Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce at Home and Abroad
In this Bloomberg article, we discuss the benefits of diversity and inclusion, creating a work environment that supports both, and how to prepare candidates from diverse backgrounds for relocation.
You don’t have to look far to see why companies have a renewed focus on diversity. Study after study has confirmed companies with a diverse workforce are more appealing, successful, innovative, and competitive than those with a homogeneous workforce.
Delivering through Diversity, a 2018 McKinsey & Company study, found that companies with genderdiverse executive teams were 21% more profitable than companies with less diversity. And companies with more ethnic/cultural diversity were 33% more likely to outperform on profitability. Boston Consulting Group concurred. Its Diversity and Innovation survey looked at 1,700 companies across 8 countries and found those with diverse leadership generated 19% higher revenue due to greater innovation.
These results shouldn’t be surprising, because diverse employees bring different experiences, skillsets, opinions, worldviews, attitudes, and values to the office every day, and those different characteristics become intertwined like the fabric of a vibrant tapestry to make a company stronger.
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It’s easy to have a narrow definition of diversity, perhaps only taking into account race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, but diversity can take many forms, including age, religion, citizenship status, military service, mental and physical conditions, and even personal interests. Diversity can also relate to a family dynamic, such as raising a special-needs child, co-parenting with an ex-spouse, being a single parent, or caring for an elderly family member.
Regardless of how employees are different, the goal for today’s companies remains the same: create a working environment where everyone feels welcome, included, and comfortable being themselves. Not only does creating such an environment set all employees up for success, but it also removes mobility barriers and ensures everyone can take advantage of opportunities to experience work outside of their home location. But, in diversity, companies face challenges with how to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment without singling anyone out or calling attention to their
differences. It’s a fine line to walk.
We’ve all seen how this plays out in school; it’s the new kid’s first day, and all they want to do is blend in with everyone else. But the teacher asks them to stand up and introduce themselves to the class, shining a spotlight on them. The intention is pure, but the execution is anything but welcoming. While we’ve all moved on from school, the yearning to feel included, but not singled out for being different remains.