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What does diversity mean for your business? It’s a textbook question that many organizations have a formal answer to, but there’s a difference between words and action.

We’ve seen firsthand how hiring a diverse workforce can shape a business for the better. Taking a hard look at diversity goals and policies on a regular basis and adjusting practices accordingly is what has kept ATR growing steadily over the years. We encourage diversity in our workforce; here’s why you should too.

How Diverse Hiring Sparks Business Growth

The topic of diversity can summon a lot of charged feelings and emotions in people. Notions like inequality and injustice are inherently tied to the reason why more diverse workforces are needed, but for the moment, consider diversity from a purely business standpoint: it’s the secret to true growth.

Professionals with different backgrounds have different experiences that shape their perspectives. For this reason, recruiting a diverse workforce can usher in new ideas and outside-the-box innovation. Think of it this way: having a Harvard Business School grad on your team sounds great, right? But what if your entire team was comprised exclusively of Harvard Business School grads? While that can certainly be a successful recipe, it may invite tunnel vision if every individual was trained in the same way. In fact, companies with high diversity have a 53% higher return on investment than companies with low diversity because they make decisions and form ideas based on many different viewpoints.

Additionally, people often choose to do business with those who can relate to them. They want to feel that their vendor or client understands them. This is why it’s important to have a more diverse workforce that better matches those of the clients you want work with. After all, how can you sell to a minority-owned business or a female-led organization if your company has no experience or knowledge of those demographics? Consider that companies with at least one woman on the board outperform companies with no women board members by 26%. Furthermore, organizations with strong ethnic and cultural diversity outperform their non-diverse competitors by 33%. If nothing else, it’s simply good business sense to diversify.

Finally, the employment market is tight for most industries. It’s impossible to stay fully staffed if a company overlooks diverse individuals when the unemployment rate is so low. For the first time, the majority of labor market entrants are nonwhite. When 90% of “new” professionals identify as a minority, these are the individuals who can open up your talent pool and keep your company growing.

What Does Diversity Look Like?

Diversity takes different shapes, but there are several prominent groups of skilled people to consider. These are the professionals who can make a difference by filling your roles, ushering in fresh ideas, and bringing to the table a strong work ethic forged through adversity.

Female Professionals

With the gender pay gap slowly closing, equality for women in business has come a long way. However, it still has a long way to go. Women are underrepresented in many industries and workforces, but they represent some of the most insightful minds in corporate America. Just look at Jasmine Crowe, Reshma Saujani, or Nicole Lacob, who are just a few women with game-changing ideas. Female professionals are an asset to any team as they can inspire and mentor other women in your organization. It’s a chief reason why 61% of women look at the gender diversity of leadership teams when deciding where to work.

Ethnic and Cultural Minorities

Minorities represent some of the hardest-working individuals in this country, proven by the increasing rate of minority presence on Fortune 500 boards. ATR was founded by immigrants and is led by a Hispanic CEO and President, so it’s no surprise to us that employment rates for Hispanic women grew more than any other demographic in the last 12 years. After all, when 67% of candidates consider diversity when evaluating an offer, a strong minority presence in your workforce attracts more talent. Plus, if you’re a B2B organization, your prospective clients may have policies that outline their intention to work with companies with diverse makeups.

Persons with a Disability

While women and ethnic minorities may be the first groups that come to mind when considering diversity in your workforce,  persons with a disability are even further underrepresented in business. Only 19.1% of these individuals are employed. The label of disabled has many connotations that cause companies to overlook this group, when the reality is that persons with a disability can often be productive employees if only given the right accommodations. While that can sound expensive, most accommodations can be implemented for under $500, and that’s a small price to pay for filling an open role with a talented individual. Take a page from companies like Walgreens, and put together a diversity inclusion plan that will boost your culture and grow your business.

Hiring a Diverse Workforce

At a time when there’s still a pervasive unconscious bias in hiring, it’s important to get strategic and approach diversity with a stronger intent. Many companies are hiring Chief Diversity Officers and rewriting HR procedures. They’re making sure diverse individuals are involved with each hiring decision and educating staff on the power of inclusion. However you choose to go about hiring a diverse workforce, know that doing so will accelerate your growth, improve your recruiting, and ultimately make the world a more inclusive place to live.

Do you want to work with a diverse company? Need to recruit diverse individuals? ATR is the right partner for you.

 

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