Our rapidly changing demographics, is causing businesses to be more mindful of the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce. As markets expand globally, being able to understand and reach out to the individual needs of people from different cultures and regions will be vital for economic growth. A multicultural, talented, and trained employee base gives companies that advantage.
Most companies accept the benefits of a diverse workforce, but the notion can be hard to prove or quantify, especially when it comes to measuring how diversity affects the ability to innovate.
But a new research by Harvard Business School provides a compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth—a finding that should intensify efforts to ensure that executive ranks both embody and embrace the power of differences.
In this research, which rests on a nationally representative survey of 1,800 professionals, 40 case studies, and numerous focus groups and interviews, two kinds of diversity is scrutinized: inherent and acquired. Inherent diversity involves traits you are born with, such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Acquired diversity involves traits you gain from experience: Working in another country can help you appreciate cultural differences, for example, while selling to female consumers can give you gender smarts.
Therefore an ultimate success is defined by a candidate’s ability to join teams that include members from different backgrounds and experiences so they can develop more innovative products by utilizing and building on their inherent and acquired diversity.