Top 3 Benefits of Incorporating Diversity and Inclusion Practices in Organizations in 2021
February 5, 2021
Even though the civil rights movement had encouraged equality to prevail on the forefront, the movement gained momentum in the corporate setting slowly in the 1970s. So, when Zabeen Hirji, a Tanzanian immigrant – joined the Royal Bank of Canada in 1977, the bank had no minority or female executives. However, the Royal Bank of Canada discovered the key ingredient to success over the years — To understand and win the market, you must hire your market. Today, “Ms. Hirji sits on RBC’s executive committee as the head of HR. The company is ranked #4 in the global Top 100 Most Diverse and Inclusive Companies in 2022 Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Index”, writes Jonathan Stollar. RBC’s annual turnover was $46 billion in revenue and $12.9 billion in profit for the year 2019, and as of today, it serves 17 million customers and holds a diverse workforce of 85,000 people. A simple strategic business decision to diversify the workforce to understand and cater to the market effectively led to the Royal Bank of Canada's success story.
Fast forward to over four decades later, companies across the world are still discovering new ways of adopting and promoting practices around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). In India, with a mission to make the country’s corporate workplace more inclusive, the National Human Resource Development Network (NHRDN) has partnered with Human Resource leaders from SAP-India to set up a pioneering Inclusion Lab in the country. Novartis, the Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company, has replaced the word ‘disability’ with ‘diverse ability’, which led to a significant shift in the way people living with disabilities are viewed within the company– not as someone lacking an ability but rather with diverse, and often unique, skills and proficiencies.
Closer home, MasterCard – the American financial giant – which has ranked #6 in DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list for 2020, believes that “diversity is what drives better insights, better decisions, and better products. It is the backbone of innovation”. An incredibly unique inclusivity project that Mastercard has carried out over the last few years is their Social Media Reverse Mentoring program. To address generational barriers, young professionals ‘mentor’ older employees in the company who want to become adept at using various social media platforms.
Top 3 Benefits of Incorporating Diversity and Inclusion Practices in an Organization
Expanding the recruitment searches and including more diverse candidates in the workplace amplifies an organization’s talent pool and reinforces the chances of hiring the best of resources. With over 20 years in the industry, we can confidently say that a diverse and inclusive environment promotes a sense of belonging among employees that motivates them to work harder, better, and with an enhanced sense of ownership.
Let’s explore in detail how organizations, irrespective of their size, can benefit by diversifying and including people of varied ethnicities, gender, age, nationalities, sexual orientation, disability, etc., and why recruiters should be encouraged to do so.
1. New ideas and innovation
Any company, irrespective of its size or industry, has a higher probability of coming up with innovative ideas with a more diversified team. In fact, Harvard Business Review revealed a statistically positive correlation between diversity and innovation. Harvard surveyed more than 1,700 companies across eight geographies, including Germany, Brazil, India, Austria, Switzerland, France, and the U.S, examining diversity in a management position with respect to variables like gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, and education.
Additionally, diverse teams are more proficient in identifying and regulating products and services that align with the diverse customer profiles. It’s a win-win situation on both ends.
2. Heightened performance and business results
Inclusive practices have a direct impact on the productivity and performance curve of employees. McKinsey, in their report ‘Diversity Matters’, studied proprietary data sets of 366 companies across different topographies – Latin America, U.K, U.S, and Canada, and revealed that the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity has a 35% higher probability of positive financial returns as compared to the respective national industry medians. At the same time, companies on the top quartile for gender diversity have a 15% higher probability of producing positive financial returns as opposed to their respective national industry medians. Again, a win-win situation on both ends.
3. Employer branding for improved key talent attraction & retention
Diverse and inclusive culture allows people to see themselves working and being accepted at your organization. It also shows the employees that their leaders genuinely care about the workforce. Making diversity & inclusion a genuine part of your Employer Branding strategy will not only make you stand out as an employer with a meaningful commitment to its current and prospective employees but will also boost productivity and retention
As markets continue to globalize, customers are becoming more diverse. The need to diversify the workforce is not an option but a mandatory step to win your market. A workforce with elements of diversity in it is more likely to identify clients' unique needs and serve them better.
As a leader in innovative solutions, Analysts is fully invested in a deeper understanding of the needs of our clients, consultants, employees, and communities we are a part of and help them in achieving their goals. Analysts is proud of its diverse workforce and is determined to continue to sustain an organizational ecosphere that celebrates the diversity of its people, culture, and talents.