The more perspectives in a room, the greater the chance for innovation. There are many factors that go into creating a strong workforce, and diverse perspectives play a big role. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), a more diverse team creates a smarter team.
Diverse workforces reflect more of the world as a whole, which encourages multiple solutions to problems and fosters new ideas. Forbes states that diversity in the boardroom helps spark healthy debate that can lead to better decision-making. With more perspectives, ideological blind spots can also be avoided.
Heidi Grant and David Rock of HBR write, “A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean.”
Grant and Rock also cite a Credit Suisse global analysis of more than 2,400 organizations with one or more female board members. The analysis shows that these companies produced higher returns on investments than those with no female board members.
Overall, diverse teams have shown improved outcomes due to:
- Information being processed more carefully
- Optimal harmony within a team because of varying work styles
- Facts being examined in new and different ways
Even with these benefits in mind, many tech companies are still falling behind the diversity curve. A Fortune report shows that even the most diverse companies still miss the mark on the equal opportunity ideal. The companies listed below are the most diverse in the tech industry, and as you move up the list, the competition gets more fierce.
From most to least diverse:
- Airbnb (52.5% m, 47.5% f)
- eBay (58.1% m, 41.9% f)
- LinkedIn (61.9% m, 38.1% f)
- Hewlett-Packard (66.9% m, 33.1% f)
- Facebook (71.2% m, 28.8% f)
- Google (72.2% m, 27.8% f)
- Cisco (74.4% m, 26.6% f)
- Microsoft (75.7% m, 24.3% f)
- Intel (76.2% m, 23.8% f)
So, then, how can a company achieve a more diverse workplace? The first step is to set aside notions of prejudice. Looking at nature, it does not distribute talent and motivation according to sex, gender, or ethnicity. It’s all about the individual. Making decisions solely on character and qualification naturally results in a diversified workforce.
Next, don’t be afraid to hire young women or those who may be considering motherhood. Wanting to start a family is something that should be celebrated, not seen as a disruption. Female employees today can and should have the opportunity to start a family and work with little interference. Both men and women in the workplace must also be encouraged to find a work/life balance, as well. It’s important to create a family-friendly culture throughout the company.
Furthermore, a company should never attempt to even the numbers in the workforce by hiring based on race or gender. As an illustration, flipping a coin 100 times could result in 70 heads and 30 tails. But wanting to get a perfect 50/50 mix might cause you to rig the game, which will inevitably lead to problems. Don’t rig the hiring game. If the candidate is qualified, motivated, and willing to deliver your objectives, he or she should be at the top of your list.
Diversity hiring is defined on Ideal.com as “[hiring] based on merit with special care taken to ensure procedures are free from biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job performance.”
Imposing hiring policies that turn qualified people away in the name of diversity does not help the individuals or the company. A truly diverse workplace starts with selecting people based on their personal merit and cultivating a culture of inclusion.
Anne-Valérie Hueschen is VP of corporate affairs at Voxbone where she specializes in the legal and compliance issues associated with telephony and communication as a service solutions. Prior to Voxbone, Anva worked at the European Commission. Raised in a bilingual household before starting her own, Anva often changes language in der mitte eines satzes.