Many associations recognize the benefits of gender diversity – higher levels of employee satisfaction and innovation are just a couple of dead giveaways. But you might not know that the benefits are backed by science. A 2017 study by McKinsey showed positive correlations between gender diversity and financial performance, with diverse organizations being 21% more likely to outperform their non-diverse counterparts.
Financial performance, however, is just one aspect of how gender diversity can benefit your association. In this article, we'll also explore the role gender diversity plays in boosting workplace morale and productivity while driving innovation.
There are several interconnected reasons why gender diversity leads to increased financial returns. For starters, diversity breeds productivity and innovation, which we’ll explore in more detail below. However, at the most basic level, diversity in its various forms gives rise to unique modes of problem-solving, which can steer you away from poor decision-making and in the direction of intentional, well-thought-out business moves.
Diversity is powerful, but it doesn't work alone. In conjunction with equity and inclusion, diversity helps build positive workplace culture, one where employees of all kinds feel they are valued and have a voice. When people derive fulfillment from their work and feel at ease in their workplace environment, that also translates into productivity gains and lower turnover rates.
Companies that hire more women also see more equitable participation during group conversations, in addition to more equal access to professional advancement and mentorship. In other words, keeping your employees happy and healthy improves their well-being while boosting your association’s reputation in the public eye.
By and large, employees everywhere prefer diverse working environments. When mulling over a potential new job offer, gender and cultural diversity are at the top of a candidate's considerations. As a result, diverse organizations can attract a wider pool of talent, while simultaneously cultivating the ideal working environment for talent retention.
After all, retaining current employees is key to saving time and money on training and turnover, something that stands to benefit every association. Creating an inclusive culture is a big part of building a profitable and productive association.
The ability to analyze decisions from different perspectives is key to creating a resilient, financially-stable organization. When you gather men, women, non-binary, and transgender folks in a room, you have access to several perspectives right at your fingertips.
If, on the other hand, your boardroom consists solely of middle-aged white men, the lived experience in the room only represents a narrow segment of the population. That limits your ability to connect with new audiences and think outside of conventional frameworks.
Chances are your association members also come from diverse backgrounds. You can better connect with them and understand their needs by more accurately representing them at an organizational level.
Plus, increases in innovation and creativity are byproducts of a diverse team, and who couldn’t use more of those in their association? Companies unwilling to diversify suffer the consequences, with research showing that “innovation mindset is six times higher in the most-equal cultures than the least-equal ones.”
There’s no shortage of benefits to encouraging organizational gender diversity – from increasing revenue to fostering a healthier work environment. And at the end of the day, you’ll always be better off for investing in the long-term financial health of your association. A healthier workplace culture, a surge in creative ideas and a stellar organizational reputation are also happy consequences of intentionally embracing diversity at the association level.
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By day, Celita Summa is a Florida-based freelance writer specializing in business, technology, marketing, and a plethora of other topics. By night, Celita can be found developing her special talents, which include her black belt in karate, her fluent Italian, and her knack for vegan cooking.
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