In recent years, many organizations have tried to reflect the changing society by hiring a multicultural workforce because it is not only a right thing to do, but more importantly it makes economic sense.
I recall many years ago working at this one radio station where they were somewhat forced by the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications) to hire female broadcasters. The management felt their listeners, many of them who were older preferred male voices. Eventually one female announcer was brought in to host a one hour classical show per week. No listeners complained and either did the advertisers.
Nowadays, 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 at times minor roles go to Caucasian or African American 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.
Several years ago a 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 conduct 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 is 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 increases.
When an organization has a multicultural workforce, what they really have is a global workforce. In today’s changing and volatile business climate, having a diverse staff is not a right thing to do, but rather a smart thing to do