A note from Sarah: Diversity at work

Does your company suffer from regular outbreaks of violent agreement? Are you struggling to innovate? Does anyone challenge decisions, or could you be at risk of groupthink…?

When we think about diversity and inclusion it’s common to think of a lack of diversity in itself being the problem. But why do we need diversity? How does it help our businesses succeed?

There is a strong correlation between more diverse teams and the best financial performance according to McKinsey (2018). Decision-making is proven to be better when we work with a diverse group (Harvard Business Review 2017) perhaps because different perspectives challenge stale thinking and get us to re-examine our assumptions.

So how can you improve diversity? As the figures for 2019 show, companies are struggling to reduce the depressing gender pay gap. So if the big companies are finding this a challenge it can seem daunting for small to mid-sized firms who hope to make a difference.

However, there are some really low cost (and practical) that any company can take to promote diversity: get your CEO to champion diversity; make small tweaks to recruitment to make sure the process doesn’t alienate people who aren’t in your usual pipeline; consider introducing flexible working to help retain parents and carers. You could also introduce transparency over how roles are graded and evaluated to prevent big variations of pay within similar roles.

Small changes can make a big difference: building a welcoming and accepting culture at your company can yield powerful business results.

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