The number one competitive advantage towards building new technologies and driving innovation is the people involved in the company, people with dreams, but more important – diverse people. It’s said that diversity is the pathway to richness, but what does diversity really mean? If you look it up – it means variety. Well, we all heard that variety is the spice of life so let’s spice it up and talk about this necessary topic – diversity and inclusion.
Equality, diversity and inclusion will be the keywords for this article, if this subject is important to you and you want to be more inclusive, please keep reading. And hey, it’s 2021 – this should be important to you!
For me, diversity is about different people and different ways of thinking. It’s about non-identical conversations, experiences, perspectives, opinions, and different nuances that are brought to the table. Diversity makes you (and your business) evolve. It’s a beautiful thing and yet so many companies are struggling with it. Studies show that we have a limited ability to experience a fulfilled life if everyone around us looks like us, thinks like us and acts like us – imagine all the opportunities and innovation your company is missing out on if you have a homogenous and non-diverse organization!
I grew up in the suburbs of Stockholm and clearly have another origin than Swedish. I’m a woman, I have a background that differs from many Swedes and early in my career I chose to work within the tech industry (which I love!). I’ve worked in organizations where diversity hasn’t been a priority, and I’ve struggled to get into positions in organizations where people of variety hasn’t been of interest. Based on my strong believe in equality and inclusion, as well as my personal experiences, diversity is of great importance for me in my work and something I strongly advise all my clients to implement a strategy around.
My clients often ask me how they can work with attracting more diverse talents and actually achieve a more heterogeneous workplace. There are many answers to the question, but I strongly believe that shifting mindset is crucial. If you see the value in having a diverse workplace, you will be eager to make necessary change and you will succeed!
Understanding that having employees that don’t all share the same gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical abilities or race has so many advantages. It all boils down to the determination of the company, how important diversity truly is, and the willingness to challenge our own beliefs in order to create long term value for the business.
Understanding WHY your organization isn’t diverse is the key to understanding HOW you would be able to engage and retain diversity and talent. When you have the answer to your WHY – break the answers into actions so it doesn’t just become knowledge that leads to no change. It’s about having the courage to change and to deliver in action rather than filling the corporate agenda with empty talk. The organization and the Talent Acquisition function need to target diverse candidates and if you focus on finding diversity – it is right in front of you.