The Long-Term Impact of Inclusivity and Diversity In Company Bottom Line

What company, regardless of size or scale, does not want the global marketplace? America has always thrived for its inclusivity and diversity. As the World Economic Forum points out, inclusivity affects positive changes for companies. Revenues can increase. Market share can expand. The figures in 50 years bear this out. Research has shown that the U.S. grew economically by 2.5 percent per employee from the year 1960 to 2010.

That amounts to an overall improvement by 25 percent. And the differentiating factor that made this possible was the gradual inclusion of  women and people of color into the workplace — and in positions that carry huge responsibilities and exert enormous influence.

These make big cities like New York and Silicon Valley thrive. Having the best talents in the world make American companies gain the global footprint they need to succeed. The world is the marketplace. Silicon Valley is inclusive and diverse, because many of the industries here cater to a global marketplace and they are part of a democratic culture.

A company’s management team therefore might be selling themselves short for not understanding why diversity and inclusion are important and should be a norm in their workplace. Ethics and forward thinking are the reasons usually embraced. However, there are also solid business and financial reasons that support their establishment.

Let’s cite an example. Fifty years ago, a female college graduate could count herself lucky to land a position as a secretary. Today, while the glass ceiling has not yet been totally breached, educated women from all cultures, races, ethnicities, and religions are running companies as hired CEOs with a considerable economic package, or as entrepreneurs.

Urban Land backs up this report with its own research, particularly in the real estate business. It notes that real estate firms with female directors on the board tend to outperform and outprofit their counterparts run by a strictly male board.

Urban Land gives one reason why inclusion and diversity can lead to a financial windfall:  the millennial generation who has grown up in a world where these values are embraced, if not advocated. The young employees and assignees who had started working in the ‘90s are more accepting of their peers — regardless of their differences in gender, gender orientation, creed, and color.

Now that they are becoming managers and decision-makers as they advance up the corporate ladder, they can deal and do business with peers who come from a different cultural perspective or tradition. It is not just they do not let these differences get in the way — they even study them to see if they can be beneficial or advantageous to their own objectives. At the very least, millennials who want to experience as much of life as they could will want to understand diversity for its own sake.

Another reason why inclusivity and diversity can generate economic growth is the empathy that is being built between enterprise and customer. Just to give a general example:  a female sales manager who is also a mother can reach out to female, child-rearing customers than a single male employee can. The same is true with ethnicity and language. An employee who speaks Spanish and comes from a rich Mexican heritage would be able to hold longer conversations with the Latin American market, than a Caucasian who only speaks English.

Global mobility managers who do champion diversity and inclusivity can now use these findings as added arsenal come budget time. The serenity and celebration of various cultures that are found in more open places like Northern California make ROIs in their recruitment of assignees well worth it. At the end of the day, nothing speaks more powerfully to management than profitability and productivity.