Diversity and inclusion have emerged as crucial pillars of success. As our communities become more interconnected and diverse, the importance of fostering an inclusive workplace cannot be overstated. In this blog, we will look into why diversity and inclusion are not just moral imperatives but strategic advantages for businesses striving for long-term success.
The Perpetual Need for Diversity and Inclusion
*This image discusses workplace statistics about diversity and inclusion across the United States.
Staffing Support’s Sales Account Executive, Rico Ragsdale, has been discovering more about diversity and inclusion within work environments specifically around the Milwaukee area. He provided us with some comments about these efforts and his passion for seeing other people of color prosper in any industry.
Rico was born and raised in Milwaukee and has over a decade of sales experience. Rico has a passion for seeing his community prosper. The best way he can make an impact is by helping local businesses find quality talent in the very community we all know and love! In his free time, Rico enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, as well as coaching high school football.
Rico stated that in recent months, there has been a noticeable and commendable shift in the local job industry toward fostering diversity and inclusion. Many companies are actively working to create work environments that embrace individuals from all walks of life. The Region of Choice program, a collaborative effort led by the MMAC (Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce), has played a pivotal role in driving this change. This program has partnered with various local businesses, including industry giants like Molson Coors, Milwaukee Tool, Trans International, and Rockwell Automation, to help them achieve their goals of building diverse and inclusive workplaces.
The impact of these initiatives has been particularly significant in the context of hiring and promoting people of color to leadership positions. This positive momentum is not only encouraging but also reflective of a collective commitment to fostering a more inclusive job industry. The strides they have made in achieving greater representation in leadership positions are commendable. It is heartening to witness a commitment to dismantling barriers that have historically hindered the progress of marginalized communities.
Other companies, or more so, all companies should make diversity and inclusion initiatives their top priority. These initiatives should not only focus on race but also equitable gender and individuals with disabilities representation.
How Diversity Can Improve Your Organization’s Cohesion
Reflects the Community
Local businesses are an integral part of their communities, and a diverse and inclusive workforce allows them to mirror the rich tapestry of the people they serve. When businesses understand and embrace the diversity within their local demographic, they are better equipped to cater to a wide range of needs, preferences, and perspectives.
A study by McKinsey & Company revealed that companies with diverse leadership often outperform those without. The study found that companies with gender-diverse executive teams in the top quartile were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability compared to their industry peers. Similarly, companies with ethnically and culturally diverse leadership were 33% more likely to surpass their peers in performance.
This significant impact of diversity on financial performance is attributed to several factors. Firstly, diversity enhances productivity, leading to increased profits. Secondly, diverse teams are often more innovative and efficient at solving problems.
In the business world, this can provide a competitive advantage. For public sector organizations, a more productive workforce can deliver services more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Innovation, Creativity, and Profitability
Diverse teams bring together individuals with varied experiences, backgrounds, and skill sets. This diversity of thought becomes a representation of innovation and creativity. Local businesses that actively seek diversity in their workforce open themselves up to a wealth of ideas, ultimately fostering an environment where innovation thrives.
A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation. Government restrictions are frequently imposed on public sector businesses, and becoming entangled in the red tape can impede creativity and innovation. Diversity in the public sector can help to address this issue.
Diversity encompasses more than color, gender, handicap, or religion. Employees of various ages, education, talents, degrees of seniority, and local and international origins may also be included. The knowledge, experience, and abilities of such a diversified staff can result in a wide range of unique ideas and solutions.
Inclusive workplaces promote collaboration and open communication, leading to more effective problem-solving. Teams composed of individuals with different perspectives approach challenges from various angles, increasing the likelihood of finding comprehensive and innovative solutions.
Leveraging this collective creativity can assist your organization in:
- Making processes more effective and devising newer, more efficient systems.
- Constructing more practical organizational frameworks.
- Shaping policies.
- Launching new initiatives, both within the organization and in the broader community.
Additionally, a diverse and inclusive workforce is better equipped to understand and connect with a wide range of customers. Different cultural backgrounds and experiences contribute to a deeper understanding of consumer behavior, allowing businesses to tailor their products and services to a broader audience. This understanding not only improves customer relations but can also lead to increased customer loyalty.
Increases Talent Attraction and Retention
Local businesses that prioritize diversity and inclusion become more attractive to a diverse talent pool. Individuals from underrepresented groups are more likely to seek employment in organizations that actively promote inclusivity. Moreover, a workplace that values diversity is more likely to retain top talent, as employees feel appreciated, respected, and included.
A commitment to diversity and inclusion enhances the reputation of local businesses. Customers and clients are increasingly conscious of the social values of the businesses they support. Companies that champion diversity not only attract a diverse customer base but also contribute positively to the community by setting an example for others to follow.
How to Foster Diversity and Inclusion in Your Organization
Diversity and inclusion begin with personal growth and educating others about its importance. Here are some ways your organization can foster growth in diversity:
- Engage in workshops and seminars, immerse yourself in relevant literature, and foster conversations with colleagues from varied backgrounds. This will broaden your understanding and appreciation of diversity.
- Evaluate your company’s procedures and policies, ensuring they foster inclusivity and are devoid of any discriminatory practices. This spans across all areas, including the hiring process, provision of employee benefits, and availability of training opportunities.
- Actively seek to attract a diverse pool of applicants when there are job openings. It’s crucial to cultivate a workplace environment where everyone feels represented.
- Encourage open communication and respect for different opinions and perspectives. This contributes towards establishing an inclusive culture where everyone feels their voice matters.
- Acknowledge and commemorate various cultural and personal holidays, and awareness months throughout the year. This fosters a sense of belonging and appreciation for diversity in the workplace.
Moving in the Right Direction
Rico stated, “I’m extremely passionate about seeing people who look like me succeed, grow, and prosper in any industry they deem fits them best. I want to do my part and rid the stigma surrounding the adults in my community and show that some hardworking dedicated individuals just need a shot to show what they can do. So through these short few months, I see the work that many companies are putting in to help kick that stigma, and it’s extremely encouraging. There’s much more work to be done but I can honestly say we are headed in the right direction!”
While acknowledging the progress made, it is important to recognize that there is still much work to be done. The positive changes observed in recent months, however, are a great sign of a broader shift towards a more inclusive and equitable job industry. The efforts of local businesses, supported by programs like Region of Choice, serve as beacons of hope for those aspiring to break barriers and succeed in industries where they have been underrepresented.
Here at Staffing Support Specialists, we are dedicated to the improvement and advancement of all genders, races, abilities, and representations. We strive to have a diverse workforce which is reflected in our peers. There is no room for discrimination and we uphold these beliefs in our efforts of diverse talent.