Why Diversity Matters
The global marketplace is changing, and the best way to gain a competitive edge is through a diverse workforce. Studies show that businesses whose employees have similar backgrounds, education and worldviews tend to think similarly and approach problems, work, and the world in similar ways. This is a limitation competitive organizations cannot afford.
Ethnicity, religion, culture, gender and socio-economic background all have a profound effect on the perspective of any individual, and can greatly impact one's way of negotiating the world. Cultivating an employee population with diverse backgrounds adds the value of new perspectives and approaches. A heterogeneous workforce shows investors, potential clients, and customers, as well as the community at large, that a company is backed by idea dexterity and progressive leadership.
The evidence is not hard to find. For example, Forbes 100 best companies to work for in 2010
includes a list of companies with the most diverse workforces
. Publicly traded companies on this list include Marriott International with a workforce that is 66% minorities, Men's Wearhouse at 54%, Qualcomm also at 54%, Whole Foods Market at 45%, and Carmaxx at 45%. Comparing the stock trends of these companies with those of their peers, you may be surprised to find that they consistently meet or exceed their performances. Ostensibly, a correlation can be drawn between workforce diversity and a company's success.
Workforce diversity also represents a businessís customer base, better connecting the company to its target markets. (employerbrandingtoday.com