July 1, 2020
Diversity displayed in company culture is a hallmark of progress in our current era. It shows awareness. It shows open-mindedness. It shows equality and appreciation of differences.
And those companies that are advocating diversity—not just for the sake of it—are seeing a profound impact on engagement, innovation, and performance.
Several studies surrounding diversity in the workplace have found that for every 1% increase in gender diversity, company revenue increases by 3%. And for every 1% increase in ethnic diversity, company revenue increased by 15%.
This is profound data for company growth, but beyond the bottom line, diversity has shown to also support meaningful innovation.
Paula Loop and Paul DeNicola wrote in an article for Harvard Business Review, “after years of asking corporate directors about the importance of diversity in the boardroom, we’ve got some good news: the vast majority see value in including more women and minorities. Nearly 95% of directors agree that diversity brings unique perspectives to the boardroom, while 84% believe it enhances board performance.”
We’re highlighting nine companies from around the world whose commitment to diversifying their teams and the culture they share has changed the way they do business for the better.
Explore nine impactful initiatives these companies have started to encourage difference and innovation.
Sodexo made it a goal ten years ago to increase the percentage of female staff members—which stood at a mere 17% in 2009. Now, 40% of all staff members in Sodexo are women. 43% of the members on the board of directors are female, and the company runs 14 Gender Balance Networks worldwide. What they have found is that when there is an optimal gender balance within an organization, employee engagement increases by 4 percentage points, gross profit increases by 23% and brand image strengthens by 5 percentage points.
As a company with more than 100,000 employees, J&J has made astounding progress in implementing company-wide initiatives to increase diversity. They’re making it happen through employee resource groups, mentoring programmes and ‘Diversity University’, which is a dynamic website that helps employees to understand the benefits of working collaboratively.
They’ve also been awarded several accolades for their efforts including a ranking in U.S. Veterans Magazine as the “Best of the Best” for strides made in diversity efforts and Working Mother Magazine’s 100 Best Companies list for the past 28 years.
At Pandora, staff members have the chance to be involved in three different community groups—Mixtape, Pride, and Pandora Women. The Mixtape group focuses on employees of color, Pride focuses on LGBTQ staff and allies, and Pandora Women focuses on gender equality.
Mastercard lives by the statement, “diversity is what drives better insights, better decisions, and better products. It is the backbone of innovation.”
Among their special diversity initiatives is a program to teach older employees social media communication and interaction from their millennial counterparts in an effort to increase digital literacy and ability.
Novartis has taken to changing the way their employees talk about differences. Within the organization, the word ‘disability’ has been replaced with ‘diverseability’ because they encourage their teams not to view people living with disabilities as having a lack of ability, but rather having diverse skills and proficiencies.
In 2017 Coke implemented a new parental benefits policy whereby 6 weeks of paid leave will be extended to all new mothers and fathers. The move was championed by ‘Coca-Cola Millennial Voices’, a group of young employees tasked with making sure there is a healthy level of employee retention in millennial consumers and staff members.
This global cosmetics company sponsors disability awareness workshops in India, pairs employees with multicultural students in the Netherlands, and offers training to young adults in vulnerable Pakistan communities—to name just a few of its many global initiatives.
As a global giant, Marriott has leveraged its influence in cities around the world to women. Women-owned business enterprises make up approximately 10% of Marriott’s supply chain and they vow to have 1,500 open hotels owned by women and diverse partners by 2020.
“Different is better.” That’s Lenovo’s tagline.
With 57,000 employees in over 60 countries, they’ve built success on a strong foundation of diversity and inclusion. Including a perfect 100 percent score on the Corporate Index for LGBTQ equality.
Achieving the positive outcomes of a diverse company culture through programs like these is remarkable, but not easy as we discovered looking into these examples. However, the guidepost that each of these organizations follows is serious consideration of the unique challenges, opportunities, and individual voices within their own offices. Starting there is the start of astounding growth and change.