Some years ago, a reputable professional services firm was pitching for work with a very large organisation. The relationship between the companies was strong, a six-month secondment with the potential client had gone very well and the feedback from the tender process indicated the value proposition being offered by the firm was excellent. They didn’t land the client. The reason? The client couldn’t identify that the firm was actually committed to diversity and pointed to the under-representation of female partners as an example. No longer was diversity just seen as something important in attracting employees. It was also important in attracting clients too.
Feeling safe at work matters
Diversity and inclusion is so much more than providing a workplace where diverse employees can feel safe to contribute fully. We need to recognise that just like society, our client base is diverse too. Tesco in the UK realised that over 2 million people of colour live in the UK and so they now produce band-aids in three skin tones. (And who ever goes to the supermarket to just buy one thing?) Tommy Hilfiger realised that with 15% of the population living with some form of disability, getting dressed (and still wanting to look good) isn’t easy for everyone and so have brought out their Tommy Adaptive clothing line. Finally with an estimated 4 million Australians living with a disability, accessibility tourism is estimated to be worth $8b a year in Australia alone. What company doesn’t want to get a slice of that?
Innovation, profitability and ideas
An organisation with a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture is typically more innovative and profitable than its less diverse competitors. (A 2018 Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation.)
A more diverse team brings different perspectives, different ideas and questions the status quo simply because the status quo isn’t their version of reality. More diverse teams have better social intelligence (less groupthink, better collaboration etc) and approximately 40% of team performance can be attributed to social intelligence. In the end, this results in outcomes that have been measured time and time again – everything from revenue and profit, to risk management and employee turnover costs are better in an inclusive organisation. Inclusion is much more than a ‘feel good’ exercise – it creates a better work environment which fuels performance.
Written by Lisa Stockwell
Contact our expert team if you need support in bringing your diversity and inclusion strategy to action.
Our workshops include Equally Yours Diversity and Inclusion Training, which offers a unique experience that not only builds confidence and knowledge across D&I, but is also a great workshop experience for team building and leadership development, where you will take away practical tools for D&I business solutions. Register for a free demo.
View our events page which includes details of our forthcoming programs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane including Developing Inclusive Leaders Workshops.
If you are looking to improve diversity and inclusion in your organisation visit our blog for some useful information and resources.