The strategic importance of diversity in your management role

As a manager within an organisation, you are the key person who sets the direction and shapes the culture. In this role, you are constantly concerned with maximising performance and achieving business objectives. One aspect that is increasingly recognised as crucial to achieving long-term success is diversity within the management team. Many organisations are choosing to establish equality and diversity policies.

What is diversity in your management role?

Diversity goes beyond merely framing differences in gender, ethnicity or age. It encompasses a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and thinking styles. As a manager, it is essential to actively embrace and harness this diversity in the pursuit of organisational excellence.

What does research tell us?

A survey by Glassdoor revealed the following key statistics:

Ethnically diverse and inclusive companies:

– Are 33% more successful,

– Are 1.7 times more likely to become innovative leaders in their field.

– Are a more attractive choice for the best talent, as 76% of jobseekers consider diversity and inclusion important.

A diverse working environment is particularly important for underrepresented groups: almost a third of employees and jobseekers (32%) would not apply for a job at a company where there is a lack of diversity. This percentage is significantly higher for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) (41%) and among LGBTQ (41%) job seekers and employees compared to white (30%) and non-LGBTQ (32%) job seekers and employees.

So whether you have a recruitment policy for diversity or not, diversity should be included when evaluating your entire recruitment process.

Benefits of diversity in management teams

Diversity in management teams promotes creativity, inclusion and better decision-making. A mix of perspectives leads to innovative solutions to complex problems. Managers play a crucial role in creating an environment where diverse voices are heard and valued. This contributes to a culture of openness and respect, where all team members are free to contribute to success. Diverse teams make better decisions because of a wider range of perspectives and information.

Strengthening the organisation’s reputation as progressive and inclusive increases its appeal to customers and employees. In doing so, managers can promote diversity and convey an inclusive message. Research shows that ethnic and gender diversity leads to higher profits. In short, diversity in management teams is a strategic advantage that contributes to an organisation’s long-term success.

What can you do in your role as a manager to promote diversity?

As a manager, there are several steps you can take to promote equality and diversity:

1.Create awareness: Organise training sessions and workshops on diversity and inclusion for all employees to raise awareness and reduce prejudice.

2.Implement diversity initiatives: Develop and implement specific programmes and policies aimed at attracting, retaining and promoting diverse talents within the company.

3.Ensure transparency: Be transparent about the composition of the workforce and any pay inequalities.

  1. Listen to employees: Encourage open communication and actively listen to employees’ suggestions regarding diversity and take actions.

5.Promote diverse leadership: Encourage the development and promotion of diverse employees to leadership positions.

6.Community engagement: Work with external organisations and communities to attract diverse talent and contribute to broader equality and inclusion initiatives.

7.Ongoing evaluation: Continue to regularly review and adjust diversity policies based on feedback and new developments.

In essence, diversity within management teams is a strategic asset that contributes to an organisation’s success and resilience. As a manager, it is your responsibility to embrace and promote diversity, not only because it is ethically right, but also because it contributes to achieving long-term organisational goals.

Source: VAH Consulting – Gauthier Van Assche

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