D is for Diversity.
Employability and Skills Manager Famy shares her thoughts on the topic…
Would it be easier if we were all the same? But would it be better?
Diversity on the whole is unavoidable. We all have different ways of thinking and working. Some are ideas people, some like to get things done as soon as the task is set and some like to stand back and work out if it’s the best way to do things.
However, a diverse workforce with a good cross section of society with inclusive representation of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, disability, among other factors, can bring many benefits to the workplace.
Increased creativity and innovation
Take the simple example of the crash test dummy which was designed in the 1970’s to emulate an average male car driver. The design of seat belts have since been tested with crash test dummies built with similar specifications yet according to the 2019 study from the University of Virginia (UVA) women were 73% more likely to be injured in a frontal collision that men. Is perhaps the original dimensions of the dummy no longer suitable for testing seat belts since there are more female drivers now. Would this have happened if there were more women involved in the design and testing stages?
Clearly, people from different backgrounds are more likely to bring a melting pot of ideas and originality to the same task but from different perspectives often creating a competitive edge.
Better responses to customer needs
According to the Harvard Business Review, teams which include a member that shares a client’s ethnicity are 152% more likely to understand that client than another team, increasing the odds of success.
Reduced staff turnover
Diversity has been strongly correlated with happier and more long term employees as it is often indicative of an inclusive work environment where employees feel heard and valued.
Can you think of any more benefits? What diverse attributes do you have and how could they be an advantage to an employer?
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