The tech sector has historically been male-dominated. However, a lot has changed in recent times. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) have become a significant initiative heralded by companies and individuals alike.
What is D&I? It is the practice of actively involving your employee's different voices and experiences, or potential new hires, to feed into the business equally. Other ways of understanding and knowing almost always contribute positively, as the adage goes: two heads are better than one.
The push for a more diverse workforce, creating more meaningful opportunities and a more balanced and fair workplace has already shown to produce beneficial changes to businesses. With D&I in mind, you not only provide opportunities for those who in the past may have been overlooked, but you open the door to new avenues of success. Here are just a few ways in which D&I has impacted businesses and created new possibilities.
Diversity & Inclusion Impacts Leadership
D&I has a genuine impact on how business functions, so much to impact a brand's profitability. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, businesses with 30% of female leaders earn 6% more profits than those without female leadership. This statistic was also mirrored in a Forbes report. They stated that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above the national industry means. This shows that promoting and encouraging a more diverse business hierarchy can have a highly beneficial impact on your company, and should be considered not merely at a junior level but across different positions within your team.
Diversity and Inclusion Reduces Absenteeism
There is a very tangible link between D&I and employee engagement. Several studies have found that workplaces with a mix of diversity and inclusion have higher levels of engagement. As a result, absenteeism is reduced, and employees stay on the job for more extended periods. This is also complemented by the fact that people who feel involved at work are more driven to show up on time and give it their all. Alternatively, team members who are not engaged and do not feel included and whose ideas are not listened to are more likely to perform the bare minimum and have a higher potential for absenteeism.
Diversity and Inclusion Improves Employee Retention
Listening to your team is crucial to maintaining a positive work culture and keeping morale high. However, you may not always understand the different perspectives or concerns within your team. This is where D&I is so paramount. With a more diverse and inclusive group often times other employees can help the more reserved or self-conscious teammates speak their minds. This helps create a safe space and medium for others to speak their minds and gain support from others. It is also crucial as it prevents people from feeling as though they are not understood, heard, or seen.
When people grow alienated and disconnected, they often fall out for their culture fit and sometimes even quit. For them, this is a last resort, the last symptom of a dire circumstance. It's what they do when they don't know what else to do. This is also true in many organisations that are trying to attract and retain top employees. Thus having a diverse and open workplace helps to alleviate turnover and improve team retention.
Diversity and Inclusion Promote Innovation
When you bring together people from all experiences and perspectives on the world, you will generate more ideas. Of course, this assumes that there is a diverse representation of people throughout the organisation – and that everyone believes their opinions and experiences are given equal weight. There must be procedures in place for everyone to have a voice, and diversity must be presented to the board of directors and those with the ability to implement large-scale changes in the business. When this occurs, the benefits can be substantial. Companies with above-average diversity, according to the Boston Consulting Group, are 19 per cent more innovative.
Diversity & Inclusion Improves Team Performance
In addition to increasing leadership potential, D&I also helps to promote greater business performance. Brands with above-average gender diversity and levels of employee engagement outperform companies with below-average diversity and engagement by 46-58%. Creating an inclusive work culture where people feel appreciated, valued, and free to be themselves isn't just good business sense; it's also excellent for the bottom line. There's little doubt that D&I efforts are beneficial for business, with diverse and inclusive organisations outperforming others that haven't made an effort to recruit and retain various personnel and build a welcoming and inventive atmosphere.
A Diverse Future is the Only Way Forward
Highlighting only several of the many benefits that a more diverse workplace can produce, it's obvious to see why D&I should be a key priority for any business. It helps bring in fresh ideas, new ways of knowing and understanding, improves productivity, and, most importantly, creates a fairer, more diverse future.