Organizations Can (and Should) Lead the Change for Greater Diversity and Inclusion

Today, organizations face a market of increased competition, uncertainty, and a more diverse customer and employee base. Globalization means working with teams and partners around the world. Diversity means working with a gender-balanced multigenerational and multicultural workforce. It also means working with a complex workforce that includes people who are not employees of the company, but who are part of the organizations' value-chain.

Diversity Is More Than a Competitive Advantage—It's Survival

There is huge value in the creative interplay that results from bringing together and connecting different modes of thinking, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives across all organizational levels.

But talking about diversity is only the beginning. Organizations need to do more than ask how to manage and train a diverse workforce in order to succeed. Organizations need to ask how do we train our organization to fully embrace and leverage diversity in order to survive.

As an organization, it’s about setting a foundation that will foster methods and a culture that is inclusive. This would include training teams in cultural intelligence, unconscious bias, new communication skills and practices that create a sustainable culture of inclusion. It must begin at the top and yet not stop there, but permeate through the practices of all leaders. These are organization-wide skills—that foster diversity as a business discipline.

On an individual level, inclusion is about how to get everyone to contribute to their maximum capacity. Ideally, it is taking every opportunity to help each person make the most of their skills and unique voice. The key is making sure everyone feels that they can bring all of their heritage, experience, perspectives and values into their careers to fully benefit themselves and their organization.

How Organizations Benefit from Diversity and Inclusion Practices

When your team is representative of your new global customers and active participants in decision making you are better positioned to capture greater market share.
Great team dynamics bring higher creativity, productivity, retention, engagement, morale and innovation.
Recruiting from a more diverse pool of candidates means a more qualified workforce.
Unique ideas and perspectives from various generations and backgrounds add significant value in a knowledge worker environment leading to better decision-making and problem solving.
Increase profitability. For example, research has shown that companies with more women in top roles make more money.
It's time to stop talking and be the change. Diversity is simply the new normal.

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