With an increasing number of brands and businesses committing to accelerate and promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace, cultural diversity has been pushed to the forefront of the conversation.
It’s no secret that underrepresented talent isn’t being utilized, but working to implement strategies to increase cultural diversity in the workplace can change that. Many businesses have newly committed to promoting cultural diversity, but face obstacles — namely a full understanding of the importance and benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace. We’re here to change that.
Here’s everything you need to know about how cultural diversity benefits businesses and how to promote cultural diversity in your workplace.
Why is Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Essential?
As the U.S. is known as a melting pot of different cultures and personal identities, workplace diversity is almost unavoidable. Cultural diversity in the workplace is essential for businesses that want their teams to reflect the diversity of America’s citizens and customers.
Though the pool of available talent is diverse, professional talent from an underrepresented group is not utilized at a frequency that signifies progress. While there is no set marker that indicates the “right amount of diversity,” a culturally homogenous workplace is an indicator of failure to attain workplace diversity.
Moreover, a lack of diversity will adversely affect your business. There is a proven correlation between businesses that work to hire diverse talent and those that are successful. Findings from a diversity report published by The McKinsey Company show that the more diverse a company is, the greater the chance it will experience financial returns higher than the industry median. Cultural diversity is important for employees, brands, and customers.
Benefits of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
Businesses have more to lose from a lack of cultural diversity than they do from creating initiatives to promote it. Here’s everything that businesses stand to gain from the benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace.
Make Informed Decisions
We live in a digital age. Assume that any missteps that are culturally insensitive that your business makes will be recorded and shared on the internet. The internet is forever. By hiring a diverse team of employees, your business can better understand how business decisions impact different cultures.
Additionally, community outreach efforts could be made exponentially more effective if they are spearheaded by a member of that community’s culture. The barriers to effective community outreach, whether they are language or social custom, can be overcome with the knowledge of an individual from the culture. Cultural diversity improves community outreach.
Increase Employee Productivity
Productivity is a buzzword these days. However, while fancy gadgets and office perks can positively impact productivity, facilitating an environment where every employee is valued equally can significantly boost productivity. Not only does this improve relationships between team members, but it also ensures a level playing field. When everyone feels comfortable collaborating and contributing, your company benefits.
In a culturally-diverse workplace setting, individuals from underrepresented cultures won’t be hampered by a lack of confidence and security. They don’t have to hold anything back to “fit in.” Rather, these team members can add to the office culture with their unique perspective.
Promote Creativity and Innovation
“A single window lights only a portion of a room, multiple windows light the way to the door.”
Working with people who have different perspectives is extremely valuable to creativity in the workplace. Cultural diversity enables businesses and teams to leverage their employees’ unique perspectives in a way that benefits all involved. With a variety of attitudes, customers, skills, and other aspects that are influenced by culture, it’s easier for teams to come up with creative solutions to problems and identify unique areas of improvement.
Promote Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
When it comes to improving cultural diversity in the workplace, there’s a big difference between saying and doing. Workplace cultural diversity is an achievement that requires work and effort. Businesses looking to actualize their goals of improving workplace diversity should start with the following initiatives.
- Hire Blind: Though we may work to overcome bias, it’s been proven that unconscious bias negatively influences hiring practices. Reduce unconscious bias by hiring blind.
- Hire Experts: Bolster diversity & inclusion efforts by hiring experts who are experts in actualizing workplace diversity improvements.
- Inspect Your Workplace Culture: Workplace culture should not be so fixed that new employees have to work to fit in. Different cultures add to the workplace environment, not take away from it.
Workplace cultural diversity isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s an exceedingly beneficial element of any successful business or brand that may require overhauled practices and significant effort. However, empowering professionals from different cultures and facilitating relationships with people from different backgrounds does both your business and the world some good.
Mentor Spaces wants to help you accomplish your business’s goals of improving cultural diversity. Mentor Spaces offers underrepresented students and early career professionals group mentorship opportunities while supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives in business.
With a panel of mentors working with multiple mentees (protégés), Mentor Spaces enables professionals to maximize their impact with those that need it. Moreover, we are on a mission to address the opportunity gap faced by young underrepresented students and professionals by giving them access to an experienced professional as a guide. Get in touch today.