The Importance of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

Culture is what shapes us, it is the reason we have certain beliefs, influences how we behave, and is what gives us our identity. Cultural diversity is the representation of different cultural and ethnic groups in society.

When talking about cultural diversity in the workplace, it is the inclusion of employees from different backgrounds, different races, different sexual orientations, and different political views. The term cultural diversity encourages an environment of inclusion, with representatives from a range of various backgrounds that come together to work as a team.

Diversity and business performance

There is substantial research to show that diversity brings many advantages to an organization: increased profitability and creativity, stronger governance, and better problem-solving abilities.

Employees with diverse backgrounds bring to bear their own perspectives, ideas, and experiences, helping to create organizations that are resilient and effective, and which outperform organizations that do not invest in diversity.

A Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation.

This finding is significant for tech companies, start-ups, and industries where innovation is the key to growth. It shows that diversity is not just a metric to be strived for; it is actually an integral part of a successful revenue-generating business.

Diverse cultural perspectives can inspire creativity and drive innovation

Our culture influences the way in which we see the world. A variety of viewpoints along with the wide-ranging personal and professional experience of an international team can offer new perspectives that inspire colleagues to see the workplace—and the world—differently.

Diversity of thought has been shown to breed creativity and drive innovation, helping to solve problems and meet customer needs in new and exciting ways. For example, cosmetic giant L’Oréal attributes much of its impressive success in emerging markets to its multicultural product development teams.

Diverse teams are more productive and perform better

The range of experience, expertise, and working methods that a diverse workplace offers can boost problem-solving capacity and lead to greater productivity. In fact, studies have shown organizations with a culture of diversity and inclusion are both happier and more productive.

Where working in homogeneous teams can seem easier, it can cause a business to settle for the status quo. Diversity, on the other hand, can breed healthy competition, stretching a team in a positive way to achieve their best.

Global Impact

Looking to the big picture, a diverse workforce – employees of all abilities, creeds, and experiences – make a difference. You have the ability to make a difference, in every community in which you operate, by making a difference in the lives of your employees.

Beyond that, a diverse workforce grants you a diverse and global perspective – a point of view rich with the incredible nuances of human experience and culture – and that means you will have a greater chance of communicating and expanding to more diverse markets, both at home and further afield. Diversity is the chance to successfully develop your business in a global market. 

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