With over 350 languages spoken in US homes and over 60% of all the nation’s children predicted to be part of a minority or ethnic group in 2020, it’s clear that the US is a diverse country. It is also becoming increasingly clear that prioritizing diversity and adopting a culture of inclusivity is crucial for business success.
A study from McKinsey & Company stated that companies are more likely to have financial returns that are above the average if they are in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity. Having a diverse workforce allows employees to work cohesively with customers and pay better attention to their unique needs.
The Benefits of Prioritizing Diversity
Apart from the clear financial incentives gained from embracing diversity, leaders that incorporate diversity into their corporate cultures show an understanding of how the times are changing. To be an effective and forward thinking leader, it is important to be flexible and to implement changes to your business as necessary.
Leaders should recognize that a true culture of diversity will not only attract talent; it will retain them. A workplace that embraces and encourages diversity of thought will be an attractive feature for employees. It will allow them to voice their opinions and feel safe in doing so. In order for businesses to innovate and adapt, an array of differing perspectives will allow this as opposed to identical thought processes that fail to look beyond the norm.
Inspire Change in Others
As a leader who is able to commit to change for the betterment of your employees and business, you can become a role model that inspires others. Having a leader who is committed to innovation and a diverse culture can be a powerful role model for employees, motivating them to work harder.
Strong leaders who are able to recognize when change is needed mold and shape the values and mindset of the next set of leaders. By inspiring others through an appreciation of diversity and inclusion, you cultivate this mindset within your employees who will continue your legacy long after you are gone.
How You Can Start Promoting Diversity in the Workplace
While a focus on diversity in the workplace can make you a better leader and benefit your business as a whole, it is important that you do not implement a culture of diversity through superficial means. Real diversity is more than just hiring a few more employees that may be of a different ethnicity. Diversity needs to comprise the fundamental basis of a business and highlight inclusivity throughout all aspects of the business.
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Companies such as Starbucks, Kaiser Permanente, and IBM have been successful in embracing a culture of diversity because it is seen as a core value. Kaiser Permanente has a multicultural workforce and hires a variety of genders and orientations, while IBM works to embrace people from different cultures and generations with unique ideas and ways of thinking. Look to companies such as these when determining how to promote inclusivity within your business.
While it may not be easy to promote a diverse culture, the benefits of prioritizing diversity for you, as a leader, and for your business are invaluable.
About the Author
Alice Williams is a writer for BusinessBee. She has written in-depth on a wide variety of topics which include business, technology, and social media. She has a masters degree in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University.