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The Diversity Difference
3 Benefits of Building a Diverse Workforce
Diversity in the tech industry is improving, but the workforce remains overwhelmingly male and white. From the bottom line to better performance, here are the biggest ways improving diversity can help your company.
When it comes to diversity in tech, strides have been made — but there’s still a long way to go. White men still makeup a majority of the industry. Women in tech still lag behind their proportional share of the overall workforce and Black employees comprise just 3.7 percent of today’s technical roles.
The importance of building and working in a diverse workplace should go without saying — but since improving diversity must become a business-wide endeavor in order to materialize, understanding the bottom line value can help accelerate change.
1. Better business performance
No where else can a diverse team’s impact be felt more acutely than on the bottom line, and study after study confirms: Building and supporting a diverse workforce comes with many rewards. Diverse teams were found to be 35 percent more likely to experience financial returns, and 70 percent more likely to capture more markets. Especially in tech, where innovation is the name of the game, diverse teams can have an even greater impact on company success. In one study, “innovation revenue” was found to be 19 percent higher on diverse teams than it was on those with more homogenous makeups.
For an industry example of this principle in action, look no further than Google. In its 2022 report, the company credited improved diversity hiring practices as a major factor behind their impressive 61.58 percent annual growth rate
2. Improved talent outcomes
Improving your company’s diverse hiring practices can start a chain reaction that can, in turn, make it easier to hire more and better candidates as word spreads. Workplace diversity has emerged as one of today’s top job seeker preferences especially among the youngest generation of workers, with 83 percent of Gen Z candidates saying an employer’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important to them when choosing an employer. With this highly coveted cohort of workers having made their intentions known, tech employers can’t afford to let this new generation slip through the cracks.
However, once the proper strides are made to improve diversity, employers stand a greater chance of retaining talent than they did before. In one survey, an overwhelming 81 percent of workers said they’d go so far as to leave their job if their employer wasn’t committed to workplace diversity. Working for an organization that shares their values and possess a true commitment to workplace diversity can be a boon to engagement — a critical factor in reducing churn — and companies that have made the proper investment in diversity have been rewarded with 22 percent higher productivity and 22 percent lower turnover rates.
3. Enhanced creativity
Our culture, environment and life experiences shape our thinking which can create huge barriers to identifying outside-the-box solutions if the majority of your workforce is starting from the same place. People who develop relationships with someone from another country have been found to be more creative, and improving diversity on your team functions with the same effect. Rounding out your team with new perspectives will enhance its ability to think creatively as a unit and perform at a high level.
It’s not a stretch to imagine that all the noted productivity, performance and revenue gains can be due, in large part, to increased creativity. Injecting your workplace with diverse, creative energy is palpable, and can further inspire employees to perform to the top of their talents. Eighty-three percent of millennials, for example, reported feelings of empowerment and engagement when working for organizations that foster authentically inclusive cultures.
In order to improve diversity on your workforce, you’ll need to get every member of your leadership team on board, and sharing these benefits with them is a great place to start. However, seeing the value is just the beginning, and meaningful change will require big shifts in operation along with the will to commit to an ongoing endeavor. You won’t unlock the full potential of a truly diverse workforce overnight, but even just a few first steps to changing your hiring and promotion practices can invigorate your team with the new perspectives it needs to thrive.
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