12 October 2022

Top 10 Benefits of a Diverse Workforce

Chloe Feather

Red Tiger Consulting


Diversity in the workforce means an inclusive and engaging environment where people from all backgrounds and experiences are employed. Though ‘workplace diversity’ can sound like a box-ticking exercise or be more about social reputation, having a diverse team and company is a valuable and important asset that you don’t want to skip out on. It’s not just about it being the right thing to do, it should be an actionable business priority.

A diverse workforce may refer to diversity in age, gender, ethnicity, religious & political beliefs, physical abilities, and sexual orientation to name a few. Understanding and embracing these differences by employing a diverse team will not only be good for individual employee satisfaction and wider social equality, but it can have real, tangible impacts on your business. This may actually put your company at a competitive advantage, because diversity isn’t just about the face of the company, it has some serious benefits to overall growth and productivity. Here are just 10 of the reasons why employing a diverse workforce will drive your company further:

1. Increased Productivity

Having a more diverse workforce means that there are a broader range of perspectives as there will be people with all kinds of backgrounds and experiences to draw from. The beauty of it is, not everyone thinks and works in the same way, so having a diverse team means that there are going to be fresh perspectives and different ideas brought to the table. Harvard Business Review actually found that teams are quicker at solving problems when they’re cognitively diverse, therefore increasing the overall productivity and workflow of the team as they become more efficient in their processes.

2. Improved Creativity and Innovation

The variety of perspectives, experiences, skills, and cultures as mentioned above, all drive ‘out of the box’ thinking and solution-driven working. This can encourage the flow of exciting conversation and fresh ideas, allowing your team to be more comfortable as themselves and enable creativity to thrive. See this Ted Talk for more:

3. Greater Cultural Awareness

When thinking about a team that isn’t diverse, there may naturally be a lack of understanding of cultural and social differences as they are effectively shielded from those lived experiences. This may actively limit your business growth and connections, whereas having a diverse workforce that increases cultural awareness among employees can generate greater understanding, communication, and teamwork. Overall, this creates a much more positive and harmonious work environment for everyone.

How Diversity Makes Teams More Innovative

4. Better Marketing Opportunities & Understanding Your Customers

On the face of it, being seen and known as a diverse company opens your reach to more people, therefore driving profits further. Going deeper than that, employees with similar backgrounds to those you are marketing to are more likely to promote better understanding between the company and the customer. This can create a greater bond and customer loyalty, allowing you to reach untapped demographics but without coming across as disingenuous.

benefits of a diverse workforce graphic
Benefits of a Diverse Workforce

5. Increased Employee Engagement

A diverse workforce can be seen as a benefit not just to your customers, but also to your current employees. Quite simply, employees that feel supported and accepted for who they are as individuals, are more likely to be happier and more engaged in the workplace. They may even feel empowered to be working for a diverse company and among a diverse group of people, feeling inspired and proud to work there.

6. Greater Employee Retention

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous benefit; a workforce that isn’t diverse or doesn’t promote an inclusive and supportive culture can create a hostile environment, whether that’s outwardly direct or subtle. A toxic company culture with employees that don’t feel accepted or accommodated for may increase staff turnover as employees will leave to seek more diverse companies. Research has shown that 1 in 3 would not apply to a job at a company where there is a lack of diversity among its workforce, meaning that you may be losing people faster than you can fill the roles simply for not promoting diversity.

7. Wider Talent Pool

If you’re limiting your hiring searches (whether you mean to or not) to a particular group of people, you’re likely to be missing out on a wealth of people with great experience, skills, and knowledge that they could bring to the team. Though you might naturally steer towards people you have in mind initially as those who would fit the role and dismiss others perhaps through unconscious bias, actively opening the opportunity to a wider, more diverse talent pool means you’re much more likely to hire the best person for the job. Steve’s blog, Oldie but Goldie, covers this in the context of hiring older employees.

8. Higher Profits

Many of the benefits above have suggested that a diverse workforce is more likely to generate new ideas, solve problems and make decisions faster, and reach broader audiences, all of which lead to higher profits. A recent McKinsey report revealed that companies who focus the most on racial and ethnic diversity are 36% more likely to have financial returns that are above average for their industry.

9. A Positive Reputation & Employer Brand

Showing that you are a diverse and inclusive team can increase your reputation in the eyes of clients/customers, making them more willing to interact and be associated with you. This will generate much more positive leads and activity. On the flipside, it can also improve your employer brand, meaning more people are likely to want to work for you, which boosts recruitment and business growth.

10. Global Impact

To look at it simply, the more diverse companies there are, the bigger the difference it makes in the global workforce and the working experience for generations to come. Think about the bigger picture, not just why this can benefit your company right now, but how improving accessibility opportunities can have a greater impact in addressing inequalities in the wider workplace.

Now ask yourself, how diverse is your workforce, truly? If it’s not where you’d like it to be, there are ways to improve it and start reaching those benefits outlined above:

  • Having those conversations, even if they are uncomfortable ones, means that you are open to seeing what could be improved and how; these honest and productive conversations will start the necessary change
  • Understanding unconscious bias and addressing these practices, means taking more personal responsibility to make your workplace more inclusive, which can be actively passed on to your employees to do the same

Have you got any other suggestions on improving workplace diversity? Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below, we’d love to hear what you think.

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Published by Chloe Feather

Chloe is a recent Human Geography graduate from the University of Leeds, working as Red Tiger’s Research and Marketing Manager


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