Inclusive workplace culture isn’t just a desirable outcome for businesses from the point of view of delivering opportunity and a fairer society, it should be an integral goal of every business to drive innovation and improve efficiency. By definition digital transformation requires innovation, critical thinking and creativity so ensuring there are strategies and actionable goals to build inclusive workplaces is critical.
Accelerated digital transformation
In businesses and industries across the globe, innovation in digital transformation was fast-forwarded through the need to continue to trade during the pandemic.
“ Digital transformation has gone from being an abstract concept to a tangible reality for companies and individuals alike“ Source: We Are Tech Women
At its heart technology and digital transformation is about having the ability to solve problems. There is a wealth of data that shows collective intelligence and collaboration with a diverse group of employees to give outcomes that are progressive and innovative.
Diversity is a key driver of innovation
The business case for diversity remains strong; McKinsey’s study on diversity and its impact on performance Is well documented. In 2020 they published a report where they looked at 1000 companies across 15 countries. The results speak for themselves; the companies that ranked in the top quarter for gender diversity on their executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than those companies whose exec teams came in the bottom quarter. When it came to ethnic and cultural diversity, the business case for diversity in the executive team was incontrovertible. Those businesses in the top quartile for diversity were outperforming the bottom quartile companies by 36% in profitability.
The leaders in any business are the decision-makers and therefore building an inclusive culture must start at the top. There is often a danger that not knowing what to do means nothing happens but those businesses that start these conversations and look around the boardroom have the first foot on the ladder of change. Deloitte carried out a survey of more than 1300 full-time employees from a range of organisations across the USA on whether inclusion affects retention and engagement. The respondents of the survey indicated that the senior leadership team has a huge impact on building an inclusive culture. Consistent commitment to reinforce the tone from the top came out strong in the results.
Recruitment and metrics
Once goals have been set, tech organisations need base-level metrics and data so that they can measure where they started and where they end up. This may mean looking at the current team and hiring processes to bring about change. Often this leads to a need for recruitment but even the job search alone must be able to evidence fair process in everything from job spec, language and how HR and talent acquisition specialists recruit to reflect diversity.
Sport has known the power of diversity for years. If we use the analogy of a football team, it’s a group of individuals with different jobs, different physicality, mentality, and approaches but it really is the sum of his parts. When a team is selected from the very best skill set, it comes together and achieves at the highest level.
It’s time our tech leadership selected a diverse first team to drive progress and innovation.