Is Workplace Diversity Worth It? Here Are A Few Pros and Cons.
Right now the workforce in the United States includes more than 25 million people who are foreign-born. And, in less than 30 years some data suggest that the United States will become a truly pluralistic nation with no single segment of the population holding a majority. This is the face of what is to come, and if you expect to succeed and compete on this new playing field, you and your company need to have a good look at the pros and cons of workplace diversity.
Pro: Financial Results Improvement
Many studies have shown that companies with higher degrees of diversity on their teams tend to show more profitability than others. Publicly traded companies were the focus of a report by consulting firm McKinsey & Company in 2015. Most notable was 35 percent more likelihood of financial success by those companies with the most epic and racial diversity in their management structure.
Pro: Competitive on a Global Scale
Foreign owned companies employ a large percentage of the overall American workforce. In today’s global economy the Fortune 500 list of companies consistently features foreign owned companies near the top. To effectively compete on the global stage, companies must seek out diverse workforces who mirror the diverse population and points of view they serve. To effectively compete on the global stage, companies must seek out diverse workforces who mirror the diverse population in points of view they serve.
Pro: Decision-Making Based on Facts
An often overlooked by-product of diverse organizations is that they tend to focus on facts in their decision making process. examining and re-examining facts, in order to remain objective, these groups shy away from old ways of thinking. This results in better decision making for their company. Homogeneous groups have more difficulty identifying biases than their non-homogeneous counterparts, who are able to move past bias in the business decision process.
Pros: Innovation and Creativity
An old saying goes something like repeating the same activity over and over will produce the same results. So, in business the same approaches to management sales products and the like will yield the same results, unless something is done to interrupt the pattern. Believe it or not, this is due to a lack of diversity. when a group of people approach challenges or problems from different perspectives however, more creative solutions will develop. Diversity supports market growth and fosters innovation.
Advantage: Cross-Cultural Understanding
While “birds of a feather flock together“ may be all warm and fuzzy, as global diversity increases, cross cultural understanding helps create better working conditions and builds international understanding. Instead of sticking to the prejudice and misconceptions which have been prevalent here for, diverse workforces enhance the working environment and improve outward looking results for their organizations.
Con: Transitioning Challenges
If the potential benefit of diversification is just making its way into view for your company, you will certainly encounter challenges when creating your new diverse work environment. Older ideas and entrenched habits will certainly present challenges while bringing conflict and increased tension among the team. Clashing cultures may create instances of misunderstanding of meanings. Something may be highly disrespectful to one culture when it is a joke in another. The most important element to launch your venture into workplace diversity is the buy-in of management and a sound educational approach for the rest of the company, in order to be successful.
Con: Financial Impact in the Short-Term
You may already have experience in the area of accommodation in the workplace if you’ve been in business for some time. Similar to the way the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) brought a sea of change to many companies with some financial impact, diversity will also require some flexibility and initial cost outlay. Here’s one example; Muslim workers need a space for daily prayer. Transgender or non-binary employees need their own changing and/or restrooms. Simply, as your diversity increases, there may be unanticipated costs along the way.
Even though the transition to creating a more diverse workplace has its challenges, companies across the country and around the world are still making their moves to diversity. In the long run the effort and investment are proving to show their value, while the results provide both financial and moral rewards.
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