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By Lindsey Carnett, CEO and President of Marketing Maven & WPO Los Angeles I Chapter member

Diversity is an important and essential metric to help companies appeal to their customers, build brand reputation and encourage and develop an innovative and inclusive workforce.

Diversity of thought helps businesses to understand their customers, develop innovative ideas, manage risk and encourage growth. And a diverse workforce can truly reflect the society that we live and work in, encouraging inclusivity, ideas sharing and best practice.

The spotlight on gender pay gap reporting in countries like the UK has placed the question of respecting diversity at the top of the workplace agenda. A diverse workplace is better for equal pay, creating a culture of inclusion and openness to create a better working environment for all.

Research has shown that diverse companies produce 19% more revenue and helps to increase the bottom line. Increasing the diversity of leadership leads to “better innovation and improved financial performance,” with companies composed of diverse management teams having higher revenue due to innovation. For companies that specialize in innovative technology (think start-ups and the digital industry,) this is an integral part of generating revenue and forward-thinking ideas.

What are the benefits of a diverse workforce and how can they pay financially and developmentally?

  1. Drive innovation and creativity: different backgrounds, experiences and expertise breed innovation and creative ideas. By working together, pooling different skillsets, points of view and practical experience, companies can work with their employees to generate the next-generation set of ideas for their industry.
  2. Improve financial performance: diversity is financially beneficial, with reporting from McKinsey highlighting that companies whose executive teams rank in the top 25% for racial and ethnic diversity are 33% more likely to reap financial returns above the national median for their industry.
  3. Talents and expertise: a diverse workplace should have as many strands of talent and expertise as possible if it is to truly succeed. A wide range of professional and personal experience helps to bring new ideas to the table, that will help to benefit the organization, and provide new products and services.
  4. Improve recruitment: a more diverse workplace can attract potential employees and help to improve the recruitment process. Employees that can see the pastoral and financial value of joining a company are less likely to move on, therefore improving the retention rate.
  5. Culture of meritocracy and value: ‘be the best you can be,’ and help employees to demonstrate their full potential regardless of background, gender, age or disability. Meritocracy can help employees and their employers to breed a culture that is focused on hard work and authenticity – good values to have to truly succeed.
  6. Better understanding of customers: employing a diverse workforce can help companies and their leaders to better understand their customers. For example, companies that employ disabled workers will be able to design products and services that better suit their needs, providing a diversity of choice and the opportunity for them to service sections of society that may have been previously overlooked. Additionally, this approach can give them a significant competitive edge in the marketplace. This reasoning and approach apply to other diverse groups – whether it be ethnicity, sexuality or origin.
  7. Good for brand reputation: every company wants a positive brand, and diversity helps them to build one which is viewed in a good light by customers, employees and peers. In industries where competitiveness is high, pursuing a business that is inclusive can win the respect of competitors, industry leaders and opinion thinkers.
  8. Improves team inclusion: A 2013 report authored by Deloitte found that when employees think their organization is committed and supportive of diversity they feel more included and valued as a member of a team. Additionally, the survey reported that diverse teams have been found to make decisions quicker- another reason to improve productivity in the workplace.

Marketing Maven is committed to a diverse workforce, with this value present at every stage of the recruitment process. Our team is made up from varied backgrounds and skillsets, ensuring that we can provide as broad a range of services for our clients. And our clients are diverse too, with companies and individuals from many different strands. This enables us to share best practice, industry knowledge and learn from the different opinions and experiences of our clients.

With a focus on staff development, recognition for hard work, bonuses for performance and other benefits and incentives, a diverse workplace has positives for both employee and employer. It is clear that focusing on inclusion and diversity of thought and hiring practices can help to maintain an employee base, improve financial performance, enable diverse products and services and help companies to successfully brand build and sustain their reputation. Quite simply, diversity helps to improve a company’s bottom line, producing higher revenue, improved growth, innovative ideas and the change to make a mark.

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Originally posted on Women Presidents' Organization by Women Presidents' Organization.

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