In her work on diversity and inclusion, Juliet Bourke (AICD, 2016) found that organisations with inclusive cultures are 8 times more likely to achieve better business outcomes. In fact, when it comes to gender diversity, organisations in the top quartile of female executives are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile (McKinsey, 2020).
In my experience, a true increase in organisational diversity goes far beyond the hiring stage. To achieve the real business benefits of diversity and inclusion requires a cultural shift, which starts with the leadership team.
The leadership team sets the strategy and the behavioural standards of any workplace. Agreeing what behaviours and actions reflect diversity and inclusion, and making them part of your performance measures will ensure that diversity and inclusion are promoted and encouraged.
Beyond that, it’s up to your leaders to set the example of how inclusion looks in your organisation, by consciously choosing to challenge inequality, promoting diversity, and encouraging innovation in their teams.
How do you set the standard for diversity and inclusion in your organisation?