Research that was carried out by McKinsey in 2018 has shown that any company who are inclusive and diverse can drive innovative results in the marketplace, both in terms of value creation and profitability. This research looked at both the workforce and the leadership and found that the same was true at all levels; a greater degree of diversity and inclusion created a significantly improved financial performance. The fact that a staggering 33% of those companies placed in the top quartile in respect of ethnic diversity were shown to have above-average profitability than those companies who were placed in the lowest quartile.

For those companies who are not yet building the diverse teams that will enable them to move forward, the changes and challenges that they face can be rewarding on several levels. It is, however, worth remembering that in the UK, it is a requirement for companies to publish their diversity figures, and many companies are looking to redress the significant shortfalls that they might have.

Why diversity is good

When a company considers a more diverse and inclusive employment strategy, they are welcoming new employees from a wider range of backgrounds, with different ethnicities, belief structures and outlooks on life, and a whole possible workforce who simply see things in a different way to others because of this. The more diverse a team, the greater the background knowledge they can draw on in order to find solutions and work methods. This diversity is what allows a team to bounce ideas off each other and find solutions that they may otherwise not have thought of. Sometimes it needs just one person to think outside the box; to think differently, in order to find the solution.

Workloads are shared, teams are built, and goals are met, and ultimately, this leads to projects being completed promptly and profits increasing.

Diversity allows those people who previously didn’t feel like they belonged to be part of something bigger, to showcase those ideas that might previously not have been heard. Most importantly, diversity and inclusion fosters a sense of belonging for everyone and promotes a real idea of just what can be achieved when everyone works together.

In order to build a diverse team, it is, however, essential to remember that if someone does not have the skills that you are looking for, then they are not the right member for your team even if they help you meet your inclusion quotas. At the end of the day, the right person for any role is the one who has the skills you are looking for – regardless of anything else.