Diversity’s got trendy in recent years. Now, more than ever before, there’s a better blend of faces in adverts and music videos, and a more conscious attitude from big companies and businesses to at least look inclusive, because let’s face it – discrimination on any level is really not cool. But have you ever wondered what benefits there are to working or studying in an environment that’s culturally or socially very different to the one you may have grown up in? Or how diversity manifests itself in professional successes? (Spoiler: diversity = money). Here are 6 very important reasons as to why a diverse workplace is a better one, for all involved… (video included!)
You get to be around a range of views, talents & skills
Ever heard that saying ‘variety is the spice of life?’ No? Well it’s something our Mothers’ used to say to us when we opted for the same flavour ice-cream every evening in the summer holidays as kids (rum and raisin FTW). But it basically means that diversity is good for ya. When you’re working or studying with people who don’t share your view points or come from the same culture as you, it broadens your horizons and allows you to learn more about a world that’s different to your own. We went and asked a load of young people what diversity in the workplace meant to them and they said the same thing. Watch the video above.
Diverse teams solve problems quicker!
Conflicts and problem-solving is often part and parcel of the work environment. But having a workplace made up of lots of different types of employees is actually proven to help solve issues more quickly when they do occur. Psychologists have demonstrated the “wisdom of crowds” effect through that game where you guess how many sweets are in a jar. The more diverse the group guessing, the more likely people’s estimates are to average at the correct number! In an office or Uni class this means a mix of people with a mix of perspectives will lead to an increased amount of suggestions for how to accomplish something or solve a problem, which in turn means they’re more likely to hit the magic solution quicker.
Diversity helps make BIG money for businesses
Having a good mix of people in employment and education is good for the whole of the UK, too. In fact in Feb last year, the Guardian reported that putting measures in place to make sure black and minority ethnic (BME) people progress in their careers at the same rate as their white counterparts could boost the British economy by £24 billion a year – something the government revealed after an investigation into racial discrimination in the workplace in 2017. GDP in this country could increase by a whopping 1.3% a year if people from BME backgrounds were not held back in the workplace because of the colour of their skin (which the study suggested they are). UK employment rates for BME people are 12% lower than for white people, and just 6% reach top-level management, the govt. figures also found.
Diverse environments keep their employees for longer
Cumulative Gallup Workplace Studies found that when a workplace is hella varied, people actually feel more inclined to stay there longer and are less likely to quit. The research revealed that the turnover rate is 22 percent lower for companies with diverse teams, and that companies with inclusive cultures also recruit more talent. Well there you go.
Companies with diverse workforces are more productive and caring
A study by PwC showed that 42 percent of female board directors but only 24 percent of male directors considered racial diversity important. The benefits to having more women was obviously, great. The study showed women are less likely to tolerate people who weren’t pulling their weight (men were shown to be more lenient towards other men), and more likely to follow-through with solving problems with managers and more likely to implement social policies that look after the workforce, like pension pay-ins. Hurrah!
Inclusive environments are less dull for all involved
When you have 20 people working together from similar backgrounds, of the same race and gender, it’s more than likely you’re going to produce a homogenous set of ideas. Think everyone saying the same thing in brainstorming (which could result in some tone-deaf mistakes), or everyone bringing in the same type of food for lunch (boring). Making an effort to recruit from a wider pool of candidates makes things interesting for everyone and results in a more creative environment. And who wants to work somewhere dull? Nuh-uh.