Does diversity make a difference?

HR Law Matters raises the question of diversity in the workplace and its impact on the bottom line.  Citing recent Supreme Court hearings on the matter, Brandon Dhande writes:

Notably, dozens of America’s largest employers (including Proctor and Gamble, IBM, United Airlines, Viacom, Pfizer, Xerox, and Cisco) filed anamicus “(friend of the court”) brief in support of the University of Texas’ admissions policy.  These employers argue that having and recruiting a diverse workforce is “a business and economic imperative” that makes them more competitive and increases overall revenue.

This is a deeply complex issue and one that touches on many hot button issues.  An HR policies impact on the bottom line can range from generalities like “it’s the right thing to do” to brand image in the consumer workplace, to a genuine belief that encouraging diversity, encourages broader thinking, better engagement with customers, and an overall more productive workplace.

Again from Dhande’s article:

 According to the companies, employers need to recruit graduates with diverse backgrounds for the following reasons:

  • Such graduates have an increased ability to facilitate unique and creative approaches to problem-solving by integrating different perspectives and moving beyond linear, conventional thinking;
  • They are better equipped to understand a wider variety of consumer needs, including needs specific to particular groups, and thus develop products and services that appeal to a variety of consumers and to market those offerings in appealing ways;
  • They are better able to work productively with business partners, employees, and clients in the United States and around the world; and
  • They are more likely to generate a more positive work environment by decreasing incidents of discrimination and stereotyping.
But what do you think?  Whether your inside the HR world, an employee, or manager, how does diversity impact what everyone can agree on: a successful workplace.
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Grant Derner

By Grant Derner

Grant Derner is Executive Vice President at Nesco Resource. He oversees the Engineering and IT area for the Eastern half of the U.S.

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