Diversity is Profitable

By Robin Adams – Search Director- Stanton Chase Hong Kong

As markets expand globally, being able to understand and reach out to the individual needs of employees and stakeholders from all walks of life is paramount. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, businesses need to invest in programs that increase their ability to meet the competition head on.

At Stanton Chase we help businesses understand how having a diverse and inclusive workforce at the executive level can give an organization a key advantage, and how diversity in overall employee mix increases market and business success. Here are some of the important ideas we often present to our clients.

Diversity is here to stay: Diversity recruitment is one of the hottest topics in the corporate environment today.  A diverse workforce continues to grow in importance and relevance, and has many benefits.

Diversity increases connections: Diverse teams are better able to see and understand the needs of diverse customers and stakeholders.  Diversity increases our understanding of nuances in the marketplace.

Diversity increases employee motivation: Employees maintain and improve productivity when they are treated with dignity and respect. This is even more important for members of a diversity group who are hyper-sensitized to the issues of how they are treated.

Diversity amplifies innovation: A work environment that embraces diversity is by definition open, flexible and welcoming of newness. Diversity of all sorts fosters creativity, uniqueness and employee innovation.

Diversity enhances recruitment and retention success: A workplace that emphasizes diversity and inclusion as a core value is able to attract and retain a higher-quality workforce both from the mainstream as well as the various diversity constituencies. People support being treated fairly.

Diversity improves engagement: An environment in which employee talents are valued will foster output and increase engagement of the company’s most critical resource, which is its human capital.

At Stanton Chase we are also able to provide our clients with the research that supports action on diversity and inclusion. For example, in an article for the social justice oriented non-profit, VillageLife.org, Melissa Lauber reported on findings from the federal Glass Ceiling Commission which investigated the presence and effect of diversity in big business. She said:

“The Glass Ceiling Commission issued findings indicating diversity hiring has a positive impact on the bottom line.  A report on the economic imperative of managing diversity, that includes more than 70 pages of analysis, concluded simply: “Organizations which excel at leveraging diversity (including both the hiring and advancement into senior management jobs, and providing an environment conducive to contributions from people of diverse backgrounds) will experience better financial performance in the long run than organizations which are not effective in managing diversity.”  http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/reich/reports/ceiling.pdf

One of the many statistics used to bolster this finding was a study, by Covenant Investment Management, which rated the performance of the Standard and Poor’s 500 Companies on a series of factors relating to the hiring and advancement of women and non-whites.

The study found that the annualized return for the 100 companies which rated lowest in equal employment opportunities issues averaged 7.9 percent, compared to 18.3 percent for the 100 companies that rated highest in their equal employment opportunities. “Thus, the stock market performance of the firms that were high performers on the glass ceiling-related goals was 2.5 times higher than that of the firms that invested little in glass ceiling-related issues.”  http://www.covasset.com/about.htm

At Stanton Chase we help our clients understand the positive impact of diversity hiring and advancement.  The bottom line: diversity is profitable…. very profitable.

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