5 Compelling reasons diversity is good for business and organizations

Over the last two years, companies have become hyper aware that being diverse and inclusive isn't just a fleeting trend or an initiative to aspire to someday – it is a core competency that demands real attention now.

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In fact, “Building authentic organizations that foster diversity” was the topic discussed in Voya's inaugural Just Right Advantage™ program “Continuing the Conversation” podcast. Hosted by popular podcast host, speaker, writer and influencer, Portia Scott, the inaugural episode featured a candid discussion on inclusion and diversity within organizations with Angela Harrell, Voya’s SVP, chief diversity and corporate responsibility officer.

Podcast: Building authentic organizations that foster diversity with Portia Scott and Angela Harrell

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When asked how businesses and organizations can begin to build a culture of intentional inclusion and diversity, Harrell explained, "Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Make sure people feel like they have access and that their voices are heard; but you do have to be intentional about it. It doesn’t just happen."

Let’s continue the conversation and look at five reasons why businesses and organizations should strive to create more authentically diverse and inclusive organizations.

Diverse companies are more profitable

According to the “Diversity Wins” Report by McKinsey1, organizations in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity were 36% more profitable than those on the bottom. In other words, diversity and inclusion pays in more ways than one.

Customers and stakeholders increasingly care more about diversity

Brands with the highest diversity scores showed an 83% higher consumer preference.4 In addition, Voya research shows that 80% of consumers said they favor companies that support underserved communities and minority-owned businesses. It is important to remember that your company culture is a reflection of your brand, and people want to do business with organizations that align with their values. Diversity and inclusion is no doubt something that customers, clients and investors care deeply about – and companies need to show that they do, too.

Diversity helps inspire more innovation and creativity

Having different perspectives and viewpoints is important when teams are trying to brainstorm new ideas, come up with new products and create new ways to engage and delight customers. People from diverse walks of life and with different experiences can draw from their personal knowledge, share new insights and challenge the status quo. Diversity also impacts the bottom line: a study found that companies with more diverse executives were 36% more likely to see above average profits.1

Diverse companies have stronger recruitment and retention

In one study, 86% of candidates globally say diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace is important to them.2 And 70% of job seekers in another survey said that they value a commitment to diversity among potential employers.3 People expect their workplaces to offer equal opportunities to all. And diverse candidates want to not only feel welcome, but they expect to see people like them in leadership positions throughout the organization.

Job postings and career sites should clearly describe the organization’s diversity commitment and highlight diverse employees' success stories in order to attract top talent. For Scott, it was Voya's authentic, ongoing commitment to diversity that originally drew her to the partnership. She explains, "I did not want to be there just because I was a black woman. And so I Googled Voya and what I found was that it already had these eight employee resource groups to really show how they foster workplace belonging. And when I saw that, I knew that [diversity, equity and inclusion] wasn't anything new [to Voya]".

Diverse teams are more likely to be highly engaged

When people work for an inclusive organization that welcomes individuals of all backgrounds and values their contributions, it makes for a positive working environment. Employees thrive when they feel like their company values them and cares about their well-being. And increased employee engagement leads to less turnover and higher profitability.

Harrell tells Scott in the podcast, the time to talk about diversity is now. "I believe that 2020 maybe broke everything down," said Harrell. "I was so proud at how we really had candid, uncomfortable conversations. And we were very emphatic about wanting to not just speak to the ugliness of racism and discrimination, but that we are acting and that we have been acting."

To "continue the conversation," don't miss the full podcast, where you'll also hear about Portia Scott's inspirational story of how she went from Army Veteran to small business owner, along with Harrell's strategies for creating organizations that foster diversity.


Voya Financial's Just Right Advantage™ program offers support for diverse business owner and nonprofits

Supporting people in underrepresented communities is an important component of Voya Financial's Just Right Advantage™ program, which sponsors the podcast. The program is aimed at supporting greater retirement planning opportunities for minority, women, veteran, disability and LGBTQ-owned businesses — along with nonprofit organizations that serve them. The program includes a fee credit to help encourage business owners from these groups to encourage retirement readiness for diverse individuals.


This article originally appeared April 22, 2021. 


Related Items

  1. McKinsey. "Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters." May 2020. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/diversity-wins- how-inclusion-matters
  2. Monster.com. "How to Show Candidates You're Committed to Diversity and Inclusion in Hiring." https://hiring.monster.com/employer-resources/workforce- management/diversity-in-the-workplace/how-to-show-candidates-youre-committed-to- diversity-and-inclusion-in-hiring/
  3. The Manifest. "How to Develop an Employer Branding Strategy." June 2020. https://themanifest.com/digital-marketing/employer-branding-strategy-2020
  4. Marketing Dive. "Study: Diversity in ads correlates to gains in revenue, brand perception." October 2019. https://www.marketingdive.com/news/study-diversity-in- ads-correlates-to-gains-in-revenue-brand-perception/564153/

Portia Scott and Portia Scott Media LLC., are not affiliated with the Voya family of companies. Portia Scott Media LLC., has received compensation from Voya for participation in educational programming, supporting Voya's Just Right Advantage program.

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