7 Research-Backed Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace

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Workplace diversity isn’t just a box-ticking exercise.

It’s one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for increasing innovative thinking throughout your organisation, boosting employee engagement across the board, and ultimately driving more revenue.

Not to mention that making sure your organisation is diverse and inclusive is the right thing to do.

Here’s a closer look at the benefits of diversity in the workplace, as well as how to get started with workplace diversity today.

What is diversity in the workplace?

A diverse organisation is made up of people with a wide range of characteristics, such as gender, age, race, sexual orientation, education, and much more.

Of course, the stats in your HRIS only tell half the story. If every employee isn’t having an equitable and inclusive employee experience, your diversity figures really don’t matter. This is why it’s so important to think inclusion-first when it comes to your D&I initiatives.

Benefits of diversity in the workplace

Of course, diversity in and of itself is a worthy goal for any organisation. But did you know they’re more profitable, more effective, and more likely to dominate their industry as well?

Don’t believe us? Read on to discover the research-backed benefits of diversity in the workplace:

1. Diverse teams solve problems faster

Diverse teams solve problems faster and are 87 percent better at making decisions. Which means teams made up of people from all walks of life and with a mix of personality types are a lot better at taking new, uncertain, and complex situations in their stride.

This means a diverse workforce is built to survive and thrive—no matter what changes happen in your industry or the wider world.

2. Diversity matters to your people

Think diversity initiatives are just box-ticking exercises? Then you might be surprised to hear diversity and inclusion really does matter to your team. In fact, 69 percent of executives rate diversity and inclusion as an important issue—and 13 percent of employees even monitor how often senior managers discuss diversity and inclusion in meetings. It’s important to the average employee that everyone has a seat at the table, too. Nearly half of respondents to a study of 1,500 employees said their organisation could improve the diversity of gender, race and ethnicity of its employees.

3. Diverse organisations are employers of choice

76 percent of job seekers and employees say a diverse workforce is an important factor for them when they’re evaluating job opportunities and companies. Another survey of over 1,300 respondents revealed 80 percent think inclusion efforts are an important factor when choosing a company. 

Diverse organisations are more likely to become employers of choice. If diversity and inclusion is an afterthought in your organisation, you’ll be trying to build an employer brand with the handbrake on.

4. Diverse teams perform better

Diversity can have a huge impact on your organisation’s bottom line. In fact, diverse and inclusive companies:


What’s more, organisations are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians if they’re in the top quartile for gender diversity—and 35 percent more likely if they’re in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity.

In short: diverse companies are more profitable.

5. Diverse teams are more innovative

Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovative.

And it’s not hard to imagine why. A diverse group of people will have an easier time coming up with inventive solutions to problems than a group that all bring a similar set of life experiences to the table.

This isn’t lost on your employees, either. In fact, 74 percent of millennial employees believe their organisation is more innovative when it has a culture of inclusion. Make diversity a priority and your team will not only come up with better ideas—they’ll feel like they’re part of a more dynamic and creative team.

6. Employees of diverse organisations are more engaged

Improving employee engagement is near the top of most organisations’ wishlist. And, as one of the seven key employee engagement drivers, diversity and inclusion plays a huge part in that. In fact, millennials are 83 percent more likely to be engaged at work at inclusive companies.

Make your organisation a more inclusive place to work and your entire team is likely to enjoy their work more, get more done, and stick around for longer.

7. Diverse leadership teams are more effective

Businesses with diverse management teams generate 19 percent more revenue than their less diverse counterparts. Plus, companies with diverse boards notice significantly higher profits

And every 10 percent increase in gender diversity among senior executive teams in the United Kingdom equates to 3.5 percent more in earnings before interest and taxes.

Even the most hard-headed capitalist can’t argue with those numbers. Diversity in the boardroom is far from tokenism. Instead, companies with diversity and inclusion baked into every level of their business tend to run rings around their competitors.

How to get started with workplace diversity

Diversity, equity and inclusion can feel like a difficult challenge to tackle. True workplace diversity—the kind that’s more than a box-ticking exercise based on surface-level stats—starts with employee listening. And a well-thought-out D&I survey can provide your people with a safe space to provide you with candid and actionable feedback on where you’re falling short.

Grab your copy of the 10 key questions for your diversity and inclusion survey below to find out the most effective questions to ask your team when you next take the pulse of how diverse your people think your organisation is.

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10 Key Questions for Your Next Diversity and Inclusion Survey

Diversity and inclusion is more than just a tick-box exercise these days; thriving organisations know exactly how important it is to create cultures where everyone feels safe and respected.

Diversity and Inclusion Survey Questions Ebook