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The business case for diversity

A great deal of research has been carried out about the business case for diversity.

Businesses that have diversity at their core outperform their competition, have greater productivity and can better meet the diverse needs of their customers.

Spend just a few minutes online searching for the business case for diversity and you will see what we mean.

Here, award-winning consultant Richard Shakespeare, of Workplace Diversity Solutions, takes a closer look at the issue.

The business case for diversity… really?

Some people feel uncomfortable considering diversity and inclusion from a business perspective.

We have heard arguments put forward to say that it shouldn’t be considered as something to boost profits. While we can see both sides of this argument, why would a business ignore something that improves productivity and drives revenue?

Having a more diverse workforce means you have access to different perspectives, greater life experience and can understand the needs of more consumers.

You need the support of stakeholders and senior leaders if your diversity and inclusion agenda is going to be hugely successful. So, considering the business case for diversity is just one of the things you ought to be thinking about.

We operate in a tough economic environment, so being able to show a return on your investment for diversity and inclusion is becoming increasingly important.

A holistic approach to diversity

Focusing on just one dimension of diversity and inclusion is simply not going to be enough. We have seen much focus on areas such as boardroom diversity and bias in recent years, both extremely important but, by themselves are not going to make your organisation truly inclusive.
You need to have a holistic approach to diversity, one which opens opportunities and adds real value to your business. Avoid the temptation to simply focus on one aspect of diversity and inclusion as this might be detrimental to your business.

Consider environments

Create an environment where people work as a team and understand the focus of the organisation. Generally, people will make better decisions in a team setting than they will on their own. Look at the diversity within your workforce, is your business truly representative of the customers, communities and markets you serve? Is your organisation attractive to the widest talent pool available?

Workforce representation

Planning for the future of your organisation means taking the time to understand what is happening in terms of demographics, workforce trends and adjusting your diversity and inclusion strategy to meet the needs of your business.
Get insights and ideas from different groups within your business, cross generational feedback and consultations with diverse groups can really help to inform your decisions.

Having a growth mindset

Diversity and inclusion are about so much more than meeting legal or compliance obligations. It is about having a growth mindset and approaching things differently.

Some Tips for Diversity and Inclusion

Here are our top tips for approaching diversity and inclusion within your organisation:

  1. Don’t be afraid to consider the business benefits of diversity and inclusion
  2. Make sure you formulate a strategy for diversity and inclusion that is supported at senior level
  3. Think about all aspects of diversity and remain focused
  4. Try our free online diversity health check tool here
  5. Get the views and support of a broad range of people
  6. Consider how providing diversity and inclusion eLearning can be used as a blended approach to embedding knowledge

To find out more about Workplace Diversity Solutions and the services it provides, visit its Love Business News profile page.

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