Why Should Companies Prioritize Diversity?

In the last few years, there’s been no shortage of headlines, employee reports, and Medium posts tackling diversity and inclusion. We all know diversity can no longer be an afterthought. And while it is the “right thing to do,” it’s essential to the growth and prosperity of your company.

Truly forward-thinking, innovative companies are those that prioritize diversity efforts, ensuring that everyone—from the CEO to each and every employee—not only understands the importance of diversity and how it benefits their organization, but advocates for it.

Data indicates that diversity drives innovation and results in better performance among teams and, ultimately, a higher success rate for companies. 2020Shift has partnered with Greenhouse to create an eBook, “4 Methods to Build A Diverse Team,” to outline how you can build a diverse organization. We know it’s not easy and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but our guide can help you on your journey to creating a diverse and inclusive organization.

If you’re on the fence about prioritizing diversity or need help on where to start, we’ve got you covered! Planning out your diversity efforts can seem complicated, but here are four reasons you should prioritize diversity and strategies for getting started now.

1. Diverse companies perform better.

Yes, it’s true! If you’re looking to create a company focused on innovation, growth, and opportunity, diversity is an invaluable part of your business.

Numerous studies have shown that diverse companies are more successful. McKinsey & Company’s 2014 report, "Why Diversity Matters," explores why organizations with a focus on diversity simply do better, financially and otherwise. The report shows that of the 366 public companies analyzed, those in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians.

In short, diversity is beneficial to your bottom line and results in long-term success.

2. Diversity fosters innovation.

Diversity is at the core of innovation. It encourages different perspectives and ideas that foster cutting-edge products and solutions. When you have employees of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, you can tap into the many talents they bring to the workplace.

3. Diversity attracts top talent.

Take a look around your office. (Yes, seriously. Pause and look around you.)

If you want to attract and retain top talent, a diverse and inclusive workforce is vital. Don’t judge yourself or company harshly if you notice more work needs to be done. This is an ongoing effort that involves all employees.

Here are a few ways you can approach attracting a more diverse pool of qualified candidates:  

  1. Partner with organizations (like 2020Shift!) that are also invested in creating diverse professional communities

  2. Screen for inclusiveness during your initial phone interview process

  3. Prioritize diversity in outreach/sourcing efforts

  4. Optimize your careers page to better reflect the company’s employees and culture

These initiatives can be spearheaded by the recruiting team, but you’ll also want to make sure your entire company is aligned with your D&I efforts.

4. You can retain valuable talent by creating an inclusive environment.  

As mentioned above, building a diverse workplace starts during the recruiting process. By articulating and showcasing your workplace culture throughout—phone screens, in-person interviews, and onboarding—your new hire understands that diversity is valued.

While companies that don’t support and nurture a diverse workplace may be able to recruit diverse talent, they will face major challenges when trying to retain them. The reason an employee chooses to leave a company can vary, however, statistics show diverse professionals leave at a higher rate. Women leave tech companies at twice the rate of men, according to a study by the Harvard Business Review. African American and Latino employees, who are often underrepresented within organizations, also leave at a higher rate than their white counterparts.

Companies can combat retention issues by being mindful of the kind of work environment they create, and how they enable diverse employees to find opportunities for advancement.

Want to learn more about diversifying your workforce? Be sure to download the “4 Methods to Build A Diverse Team eBook. Get your copy by clicking on the button below.

Janel Martinez

Janel Martinez is the co-founder and Chief Content Officer at 2020Shift, a startup invested in teaching diverse professionals the skills needed to find a career they love in technology. Her career in journalism, which includes bylines from NBC, Univision Communications, and Black Enterprise, among others, led her to her passion: entrepreneurship. She graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Connect with Janel on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Filed Under:

Diversity & Inclusion