stay longer, work harder and enjoy coming into the office. With less turnover, you will save time and money on hiring. As an added bonus, you can more easily train loyal employees to be advocates for your company and brand. That, in turn, increases your bottom line.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to make diversity, equality and inclusion central to every business. It makes business sense — and cents!