At one time, many organizations tried to reflect the changing society by having a diverse ( multicultural) workforce because it was a right thing to do.
I remember working at one radio station where they were pressured by various institutions, including the CRTC to have more female broadcasters. And they eventually did by hiring just one female to host a half-hour classical show per week.
In many parts of the media things have changed where they are being more inclusive except in the film industry where practically all of the major and even minor roles go to white actors.
Other than the film industry, which is still living in the 60’s and 70’s, smart business owners have come to realize that multicultural workforce actually increases productivity and profits.
In a 2009 study conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois, found that racial and gender diversity contributed positively to productivity, profits and customer satisfaction.
A diverse workforce has different life experiences, different types of education, different ways of thinking. These qualities allow the diverse staff to think out of the box and come to solutions to today’s real problems.
Here are just three simple benefits of having a diverse workforce:
Language Skills: Companies that want to expand into other countries have a better chance of success rate. For example, if a business has employees who are fluent in Hindi or Punjabi and also known about the Indian culture, then they have a better chance of not only in communication but also perhaps know how to do business in India.
Competitive Advantage: A company with a diverse team of staff has a better understanding of the needs and wants of its diverse clientele at home and abroad.
Fresh Attitudes : A new way of thinking are often brought to the boardroom by staff from diverse cultures and backgrounds. For example, Canadians may want to get down to business, but people from other cultures such as Latin America, Italy or Japan may steer the organization to focus more on relationships. Once relationships are cemented, then sales increase.
When an organization has a multicultural workforce, what you really have is a global workforce. In today’s changing business climate, having a diverse staff is not a right thing to do, but rather a smart thing to do.
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