More than creating opportunities and organizations that represent our communities, diversity has results in business growth, client retention, and employee engagement. An increase in diversity leads to positive changes within and outside of the workplace, inspiring the employees and drawing in clients. By placing time and effort into inclusion and acceptance, dynamic changes occur, as new and unique minds spur creativity and innovative thoughts. This boost in the organization’s diversity leads to a dramatic increase in original ideas, encouraging a difference in opinions and guiding organizations towards a more innovative and inclusive futures. A myriad of studies have highlighted the tangible effects of diversity. Below are the three main benefits.
INCREASED BUSINESS RESULTS
According to McKinsey Analysis, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their competition. Moreover, ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform similar businesses. Diversity brings economic results to the organization, helping it increase productivity and professional drive through an increase in communication and understanding. The numbers depicted in the table below highlight the need for more women, people of color, and other minorities in positions across the board. Additionally, according to the Harvard Business Review, a team with a member who shares their client’s ethnicity is 152% more likely to understand the client. A multicultural team directly leads to higher client retention, allowing law firms to cater to a wider community. With the increasing globalization of business and diversity in America, it is important for our teams to fully represent the communities we serve, leading to better employee engagement and customer satisfaction.
“We believe that diversity is a direct route to excellence. Building diverse teams of lawyers allows us better to solve complex issues that our clients rely on us to address.”
Partner, White & Case Law Firm
Chair, Global Diversity Committee
A RISE IN CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION
As we work to incorporate individuals of unique backgrounds into the organization, this increases the level of innovation. According to Forbes’ “Why Diverse Teams Are More Creative,” studies have illustrated the fact that multi-cultural teams have “greater levels of integrative complexity, which is the ability to consider and combine multiple perspectives and points of view.” This highlights a key aspect of diversity increasing creativity in the office space. With a curated team of unique individuals, new ideas break forth, leading the business towards innovative solutions to complex problems. When these teams are presented with a challenge, they develop varied and inventive proposals due to their wide range of thoughts and experiences. A group with a variety of identities holds a myriad of opinions and are therefore more open to change and accepting of new ideas. Additionally, these factors increase the valuable traits of adaptability and flexibility in the office, allowing the firm to be competitive in a quick paced marketplace. Through the utilization of diversity, firms see a large increase in creativity, leading to innovation in the workplace.
“Diversity inspires innovation and creativity and leads to better decision-making. It is imperative that we work to ensure that the make-up of our firm mirrors that of our clients and the world around us.”
Paul M. Schmidt
ATTRACTING NEW HIRES
Alongside innovative thoughts and original business game plans, an increase in inclusion leads to a growth of company’s talent. When looking for new work, members of minority groups often seek out organizations that value diversity, applying to openings in multicultural and gender-diverse offices. A 2014 Glassdoor Survey highlights this fact as 67% of active job seekers surveyed indicated that diversity was an important factor when searching for new employment. These percentage points increase dramatically for minority groups as 72% of women, 89% of Black respondents, and 80% of Asians highlighted the fact that diversity was a high priority when selecting a new job. An increase in workplace diversity makes businesses more appealing to minority groups, leading to more diversity in the workplace! With this cycle, the welcoming and inclusive workplace attracts more individuals with unique experiences, leading to more and more increase in diversity.
“When I interviewed here, the thing that struck me the most was that I interviewed with a set of diverse partners. I had interviewed at dozens of Law l00 firms, and this was really the first place where I saw people of color in the room. This really gave me the thought that I can actually make partner here, because there are people here who look like me, and they’re already partners.”
Commercial Litigation Partner, BakerHostetler
Diversity is critical to business growth and its competitive advantage; it leads to positive results in innovation, talent hiring and retention, and economic outcomes. Diversity is imperative not only for the workplace but for the community at large.
Dima Ghawi is the founder of a global talent development company with a primary mission for advancing individuals in leadership. Through keynote speeches, training programs and executive coaching, Dima has empowered thousands of professionals across the globe to expand their leadership potential. In addition, she provides guidance to business executives to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and to implement a multi-year plan for advancing quality leaders from within the organization.