The importance of Diversity within organisations
Vessy Tasheva – the founder of https://vessy.com – Strategic Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and Mental Health Services.
Vessy is dedicated to help organizations to create and sustain a healthier, inclusive purpose-driven culture, where everybody can do their best work in times of growth or crisis.
Vessy is also an author of 2019 and 2020 Global Diversity in the Workplace Reports;https://reports.vessy.com/2020-diversity-in-the-workplace/ and https://reports.vessy.com/diversity-in-the-workplace/ and “How Diversity and Inclusion Leaders Can Drive Measurable Results” – a whitepaper on OKRs in Diversity & Inclusion (D&I).
Moreover, Vessy.com has earned recognition in the industry and was featured in the Top 10 Emerging Diversity & Inclusion Companies in Europe in 2021.
Benefits of D&I in the workplace:
Just a few to mention:
- Lower cost of attrition
- Capture new markets
- Understanding new customer segments
Benefits of improving the D&I in the work environments significantly impact the ability to innovate and adopt, which not only helps organizations to grow, but also hugely affects the organization’s ability to successfully face the crisis.
Improved D&I allows businesses to gain diverse viewpoints to capture new markets and opinions. D&I relates to our mission and the values of our organisation because it shapes how we present our products and services. It creates equal opportunities. It relates not only to our team, but also to our customers and end-users. Because the retention of the diverse team builds trust and as a result we can reach more people by understanding their backgrounds and cultures.
Creating equal opportunities for people is not only the right thing to do, but also improves the mental health of our employees. Having that support enhances our uniqueness. For example if there is 5 men and 1 girl on a team, potentially this girl might leave because she feels uncomfortable.
Diversity results in more innovative offerings. It could be more challenging, but the reward is satisfying.
By being diverse as an organization we can understand more diverse markets and have more reach.
One of the examples is “the bank of many” – SwedBank’s (Swedish bank) moto. They ensure that employee demographics reflects the national demographics. So whatever percentage of the population is non-native, the same percentage of bank’s employees are also non-native.
At the end of the day, diversity among the organization impacts the bottom line. It affects the value that we can create.
As customers, do we feel represented? Attrition costs that we have saved by keeping our employees, translates into maintaining or growing our customer base that comes from nurturing diversity within the organization.
Diversity stretches much wider than the male vs female ratio. There are 15 categories to look at. The circle of trust exercise https://cultureplusconsulting.com/2018/08/16/a-ha-activities-for-unconscious-bias-training/ is a great starting point to see the hidden bias within our own environments.
We need to identify six to ten people from our closest circle – people who we trust the most and who are not family members. Then we need to put a tick beside the name of the person NOT displaying the same characteristics as ourselves in the diversity categories (15), for example; gender, nationality, age, race/ ethnicity, professional background, religion, etc.
Frequently, the participants discover that their trusted six often displays minimal diversity – for most participants, their inner circle include people with backgrounds similar to their own. The preference for people like ourselves is largely instinctive and unconscious.
Managers who invest time and energy in observing and reflecting on the diversity and inclusion within their environments will positively impact the innovation and adaptability of their teams. Different opinions help companies get various perspectives on the products and client’s needs.
Innovation thrives on diversity; it gives a different perspective and new ideas. These are tangible benefits.
Looking forward to the publication of the 2021 Global Diversity in the Workplace Reports.