While we know intuitively that a diverse workforce makes sense, the business case for diversity is growing ever more convincing and multi-faceted.
For instance, a report by McKinsey and Company found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity were 33% more likely to outperform their peers, while a Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues, due to innovation.
Then there are case studies such as Singapore. This highly multicultural country is, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2018, one of the most ‘future-ready’ due to being an ‘open economy’ – one that is more innovative and whose markets are more competitive.
But how, specifically, does diversity serve to propel a business forward? We collate the insight of industry experts across the globe, to find out more.
Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman
‘Increasingly businesses recognise the need for greater diversity and inclusion if they want to innovate and prosper. We are seeing some great work being done across industry sectors in organisations of all sizes, and with good reason. To stop solving for a diverse and inclusive workplace is to stagnate as a business and fail as an employer of choice.
Culturally diverse workplaces are the ones that will succeed in attracting next-generation talent. The future workforce has a firm expectation that their place of work reflects the communities they live in, the customers they serve, their value system. Those companies that do not reflect the values of the young talented people just entering the workplace will not survive. The war for great talent is fierce, and being fit for purpose is essential.’
Jyoti Chopra, Global head of diversity and inclusion, BNY Mellon
‘We have offices in more than 35 countries, across 100 markets, and a workforce of around 50,000 people. Our employees have to be able to work effectively in cross-border teams, they’ve got to be able to deliver goods and services . . . for clients ranging from individual investors to corporate institutional clients. Diversity is an imperative.’
[Original quote from The Financial Times]
Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates
‘I’ve worked in the tech sector for many years and it is underrepresented by women and ethnic minorities and it is immensely frustrating. We have so much evidence that says diverse companies, diverse management teams, diverse boards do so much better. Why? Because they build better products and they provide better services.’
[From Russ Shaw’s everywoman podcast]
Nivedita Krishnamurthy Bhagat, President of Cloud Infrastructure Services UK and Europe at Capgemini and executive sponsor of Capgemini’s BAME network
‘We aim to be a truly diverse and inclusive organisation where everybody feels valued, included and empowered, whatever their race or ethnicity. Our clients just expect it from us and we’ve got some fantastic role models at Capgemini – all this helps us understand different perspectives and combat any reluctance to change.’
Marco Bizzarri, CEO Gucci
‘I really believe, especially in our industry, creativity is a consequence of diversity. And the more you are exposed to diversity, the more you are creative, because you see things from different angles.’
[Original quote from vogue.it]
Chris Mills, CEO Queensland Airports Limited
‘Diversity allows us to benefit from strong recruitment and retention, facilitates meaningful collaboration and gives us different perspectives. Apart from being a great place to work, it means we can better understand and meet the needs of our diverse and ever-changing customer base.’
Sarah Charlesworth, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, DWF LLP
‘To truly succeed in a global marketplace we all need to develop a cultural competence that will enable us to create lasting relationships and an understanding of nuances. We all have a culture, so keep sharing your story and celebrate the value of individual and group difference.’
Vani Seshadri – Vice President, Global Inclusion & Diversity Centre of Expertise, Accenture
‘In a geographically dispersed environment, leaders must understand how to work effectively across borders and maximize value with a multicultural team, plus foster an inclusive, collaborative culture across distance. At Accenture, we want our 477,000 people to share Accenture’s core values, while preserving their distinct identities. We celebrate cultural differences as a source of strength, agility and innovation.’