5 Reasons Why Companies Need to Embrace Diversity

5 Reasons Why Companies Need to Embrace Diversity

The world’s most successful companies strive to ensure that all employees feel valued and accepted, irrespective of race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic background. Companies that embrace inclusivity unite workforces. They recognize that making employees feel valued, respected, and accepted promotes loyalty and cohesion.

Companies that promote workplace diversity are seen as forces for good: more socially responsible and relatable. Workplace diversity makes companies appear more interesting. It also helps widen an organization’s potential audience, helping many different people identify with the brand.

From an individual level, to societal impact, to increasing profit margins, we look at five reasons companies need to embrace diversity.

1. Diverse companies attract top talent.

Companies that lag behind their rivals in terms of diversity often struggle to build a good reputation among employees. Industry giants expend considerable resources and effort to become more inclusive and diverse. However, recent headlines indicate that work remains to ensure members of different demographics have equal opportunities to succeed.

Negative headlines reflect a broader truth: bias and stereotyping, whether unconscious or overt, permeates every aspect of hiring, career development, and promotion of underrepresented groups. In 2018 alone, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received more than 76,000 complaints.

When employers bring together individuals from a range of backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities, they incorporate a variety of perspectives. Studies show that this leads to increased potential for problem-solving and productivity. By widening the talent pool, employers create a progressive environment, that in turn is more likely to attract top talent.

2. Diversity feeds innovation.

As we move through the 21st century, industry giants are rapidly casting off the shackles of bias and stereotypical thinking, recognizing the need to broaden horizons. The correlation between diversity and innovation makes sense. Any organization that relies on a homogenous group of individuals significantly narrows its potential.

New environments, circumstances, and perspectives spark innovation. By bringing together talented individuals with different life experiences, thought patterns, and problem-solving skills, companies can connect with a much broader audience.

3. Access to equal opportunities can change a person’s whole life trajectory.

Black women face deep-seated race and gender discrimination.  Black women continue to be shortchanged in workplaces throughout the US today. According to Black Women’s Equal Pay Day statistics, it takes a black female worker approximately 20 months to earn what an equally qualified white male counterpart earns in a year.

In terms of overcoming marginalization to succeed against all the odds, Oprah Winfrey set the bar high. Born to a teenage single mother and raised in inner-city Milwaukee, Oprah Winfrey was sexually abused as a child, becoming pregnant at just 14. Her son was premature and died as an infant.

While still studying at high school, Oprah Winfrey was offered a job in radio. By the age of 19, she became a local news co-anchor, no small achievement by anyone’s standards. A true entrepreneur who shifted throughout her career from presenter, to actress, to author, to producer, Oprah Winfrey is one of America’s most successful businesswomen and philanthropists, amassing a fortune of circa $2.5 billion.

4. Workplace diversity is vital to society.

The death of George Floyd made headlines all over the world, sparking a movement for change, within America, and globally. Race and class have been inextricably linked in America for centuries. Today in United States, 20 percent of black families have debts exceeding their assets. Additionally, 60 percent of white families own equity, compared with just 30 percent of African American families.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement transcends skin color. It is about more than race. It is about socio-economic backgrounds and lifetime opportunities.

5. Workplace diversity is critical to business success.

The world’s biggest organizations are waking up to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With an estimated 47 percent of US jobs potentially being automated over the next two decades, driven by rapid advances in cognitive computing and AI, leading organizations are shifting to team-based structures, with overall workforces becoming increasingly diverse.

Censia’s Talent Intelligence Platform helps eradicate bias from the recruitment process. This revolutionary platform helps companies recruit faster and better, reducing recruitment costs by up to 70 percent, and speeding up time-to-interview by up to 85 percent.

An organization’s greatest asset is its people, yet three out of four companies report struggling to engage the right talent for critical roles. Throughout 2018, recruitment challenges sparked a $500 billion spend globally: the biggest in history.

Censia helps clients secure top talent, enabling them to scale faster, at a fraction of the resources it takes to recruit manually. Censia helps its clients cut hiring costs by up to 60 percent, filling roles in half the time needed by internal teams, and simultaneously improving diversity for its clients.

About the Author

Joanna RileyJoanna (Jo) Riley is an entrepreneur, investor, and advocate in technology, and is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Censia. Jo has a highly experienced background in building and scaling companies, which she attributes to her deep passion for people and building technologies that allow people to be their best selves. She brings her wide knowledge of the industry to better transform the way enterprise companies hire talent. You can connect with Joanna Riley at @joannakiddriley on Twitter or on Linkedin. Read her full bio here.