Put the “D” in Corporate Culture: Why Diversity Matters

Safe to say, 2018 was a defining year for diversity. Not only have we had history-making blockbusters like Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, showing us that representation does matter; it has also been a momentous year for women in overcoming outdated gender norms whether in entertainment, sports or politics. Because diversity always matters and is also a trending conversation these days, we don’t want to delay anymore, so let’s jump right into it.

Inclusion to Delusion

As progressive as our society may seem these days, efforts put into workplace diversity and inclusion are still lacking. The idea of hiring a “token” employee, one who belongs to a minority group, only to create the impression of social inclusiveness to avoid accusations of discrimination is utterly delusional. Diversity takes more than just bringing in people of a specific gender, colour or special needs to your team. A wholesome workplace culture includes:

  • Showing respect
  • Allowing collaboration
  • Embracing new ideas
  • Acknowledging achievements, and
  • Providing a sense of belonging to your employees

Before you think that this is yet another absurd expectation we entitled millennials whine about, let me remind you that this generation is more likely to favour purpose over paycheque. If you can create an environment they can be enthusiastic about, then congratulations, you’ve nailed it!

Let’s Talk About the “D” in Hiring

Some statistics might help convince you why the “D” should not be overlooked so easily – according to Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers said that a diverse workplace is important when considering job offers. Consequently, diversity can be a competitive advantage to leverage over your rivals. Hiring diversely, however,  doesn’t mean to seek talents more specifically. Even with all the right intentions, if you begin the hiring process with the mindset of finding someone strictly for the sake of promoting “diversity”, you’ve already gone off the trail. To avoid subconscious bias, we encourage recruiters to consider candidates objectively with the focus on one’s skills, motivations and personality. Let the facts speak for themselves.

Culture Add is the Way

Most of us tend to gravitate towards those who are similar to ourselves in either appearances, hobbies or beliefs and asking questions such as “Is this someone I’d hang out or grab a beer or coffee with?” Hiring, however, goes beyond looking for a new office buddy. Someone who is easy to get along with may not necessarily bring increased productivity to your team. Companies looking to build more diverse teams should never allow the beer test to shape your decisions. Instead, consider the value that a “culture add” can bring – what new ideas will they bring to the table? What values will they add to put us in the right direction and help us grow?

Whichever category your next candidate may fall into, if you can appeal to all demographics, imagine how stronger your company will become and how it’s going to create a positive domino effect on our future.