Category: Industry News, inclusion, diversity, global market
In order to remain competitive in today’s global markets, workplace diversity and inclusion is increasingly becoming a business necessity in addition to a social responsibility—according to a new study by a University of Illinois Chicago professor, employers with the most diverse workforces also report higher performance in year-end reports.
Business performance factors were measured based on average annual sales revenue, number of customers, perceived market share, and relative profitability. In all four categories, the most diverse firms showed numbers at least one and a half times greater than the least diverse. Most strikingly, the mean revenue for organizations with low levels of racial diversity approximated $51.9 million, while the most diverse organizations topped off around $761.3 million. For gender diversity, companies with the highest levels of inclusiveness reported an average of 15,000 more customers than those with the lowest levels.
The Diversity Jobs Index for January also indicated a 10.9 percent increase in demand for diverse talent as compared to the prior month, a change primarily driven by the healthcare industry that’s expected to grow two to three percent annually. The service sector is generally noted to take a more active stance in hiring a diverse staff in regards to race and gender, and the upwards-ticking trend reveals a steady pace already set by the leaders.
Diversity strives to create an inclusive culture that values the talents of many different people, and the thinking behind these higher business numbers are logical: the creative conflict arising from a group with multiple perspectives offers a more insightful examination of the problem than a homogenous group might, and innovation often stems from different thoughts bouncing off each other. Also, because inclusion of minorities tends to influence the in-group social complexity at firms, outsiders' perception of the firm is also affected.
Yet, variety can also be a double-edged sword: more diverse firms tend to be less integrated as an organization subunit, with higher levels of dissatisfaction and turnover over time.
Straddling this balance between interpersonal colleague relations in regards to the corporation's oversight of intentionally diversifying the workforce is still a line to be carefully considered. Next, Chicago technology leaders will carry on the conversation of how to create a local pipeline of diverse tech talent at the panel discussion “The State of IT: The Diversity Divide,” on Wednesday, Feb. 18.
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