Diversity and Intersectionality Are Important For Your Team, And Here’s Why

Diversity in the workplace has been a hot topic of discussion for decades, often focusing on civil rights aspects of the subject such as equal opportunity, fair pay, and equal access to resources. Intersectionality, the complex interaction of various cultural disadvantages, has similarly been debited in terms of the disadvantaged individual.

Certainly, it is incredibly important for individuals, groups, and society as a whole to aspire toward workplace equality and diversity for its own philosophical purpose. The Huffington Post discusses ways to embrace a diverse workforce and make all feel welcome.

However, as we advance forward in our understanding of diversity and intersectionality, savvy businesses and workplace teams have realized that it is not just socially necessary to be inclusive — it’s downright profitable. In an increasingly competitive world, diverse backgrounds and cultural experiences drive cutting-edge innovation that is honed though ongoing peer challenge. In a diverse work team, stagnation becomes nearly impossible as multiple and vastly variable realities play against, and with, each other in a way unparalleled in undiversified climates.

Not only does workplace diversity enhance innovation, however. In an increasingly global market that is extremely visible through social networking platforms and instant information sharing, diversity within a company is necessary to appeal to the larger audience. Monocultural companies cannot compete on a global scale, and face challenges even at a local level outside of that particular, myopic cultural identity. Simply put, a lack of diversity sends a very poor message to the coveted millennial bracket. This huge and influential demographic notoriously supports companies that align with their ideals, one of which is cultural diversity and equality.

In the same vein, companies with strong diversity plans and key understandings of intersectionality may also win the long game. Technologically-driven, highly competitive and dedicated millennials overwhelmingly believe working for a diverse company is more important than a high salary. Diverse workforce teams will inevitably attract the best talent at recruitment levels, setting the company up for even more advancement.

Achieving workplace diversity and comprehension of intersectionality may seem daunting at the enterprise level, as tracking initiatives and their successes becomes more complex. However, as Lolita Taub writes, “find diversity technology partners that serve as trusted partners.” Through consistent, strategic and measurable initiatives, businesses of any size may benefit from diversity.

Leadership Author|Speaker. President|Adelphi University|New York. Mom to two teenagers|bulldog. Thoughts expressed here are my own.

Leadership Author|Speaker. President|Adelphi University|New York. Mom to two teenagers|bulldog. Thoughts expressed here are my own.