Why diversity matters - and what you can do to help yours

Clare Anderson
08th July 2020

Stephen Covey (author of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’) once said: “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” In today’s world, diversity (which includes gender, religion, race, age, sexual orientation, disability, linguistic differences, socio-economic status and cultural background) has never been more top-of-mind - and it’s something you should be thinking about with your business. 

Diversity is critical for an organization’s ability to innovate and adapt in a fast-changing environment. According to Forbes, McKinsey and Harvard Business School workforce diversity is is a key driver of internal innovation and business growth, companies with diverse executive boards enjoy significantly higher earnings and returns on equity, and multicultural networks promote creativity. 

Inc.com lists FIVE KEY BENEFITS to fostering diversity in the workplace:-

    •  INCREASED CREATIVITY:- a team from diverse ethnic backgrounds, generations, genders, races and religions (to name a few) can harness far more creative energy than a workforce who all look and think the same way.
    • FOSTER INNOVATION:- the ability to come up with innovative ideas and products arise from having lived in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language or practicing a certain religion. By having a diverse workforce, a company has an advantage in innovation and will be able to outperform its competitors.
    • BETTER CONSUMER UNDERSTANDING:- without people from diverse backgrounds on your team, you are unlikely to be in touch with demographic groups you should be reaching. Companies that have diverse teams will have access to the insights, experiences, and worldviews of the entire marketplace. 
    • RICHER BRAINSTORMING:- diversity of opinions, ideas and input leads to richer and more productive brainstorming sessions. If everyone’s thinking is the same there’s a high probability of stagnant results.
    • BETTER DECISION MAKING:- diverse perspectives lead to better decisions - for your company, your employees and your customers.

Having diversity in a company allows employees to learn from each other and grow. When people are exposed to new ideas and cultures, they are forced to open their minds and gain a clear view of the people that surround them. Some people have unconscious barriers when it comes to interacting with people that don’t look like them, don’t share their same beliefs, don’t speak their same language, or are simply culturally different than them. Bringing diversity into your organisation will help break those barriers and foster personal growth. 

 

Importantly, diversity helps a business’s bottom line. Diverse companies are better able to attract and retain top talent, improve their customer orientation, and have higher employee satisfaction rates than companies that are not diverse. Uniting diverse individuals with different backgrounds pools their strengths into a common company culture. When employees feel valued by their managers, they become happier individuals, and, in return, more productive. That diverse group becomes a team that is committed to seeing the company succeed.

 

Sharesource is an offshore outsourcing company that has actively embraced diversity from its inception five years ago. We work with people from multiple ethnicities, cultural, linguistic, and educational backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, ages, and religions around the world. Gender diversity is particularly important to us. 66% of our Management team and 52% of our overall workforce are women. One of our core values is ‘Being Fair’ and this is a key driver in the recruitment of our diverse teams. We actively do not discriminate on any grounds and believe wholeheartedly that everyone should be treated fairly. We’re also a hub-oriented company - meaning we employ a locally-based management team - rather than bringing in ex-pat managers as many offshored businesses do. Our core ethos is to provide meaningful work to STEM graduates in developing countries and our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is to spread this model over ten countries. Our existing team embraces this vision and we are working together to make this happen.

 

If you’re considering fast-tracking your diversity goals through taking on offshore team members, download our eBook, '30 Essential Questions to Ask a Provider Before You Outsource. It will ensure you're informed and have the right questions to ask when considering the next step.

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