Diversity is Not Your Enemy

Diversity. Today’s day and age have, perhaps, made it a hot-button sort of word. But diversity is truly a beautiful thing – not something to fear.

Diversity comes in two packages.

Inherent Diversity: Involves traits determined by birth (attributes often used to define demographics) – Age. Ethnicity. Gender. It could be called “surface level” diversity. It’s fairly easy to evaluate where your company stands. Are you predominantly one gender? Is your percentage of different nationalities the same as the overall percentage in the U.S.? Do you have both women, as well as men, in upper management positions? Do you have a healthy balance across the age spectrum – from just graduated college to nearing retirement?

Acquired Diversity: Involves a much broader and deeper pool of differences – learned skills and traits, education, experience, values, skills, personality, and knowledge. Too often, hiring personnel gravitate toward those candidates whose thinking patterns, work styles, and personalities line up with theirs. It’s an easy mistake, a hidden bias that catches them unaware. It’s easy to do — and not necessarily rooted in dislike or animosity.  But it is essential to build an inclusive workforce and should be an objective in your hiring process.

Why is diversity so vital to my company’s success? What are the benefits?

There are many reasons, both practical and relational. A diverse work team will:

Represent a macro view of society: Society is remarkably diverse across the United States – there’s a reason we are called the melting pot. A diverse company accurately represents and aligns you with your community.

Relate to your consumers: Remember how more likely it is for the hiring manager to relate to those with a similar background? The buyer does as well. If your team is diversified, they’ll be able to build more robust connections with a broader audience.

Understand the market: A diverse team offers a more in-depth insight into consumer and market trends.

Bring different perspectives to the table: Everyone has a different story. Each member brings valuable experience. Their varying perspectives bring fresh, inventive ideas as people come together with different approaches to the same situation. Together you mold all of that into new systems and new processes, forming a culture that creates a far better mission and purpose than you get from a cookie-cutter team.

Inspire Creativity and Innovation: Imagine if you hired only people who liked the color gray? Your figurative office walls would be comfortable and neutral — but also bland and boring. A spectrum-of-color-loving team stimulates your company. It inspires creativity and innovation as people come together with myriads of different ideas and thoughts. And creativity breeds productivity. Who doesn’t want that?

Does this mean companies should hire someone based only on a particular diversity trait? No, it means that in your search for candidates with the education, skills, and experience the position requires, be sure to choose from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, personalities, working styles, and aptitude, as well as age, gender, and nationality.   The benefits to your business are boundless! 

 So, how do we ensure diverse hiring? We’ll cover that in next week’s blog! Come back for the rest of the story.

At Hamilton Connections, we want to be a partner in building your diverse team. We know it’s important to you and it’s important to us, too. We’ve been at this for a while now, and people are our primary focus. Questions? Contact us today!