Why Workplace Diversity Is Important

Five Reasons For Workplace Diversity

In 2019 and beyond, workplace diversity is a necessity for an IT company to successfully operate in the global marketplace and attract quality talent.

Defined by numerous, interlocking categories – such as gender, ethnicity, cultural background, age, sexual orientation, religion, physical and mental ability, professional experiences, political views, and more – diversity assumes that multiple and differing voices, viewpoints and life experiences are assets, especially for a company. Here are five reasons why.

(We also explain how tech companies can recruit and retain female employees in our post Why Tech Needs More Women)

Provides Competitive Advantage

Employing staff from a range of cultural backgrounds extends your reach to potential customers, vendors, and partners around the world and across town For example, recruiting multilingual employees, those raised in another country and/or with close ties to a community increases the possibility for new relationships. Besides professional skills, these employees offer first-hand, real-world insights into the values and concerns of prospective client and give you valuable knowledge about and empathy for a client, all advantages over your competition.

Improves Reputation

Prospective customers, business partners, and employees want to work with a company that is future-oriented and in synch with a changing world. A diverse workforce typically indicates the organization operates with socially responsible, modern policies and practices that respect and welcome differences. A business reputation grows by acting on stated commitments to expanding who is on staff; a lot of companies advertise diversity in stock photos, but few demonstrate it.

Widens Talent Pool

It’s frequently the case that once a company increases the variety of employees, more candidates with differing backgrounds will apply for positions, broadening the company’s talent pool. To highly qualified candidates, working in a diverse workplace is just as important as salary. They want to succeed in a workplace reflective of a dynamic society and will seek those opportunities.

Encourages Employee Engagement

Innovative and high-performing employees likely remain and grow with a company where career development occurs. And a diverse staff makes that happen. Collaborating and working towards common goals increases the understanding employees have for one other, fostering an environment with high morale. And if they feel a genuine respect, employees are more apt to express ideas, share insights and solve problems together. Teams and departments composed of multiple perspectives and skills often generate creative solutions faster.

Sets Stage for Innovation

Employees with differing personal and professional experiences naturally bring various perspectives and skills into the workplace – invaluable assets for companies tackling complex problems. With exposure to the different viewpoints and experiences from their colleagues, employees learn new skills, insights, and ways of working. Such a work environment leads to constructive discussions, debate, and compromises, all ingredients for innovation.

Suggestions for Becoming a More Diverse Workplace

If increasing employee diversity is a priority for your company, here are a few tips and questions to start the process:

  • Recognize the unique culture and history of your company and how diversity is reflected (or not) within your industry. Working with diversity experts can identify deficits, address potential obstacles, and develop strategies fostering a diverse workforce.
  • Articulate what diversity means in your workplace and its value to employees and clients.
  • Intentionally build relationships with those communities under-represented inside the company before actively recruiting for a specific position.
  • Link business organizational goals and operations with its diversity practices. Is the company providing adequate resources – budget, staff time, leadership – to implement and sustain the efforts for a diverse workplace?

What are other benefits to a company for a diverse workforce? Let us know.

Since 2010, SIGnature Recruiting has operated with respect towards all of our candidates and clients, making us the preferred IT recruitment agency in the Greater Vancouver area. If you are seeking talent or an employer, let’s talk.