Over the last few years, diversity and inclusion (D&I) have become indivisible parts of conversations about how to build a successful team and culture. Creating an environment that is inclusive to employees of all genders, backgrounds, and identities is important not just because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s the only thing to do.
For many years, companies considered diversity a “nice to have”—something important to focus on but only after mission-critical business objectives were taken care of. Studies and statistics, however, have shown the undeniable link between diversity and financial success for all types of businesses has changed the game.
Bottom line: Diversity is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a critical business driver that is a leading indicator of a business’s ability to succeed financially for years to come.
The Business of Diverse Culture
According to data from consulting firm McKinsey & Company, companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially than homogenous teams. This is only one of the countless benefits of creating and fostering a culture where everyone feels included.
Inclusion encourages success. When employees feel welcomed into a work environment where success seems attainable for everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation, it encourages them to bring their best selves to work.
According to a recent Hibob study, 77% of people said that corporate culture is extremely important—and HR’s ability and willingness to embrace diversity is a major part of a thriving culture. Ensuring that every new initiative, project, or business objective is examined through an inclusive lens before launch empowers the whole team to bring their A-game.
Build Diversity into Your Business Model
Prioritizing inclusivity on an organizational level is the most impactful way for a company to make its stance known and attract the best, most diverse talent. At Hibob, we’ve baked our commitment to diversity into the DNA of how we operate.
As an organization, we’re passionate about promoting inclusivity and transparency in the workplace, and we strive to help our clients give their employees the choice on how they want their genders classified. This gives HR and upper-level management a holistic view of any disparities or possibly unrecognized biases in gender.
As an LGBT person of color on the management team, this type of fierce commitment and dedication to diversity underlines for me, and every other employee, that creating an inclusive work environment isn’t a cause du jour but an important tenet of how we monetize and take our business to market.
Be Part of the Change
We at Hibob are putting out a call to action for systemic change in how corporations should allow employees to identify themselves. Allowing individuals of all types to be themselves at work and represent their authentic selves with pride is hugely important, but it’s only the first step.
The next phase is shifting societal mind-sets by making sure everyone at every company has an equal ability to succeed. Everything from onboarding flows to performance evaluations provides an opportunity to take a step back and assess whether the item in question is built for the new world of work. Building an inclusive foundation for the organization’s future means reevaluating everything that exists, from diversity in management to pay scale.
As companies move toward creating more inclusive policies and diverse teams, it’s important to remember that if you’re not ahead on this subject, you’re behind. D&I aren’t merely action items to cross off a list but rather are beacons to employees and the market at large that your company is committed to creating an environment where everyone can thrive.
This is no longer a nice-to-have. At Hibob, we seek to be change-makers in this department, and as the conversation morphs and changes, we hope other companies will be inspired to follow suit.
|Ali Fazal is Senior Director of Marketing at Hibob, where he leads a global marketing team. Before joining the Hibob team, Fazal led demand generation marketing for e-commerce company Yotpo and led marketing and sales teams for Greenhouse Software, DoubleDutch, and Gigya. Fazal is also a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. Outside of work, Fazal enjoys exploring Manhattan, craft cocktails, and any book or movie with a twist ending.
Hibob recently launched a new first-to-market gender inclusivity feature on its platform, bob. Bob users and clients everywhere can initiate protocols and policies that foster a more inclusive workplace. Check out our guide to nonbinary gender inclusion here.