What value does diversity bring?
It’s a no brainer. The evidence speaks for itself and so does the everyday experience of businesses across the world. Diversity and inclusion lead to more innovation, more opportunities for all, better access to talent and better business performance.
As a person who falls within the diversity bracket (a woman, a mother, an Asian) perhaps it has always made sense to me that it should be an intrinsic value that sits within all businesses. Having spent the last 20 years in different industries (investment banking, tech and creative) I have seen each industry face the similar challenges. These challenges have included hiring a more diverse workforce and championing family friendly cultures. Yet, there is still so much more the whole industry needs to be doing.
For us to truly champion diversity in business we, as leaders, need to create and role-model inclusive behaviour. We need to understand and be mindful of human differences. Unconscious bias training for all your team is a start. It will surprise and challenge you to make decisions and to behave in a more inclusive way.
Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is about creating equal opportunities for everyone. By working with people from different backgrounds, experiences and working styles, we learn and gain another perspective. Diverse views make for better decisions, and thus drive a high-performance culture.
In my mind, the benefits of diversity are clear and unarguable. But this does not mean that embracing diversity is always easy. That’s why we all need to show leadership and hold ourselves to account.