To support diversity in the workplace, you should understand what it means in practice. For me it’s the inclusion and acceptance of all employees, regardless of their background. Read on to find out why diversity and inclusion matter and how IT companies can benefit from creating a friendly and open working environment.
Diversity in IT as an important asset
It is not only the employee who benefits from a diversified workplace. A company which follows a diversity and inclusion policy has a very important asset on the market too. Diversity helps in getting to know the personal strengths and strong points of each employee, and this leads to discovering their personal potential, which they can bring to the company. Respecting diversity may turn out to be the key factor in terms of creating a thriving and successful company, and certainly it is one of the keys to building a friendly workplace and a fair work culture.
For me, diversity is not only about the company’s reputation or a nice and fancy or trendy slogan. It’s the best way to attract and retain IT talents and to increase the creativity and productivity in your team.
Diversity in the workplace – benefits
Equality and diversity in the workplace translate into certain benefits. According to a McKinsey report, companies with gender diversity policies are over 20 percent more likely to have above-average profitability. A diversified workforce also includes people from different cultural backgrounds. Why is diversity in the workplace important? How can you profit from it?
According to a survey conducted by PwC, before accepting an employment offer, 54% of women and 45% of men check a company’s diversity and inclusion policies. The companies that have a diversity and inclusion policy in place have a better reputation on the market and are regarded as better employers. Potential employees want to work in a place which takes care of people and accepts people of all backgrounds. To sum up: we want to work somewhere we feel accepted and where we are treated fairly.
BOOST THE CREATIVITY OF YOUR TEAM
Some time ago I managed a sales team. Its greatest strength was the diversity of characters and personalities of its members. Ideas that I would never have come up with myself were easy for others to work out. Everyone saw opportunities and possibilities elsewhere. Having a team with different backgrounds, with different perspectives, skills and experiences, means the creativity and diversity of the ideas that they bring to the team are of the highest quality. Each team member should feel comfortable expressing their different views and the employer’s role is to take advantage of each of their people’s strengths. Surveys have shown that employees who feel that their workplace supports diversity and is committed to improving as an organization has an increased ability to innovate – by as much as 83%! As an IT company, we know how important innovation is, and we encourage our employees to share their views and ideas.
LET YOUR TEAM WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY
This diversity of talent means a wider range of skills, a variety of experiences and perspectives. When we put all the pieces of the puzzle together, there is huge potential for increasing productivity.
In the IT industry, a diversified workforce lets us think out of the box easier and bring new ideas to life faster, so we are able to solve problems quicker as a result. In such organizations, employees feel safer and more comfortable and are willing to share their point of view, even if it differs from the opinions of other team members. Put simply, the organization creates the right atmosphere to do so.
BE ATTRACTIVE TO YOUR BUSINESS PARTNERS
It is not only potential employees who look for organizations which respect diversity. Clients do too: they wish to be sure that they can establish a strong and long-term relationship with such a company. Maybe you aren’t aware of it, but no matter what your product or service is, diversity already exists in your database! As an IT company, we cooperate with customers from different countries and cultures because of tech development, and thanks to having a diverse culture we are able to build stronger relationships with customers from all over the world. At JCommerce there are people from Ukraine, Brazil and Hungary. We believe that our diverse teams can understand our clients’ needs better, because of the different perspectives they have and their different backgrounds. This also helps companies to increase their customer portfolio due to their understanding of different cultures. To understand a customer’s culture is to better understand their needs. And how can this be best achieved, if not through a diversity and inclusion policy?
Diversity is slowly becoming a standard inscribed in the organizational culture of IT companies. Choosing organizations that implement, respect and support diversity brings undeniable results. It seems to be a good and quite simple solution to increase the productivity and creativity of your team. It helps to increase the company’s profits, not only by having a wider range of skills, but also insight into various cultures; thus, you are able to attract new clients from various regions and countries. Diversity allows companies to reduce employee turnover by improving the employees’ level of engagement.
Nowadays diversity is not only about improving the reputation of the company; it’s a standard that we should follow and respect.