A new study has shown that companies that follow pro-diversity policies are bound to become more innovative in the long run that not only helps them develop world class products, but also makes them immensely profitable.
The study puts forward practical benefits of hiring a diverse set of employees beyond the moral and cultural benefits of the practice.
Organizations around the world have been formulating policies that would enable them to attract a diverse workforce. Portland State University scientists set out to measure how such policies and practices are actually helping organizations reap rewards – financially and morally.
The study showed that companies that promote a diverse workforce and a culture of inclusion, specifically attracting and retaining minorities, women, the disabled and LGBTQ employees, were more efficient in generating new products and patents.
Researchers found that through pro-diversity policies, companies actually expand the pool from which they can attract resources and recruit talent. The wider the range of views and backgrounds, experiences and expertise the company attracted, the more innovative the company was to solve problems. A diverse, inclusive culture attracts and retains talent and boosts employee morale, researchers found.
Researchers also looked through and analyzed data on publicly traded U.S. firms. They were specifically looking at new product introductions, patents and other company milestones. The study showed that following pro-diversity policies enabled these companies to enhance overall company value as well as their product offerings and expertise.
Scientists also found that companies with pro-diversity policies weathered the 2008 economic downturn far better than those without them.
“Top corporate leaders, academics and policy makers have long been wondering about the real economic benefits of corporate diversity policies,” said one of the authors. “Many didn’t see how hiring a more diverse workforce positively affected shareholder value. Now we have strong evidence that creating a more diverse workplace today results in more innovative outcomes for companies tomorrow.”