International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. New Link Consulting holds the values of gender equality and diversity as a central part of the fabric of our organization. We consider it a crucial aspect of our culture and success.
In recent years, the gap in gender equality in the workplace within the UK has slowly improved with one in three board positions of FTSE 100 companies now being held by women. Nevertheless, another research group ranked the UK at 11th out of 18 developed countries that include the USA and Sweden in terms of gender diversity (based on pay, board level representation and overall ratios to male staff). The combined view suggests progress can still be made. Beyond quotas and statistics, diversity is a real sign of strength in business. Three pillars of strength through diversity are outlined below:
1. A diverse workforce signals an attractive work environment for talent.
There’s lots of evidence to suggest that young jobseekers specifically look for employers with an inclusive culture. Having a balanced executive board creates a positive image that is both inspiring and attractive. Further to bringing in top talent, companies with a fair representation at the top can expect to retain their employees for longer. Male-dominant management can be demoralising for employees who see a bias, club-like culture.
2. When you value diversity, you encourage innovation.
Significant research has shown that diverse teams can develop more innovative ideas. When people from different contexts work together, their unique perspectives often lead to greater creativity. Diverse teams are also more likely to have some common experiences with customers or end users which is an essential enabler for relationship building. With this advantage, teams will also be able to create better products.
3. Diversity drives better decision making and business success.
“Diversity results in better decision-making and plays an essential role in a company’s long-term success,” said Chris Cummings, CEO of the Investment Association. Compared to individual decision makers, all-male teams make better business decisions 58% of the time, while gender diverse teams do so 73% of the time. This figure rises to 87% when age, race and different geographies are also factored in.