Having a highly diverse and expressive Executive Suite can make a tremendous difference in how your company is perceived and how your staff feels approaching their superiors.
Creating a culture that embraces the importance of inclusion and diversity is both an ethical and moral business imperative. If executives in business are diverse, it creates a stronger position for the company to innovate and grow. Top industry talent will be attracted to a diverse company to help it to connect with its customers.
Business leaders need to act and embrace practices of inclusion and diversity in their leadership teams and organizations. Business leaders know that they cannot tell a brand narrative to customers if the narrative has very few points of view. Inclusion and diversity in leadership mean more than numbers, departments or an objective; these efforts have to be embedded in the organization’s DNA. Once this is done, it makes the brand narrative more meaningful, distinctive, and authentic.
In a study that was done by McKinsey, it was indicated that the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity are 35% more likely to earn higher than the medians of their national industry. In another study, it was indicated that many diverse companies had 2 times more cash flow per an employee over a 3-year period than companies that were not diverse.
If companies do not structure a diverse culture, they will have it rough speaking to their customers genuinely. Having a top management that is diverse in a company is inspirational. To this end, we are going to look at the best practices that business leaders need to strive for in every company.
Being unapologetic and real
An unconscious bias is present in the corridors of business. Instead of hiding it, it is important to note that the differences we have dictate how we view the world. The first step to working to reduce the unconscious bias in the workplace is to recognize its reality. Diversity in the executives of a business helps underrepresented employees have a voice.
Establish credibility that is unimpeachable
You have to walk your talk. As a business leader, you have to take part in creating a more inclusive and diverse team. HP is a company with a diverse board of directors. The tech company has a board of 13 members with five of them being women, and several of the board members coming from South Asia. Denis Mackenzie also has a diverse team who help him to run his winery; this is one of the pillars that have helped him run a successful business
Empower champions of vocal diversity
When you have a diverse leadership team, it allows your company to give the active and passionate employees a platform to bring diversity into the entire organization from the bottom going up. A diverse leadership team will also equip its vocal employees with the opportunity to have sensitive conversations in a safe environment.
A diverse culture will also reward and celebrate its members, give its employees great benefits, programs to improve work-life balance, a workspace that is open and collaborative, and groups of employee resources to share similar values, goals, and differences. The leadership team will also help drive the onset of new businesses and attract great talent and partnerships.
Diverse leaders help to change how the usual business environment operates. For example, diverse leaders in a company can challenge their partners to submit plans on how they can increase the number of minorities and women in strategic and creative roles in a business.
HP was able to donate $100,000 as an initiative that was aimed at increasing female directors in advertising, with the goal that one out of three competitive bids will be for a female director. When a leadership team embraces the diversity of experiences, perspective, and ideas, it has the potential of unlocking growth, and innovation. Leaders in business have to reinvent the inclusion and diversity standard even further to make a difference in companies, in the community, and in the marketplace.
Building diversity in the boards of a company
It is not easy to build diverse boards, but it is essential. Diversity is the foundation of perspective, insight, and thinking about markets, business practices, and consumers. If there is a lack of diversity, then there is a missed opportunity.
Blind spots are easily found in culturally homogenous boards, and this makes them miss essential aspects about internal problems and market trends. That is why a diverse board that is highly accomplished is important today when businesses are competing globally.
Diversity in a board helps a business have multiple views on the result of an action, which means that the board is likely to be aware of different risks on the table when the company is pursuing different agendas. When recruiting a board of directors, each company should at least have a nominating committee that:
- Ensures that diversity is a requirement
- Be more inclusive of minority groups and women that have valuable skills, expertise, and perspective.
- Set insights and competencies that are being sought after by the board.
- Looks for gaps present in the current board and ensure that different perspectives are represented.
Denis Mackenzie has been able to foster a broad company culture that encourages openness, independent opinions, and honest feedback from his team. Denis Mackenzie also strives to have diversity in his staff, which other companies should also look forward to having, to push the culture of a company’s leadership further.