The whys and how-tos of gender and cultural diversity in the workplace

Could gender and cultural diversity be the answer to company success? In this constant struggle to make a company profitable, we put new strategies into motion on a daily basis, and aware of it or not, diversity is one of these. Understand how diversity affects employees and what are its overall financial returns in the following article:

Cultural and gender diversity in the workplace

According to a recent study led by McKinsey & Company in the UK and USA, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity showed a better prospect for financial returns than their counterparts.

The same study reveals that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity have a 15 percent more probability of having financial returns than their counterparts. To back up the gender diversification theory, a study co-authored by an MIT researcher concluded that shifting from a gender-homogeneous workforce to a more heterogeneous work environment could benefit the company with up to a 41 percent revenue increase.

Nonetheless, and rather surprisingly, another finding showed that same-sex or same-culture offices tend to have happier and more cooperative workers. Although it doesn’t relate to company performance, it does affect their motivation and level of satisfaction.

How to put diversity into practice?

Applying diversity principles to your company isn’t easy, given that it requires a certain endurance from employers to deal with workers’ complaints and conflicts due to diversity disagreements.

If you’re considering the idea of making your office more inclusive in ethnicity, race, gender, age or background, these tips may come in handy:

#1 Assess workplace diversity

Find out the employee’s perception of the culture of diversity in the office in order to pinpoint areas for improvement. You can do so by conducting a survey or holding individual meetings.

#2 Make a plan

To start off, you’ll need to figure out how to implement diversity. One of the basic steps is to first apply a pro-diversity standpoint in the top positions of the company. This will basically set the example for the rest of the employees.

#3 Include employees

When tracing a gender or cultural diversity plan, it’s vital to take the workers opinions into account. Employees who feel valued and considered in the company’s decisions, tend to collaborate in change initiatives.

#4 Create a safe place

Change can cause mayhem when people feel limited and unheard. To avoid friction in the office, put together after-office events, business meetings and other social gatherings to promote chilled out spaces for workers to voice their opinions and bring new ideas to the table.

Benefits of workplace diversity

  • In a time of constant change, successful companies need to hold traits such as flexibility and creativity. A diverse workplace can develop the workers’ ability to adapt to an ever-changing marketplace, encouraging the evolution of the company.
  • According to McKinsey & Company, in the US, for every 10 percent increase in employee ethnic and racial diversity, earnings before interest and taxes rise 0.8 percent.
  • Different backgrounds and viewpoints can bring unexpected solutions to problems in different areas of the company.