Our Differences Make Us Stronger: Economic Impact of Workplace Diversity

Oct 13, 2015

Our Differences Make Us Stronger

Our nation is progressively becoming more diverse. Just this year, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Television personality Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, made an impact on the movement for transgender equality by openly talking about her gender transition. More CEOs are using their platforms to address diversity issues. Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson recently credited diversity as a key for completing necessary work in the defense sector, while Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich announced a major diversity in technology initiative at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show. Personal opinions aside, these are just a few examples of how diversity in the United States is becoming widely accepted, and even celebrated, including in the American workplace.

Companies with a workplace inclusive of race, gender, and sexual orientation, to name a few, have a more solid footing in the marketplace than others. A diverse workforce can capture a greater share of the consumer market by effectively marketing to more consumers. Economic theory suggests that consumers will simply not spend money if they fundamentally disagree with the values of a company, making slow-to-change organizations nonexistent.

The same can be true for companies with employees who struggle to balance the costs of working for their organization against their personal lives. A diverse and inclusive workforce helps businesses avoid employee turnover. Hostile, non-inclusive work environments often force employees to leave, and the failure to retain qualified human capital results in avoidable turnover costs at the company's expense. Having a discrimination-free work environment helps businesses avoid these costs. Gains in employee engagement and retention alone make for a compelling case for diversity.

Hiring the best often means recruiting from a diverse pool of candidates. Investing in job candidates is similar to investing in the stock market—diversification is essential. When companies recruit from a diverse set of potential employees, they are more likely to hire the most talented and capable people in the labor market. In an increasingly competitive economy where talent is crucial to improving the bottom line, pre-employment screening cannot afford to be limiting in any way. Pooling from the largest and most diverse set of candidates is increasingly necessary for any organization's hiring system.

In order to become more competitive in the economic market, businesses need to adapt to the nation's increasing diversity. According to the Center for American Progress, the results of the 2010 U.S. Census project that the racial and ethnic makeup of the United States will undergo dramatic changes over the next few decades. In particular, by the year 2050 there will no longer be any clear racial and ethnic majority because the most rapidly growing number of residents in our nation today are of Hispanic and Asian descent. The only way our economy will grow and benefit from these changing demographics is if companies meet the needs of these diverse communities.

Additionally, if the United States hopes to create a competitive economy in our globalized world, diversity in the workplace is essential. Our country's increasing diversity provides an opportunity to capitalize on the unique talents and contributions that diverse communities offer. Human capital increases as more diverse people enter the workforce; therefore, workplace diversity drives economic growth and allows our country to develop a competitive advantage over other countries that lack the level of diversity of the United States.

Our national diversity is very real and is becoming more visible each day. The diversity return on investment is hard to ignore. Businesses have learned that they can draw upon human capital differences to strengthen their bottom line. What steps is your company taking to increase workplace diversity and inclusion? ZERORISK HR can help. As an innovative leader in providing human capital solutions for pre-employment assessment services and post-hire employee development programs, we can help your organization find and develop the best diverse talent available.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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