Diversity has again been prominent in the news. A Credit Suisse study showed that firms with at least one female board director perform better. More needs to be done to keep diversity on the agenda. And it’s not just a problem at boardroom level; it is at all levels of management.
Our research with several big clients backs up what Credit Suisse’s study shows. It is very much in businesses own interests that they take this on board. We found that:
· Leaders and managers who are more inclusive and respect diversity are higher performing
· Employees that experience a positive culture with regards to diversity and inclusion are more engaged.
There are other, less tangible benefits too: companies will foster a more open and inclusive working culture, where ideas are welcomed and there can be healthy debate. These companies are also likely to attract the brightest talent too.
In the longer term companies should aim for more balanced representation both in terms of gender and ethnicity among managers. Increasing globalisation will make this even more important.
And in the short term, make sure that those currently in leadership positions are inclusive in their approach and are respectful of diversity in their teams. Companies can achieve this using a tool such as 360 degree feedback. This will allow them to see how managers currently manage and show where action is needed to develop behaviours and capabilities.