Diversity in the workplace means that there is a wide variety of individuals at every level in the company, and those individuals have differing lived experiences. They are of different genders, ages, sexualities, abilities, races, colours, nationalities, religious beliefs, family situations, socio-economic background, cultures, and professional and educational backgrounds.
While no business should target to have one worker from each demographic for the sake of appearances, it should recognise a problem if all the workers look the same, come from similar backgrounds, or think the same. A lack of diversity can lead to stagnation of a business; people need to challenge each other’s thinking in order to ensure progress and growth.
The benefits of diverse workforce are:
- Differing points of view allow for disruption and innovation. People like to be challenged, and to build upon each other’s ideas. Differing outlooks allows your business to grow in new and exciting ways.
- Corporate reputations can be improved by been known as a diverse employer. Your clients are likely a diverse group of individuals, and will appreciate a culture that recognises their individuality.
- Diversity allows for business growth. If your clients are not a diverse group, you are not you are losing out on market share. Having a diverse group of workers will assist in breaking into new market segments.
- A good diversity strategy leads to a better quality of employee. When an employer exercises some flexibility, the business will find that it has a more skilled pool of potential employees to select from.
- Diversity bridges skills gaps. Looking for employees with different backgrounds and experiences necessarily means that new skills will be brought into the workplace.
- Succession planning requires diversity. If all your employees are at similar life-stages or follow a similar path, at some point there will be a blockage in the leadership pipeline. Diversity planning allows for a continuous flow of qualified leaders.
- By having a diversity strategy in place, you can be seen as a more attractive employer. You will find yourself in a better position to compete with bigger companies for quality employees who value culture and flexibility above higher salaries.
- Diversity is centred on respect. A respectful workplace leads to a happier workforce. Happier workers are less likely to leave.
The above is provided for information purposes and is not intended as legal advice. We, at Fitzsimons Redmond, would be happy to talk to you about ensuring your business has an appropriate diversity strategy and policy. Please contact us on 01-676 3257.
By Lisa Quinn O’Flaherty
Partner at Fitzsimons Redmond LLP