Innovation is a key differentiator to be able to thrive and create competitive advantages over competitors. organisations increasingly see having a diverse and inclusive workforce as critical to driving the creation and execution of new products, services, and business processes, according to a new study released by Forbes Insights, as reported by BusinesWire.
“Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce” is based on an exclusive survey of 321 executives at large global enterprises ($500 million-plus in annual revenues).
Stuart Feil, editorial director of Forbes Insights, said:
“Companies have realised that diversity and inclusion are no longer separate from other parts of the business. organisations in the survey understand that different experiences and different perspectives build the foundation necessary to compete on a global scale.”
Key findings include:
- A diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial for companies that want to attract and retain top talent. Most companies (65%) have programs in place to recruit diverse employees, but fewer follow that up with diversity-focused development programs (53%), and diversity-focused retention programs (44%).
- Just about every company surveyed had some kind of diversity and inclusion program, and many go beyond gender and race. Gender diversity programs are the most common (81%), followed by programs focused on ethnicity (77%), age (72%), and race (70%). Regionally, Asia-Pacific companies are more likely to have programs that focus on age and nationality, and European companies are more likely to look at disability or sexual orientation.
- Not all diversity plans within a company are identical. Half said that their organisations have a global plan that allows for different strategies to address regional or cultural differences, while about a third said their strategies allow for minimal regional deviation.
- Responsibility for the success of a company’s diversity/inclusion efforts lies with senior management. Seven out of 10 companies reported that the buck stops at the C-level and their board of directors.
- There are still some impediments to companies’ diversity efforts. Respondents felt they’ve made progress in gender diversity, but they feel they’ve fallen short in areas such as disability and age.
What is the state of your diversity of workforce to drive innovation?