Diversity Management: Key to Growth in the Global Marketplace
By Genesa Dadula
Diversity management is the key to growth in today’s fiercely competitive global marketplace, as it gives everyone in the workplace equal opportunities regardless of their age, gender, religion, race or nationality. This allows everyone to do well, creating a harmonious society. When you have diversity in the workplace, you get wider connections and broader ideas. You learn from your colleagues and appreciate the differences of each individual, giving you a greater understanding about the culture and ethnicity of each individual. For example, if a company’s client is Chinese, and they deal with an employee who is also Chinese, there can be a common understanding of what the customer wants and needs.
According to Gwendolyn Turner, there are two reasons why diversity should be embraced in the organization and thus, become the cornerstone to its mission and actions:
1. Employer of Choice: Employees look for organizations that align with their values and offer diversity from the board of directors down through the management ranks of the company. This is important to employees because it demonstrates a willingness to innovate and accept new ideas. Companies that demonstrate inclusive cultures and a diverse workforce see higher customer service satisfaction, productivity, profitability and fewer turnovers than their counterparts.
2. The Market is Diverse and Your Customers Care: The purchasing power of women and ethnic minority groups in the United States are on the rise. Large corporations are forming partnerships with small and medium-sized businesses that can help them better connect with these growing demographic groups. In our work with enterprise level companies, they recognize diversity and inclusion as competitive advantages.
Nowadays, diversity is a very important instrument in facilitating business success. As companies continue to build a diverse team, Gwendolyn Turner also made three points that we need to remember:
Be Thoughtful: Diversity strategies take time and is not something that can be fixed overnight. Consider how these strategies will be incorporated in every level of the organization.
Do Your Research: Doing research and further studies is always better. Talking to customers, dealers and business partners are some of the simple ways to know what works well within the organization and what doesn’t.
Ask for Help: Whether it is a large corporation or a small business, it is always best to seek advice from experts — or for large corporations, include the executives in creating the strategies for the company.
Organizations that pursue global market relevancy must embrace diversity — in how they think, act and innovate. As Ron Glover says, “Innovation is about looking at complex problems and bringing new views to the table. Diversity has allowed IBM to be innovative and successful for 100 years and to work across lines of differences in 172 countries, amongst 427,000 employees.”
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About the author:
Genesa is a graduate of the University of San Carlos with a degree in Business Administration, majoring in Human Resource Development Management.