The best parties are always the ones with the most diverse, mixed set of partygoers, right? Well, the best workplaces are the ones with the most diverse, mixed employees. Don't believe me? That's the view of the CBI in its latest report, "Time for action: the business case for inclusive workplaces".
It contains some fascinating and eye-opening stats:
- Firms with the highest levels of gender and ethnic diversity are 15% and 35% more likely to outperform their rivals.
- Diverse and inclusive workplaces are associated with higher individual performance because employees are better able to innovate and are more engaged.
Even more importantly, a more diverse and varied workforce will improve overall decision-making and the strategic mindset. As the CBI report says, a diversity of thought and experience leads to better decision-making owing to more careful processing of information than in homogenous groups. In short, diversity pays.
Over the years some companies have belatedly jumped on the corporate social responsibility and diversity bandwagons to be seen to be doing the right thing and to not be left behind their competitors. A more proactive approach might reap rewards. The message here seems to be: if you want to get ahead, get diverse.
Research suggests that increasing female employment and productivity to the levels of men would have a greater impact in the UK that in all but three EU countries. It is estimated to be worth 35% of GDP. Business performance would improve too. Firms with the highest levels of gender and ethnic diversity are 15% and 35% more likely to outperform their rivals. In part, this is explained by the impact of diversity and inclusion on employees and the teams in which they work. Workplaces that are both diverse and inclusive are associated with higher individual performance because employees are better able to innovate (+83%) and more engaged (+101%). It's also associated with higher collective performance because a diversity of thought and experience leads to better decision making owing to more careful processing of information than in homogenous groups.