Article By Ms. Saraswathi Ramachandra, Associate Director – Personal Banking and Analytics team from India, Danske IT a fully owned subsidiary of Danske Bank
While one country passes a landmark judgement ruling equal pay for women and men, back home in one of the networking events over dinner, one of the Sr. Leaders asked me, “Why are companies focusing on diversity hiring? Why should there be special hiring focus and what value does it add to the company for investing so much to hire women employees? ”.
It got me thinking if we as leaders do not see value in hiring a diverse workforce, there is fundamentally something wrong. However, this conversation also pushed me into being better prepared next time I find myself drawn into similar conversations. Apart from making perfect business sense, here is why I think it is important.
Why Diversity & Inclusion?
After carefully studying and reviewing multiple researches on the topic, I have concluded the 5 basic principles of “why” of the D&I requirement.
Gender diversity makes a good business case. Plain simple numbers have consistently shown that diverse workforce adds to the company’s profitability.
How would gender diversity help in profitability? If you too have been thinking about the veracity of the statement. Let me share with you a study out of the numerous studies done to prove my case. According to HBR’s detailed analysis, companies who transitioned leadership positions from 0- 30% have seen 15% increase in average profitability. While you could argue that, other factors too could have played a role. However, the study goes out to prove that that the result improved only after a significant increase in gender diversity. Gallup’s further strengthens my argument. It proves that diversity is actually key to successful and robust teams. According to the study, “Gender-diverse teams perform better than single-gender teams for several reasons. Men and women have different viewpoints, ideas and insights, which improves problem solving and ultimately leads to superior business performance. If you want better return, we need better diversity.”
More Innovation – Varied ideas come from a diverse set of individuals. Diverse mind sets lead to diverse ideas leading to innovative ways of working and tackling problems. Diversity leads to innovations.
Diverse Skillsets – Every individual possesses a diverse set of skill sets. Women in India have always been given to handle office and home simultaneously: two different frontiers with two different set of stakeholders, which give them an advantage in terms of handling different people, situations and crisis (if any).
Workforce needs – Well, if you hired only 50% of the talent pool, you are leaving a lot to chances.
While there is nothing new in the above 5 principles, the onus is on us to remember the value a gender diverse workforce brings and be the flag bearers of change. The 5 principles will help you hold on to a conversation about the dire need of a gender diverse workforce and who knows you might also influence a non-believer into reviving their talent pipeline.