Diversity Is Good for Business—Here Are Simple Ways to Build a More Diverse Team

Diverse team

By Alex Sokolov

It’s a proven fact that having a diverse workforce leads to more profitability. According to McKinsey’s “Delivering Through Diversity” report, companies ranking higher in gender diversity among their executives were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than their peers. Organizations that also scored high in ethnic and cultural diversity were 33% more likely to excel in profitability.

There are many reasons that companies with a diverse staff experience more success. Employees are happier when they don’t feel isolated. Companies are heralded as being inclusive for providing equal opportunities, which makes more consumers want to do business with them. Plus, being open to diversity helps organizations attract the best talent.

So, why is it that so many industries—especially the tech sector—struggle with improving diversity in the workplace? A lot of it has to do with old ways of thinking and biases. In order to overcome those biases, HR professionals have to rethink their recruiting, hiring, and management practices.

Here are 4 simple ways to promote diversity in the workplace:

1. Focus on diversity as your starting point when hiring

The path to diversity starts with the job posting. How is it worded? Does it skew masculine or feminine? Did you know that there are certain words that are interpreted as more masculine than others? Words such as strong, lead, and workforce could be replaced with more neutral sounding ones like excellent, manage, and teams. There is actually a text analyzer app from Ongig that searches for word biases and suggests replacements that can help you write better job descriptions.

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Once you’ve mastered the job description and posted the job opening, consider using an AI-enhanced recruiting app that can collect and sort submissions based on the job requirements. Recruiters and hiring managers can have many biases—both conscious and unconscious—when looking at resumes. They may have a preference for a certain college an applicant attended or may favor male resumes over females for certain positions. Or they could be uncomfortable with hard-to-pronounce names on resumes. Using a recruiting tool with artificial intelligence to do the sorting and selecting for interviews removes any chance for biases.

2. Be open to remote workers and flexible work arrangements

Your goal as a recruiter or hiring manager is to find the absolute best talent for each position. Why on earth would you limit yourself to candidates only within commuting distance?

The way the world works has changed. Companies now focus on productivity and results as opposed to hours clocked and ”face time” with the boss. This is especially true when it comes to technology and diversity. The vast majority of tech companies work with dedicated development teams comprised of the highest-skilled programmers from around the world. This type of work arrangement allows them to stay competitive, work with top talent, and even save money in the process.

Offering flexible work arrangements is a great way to attract diversity. In its most recent Annual Survey, FlexJobs found that the three most important things a candidate looks for in a job are work-life balance, a good salary, and flexible work arrangements. Whether your candidate has small children, is going to grad school, taking care of an elderly parent, or whatever the case, having flexibility with their schedule leads to more grateful and, in turn, more dedicated employees.

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3. Examine your company policies

Do your company’s policies reflect your dedication to diversity? What type of family leave do you offer? Do you provide paternity leave as well as maternity leave? What about LGBTQ parental support?

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