Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Is Diversity Good for Business?

The Gherkin, London
The Voice Online reports that the Lord Mayor of London warned that the city risks falling behind its competitors if it fails to embrace diversity in its business culture.  

Click here to read her comments.  Apparently, Fiona  Woolf is only the second female Lord Mayor since 1189.  She was speaking at the launch of the Power of Diversity programme.

So remember that the next time you sit through a presentation by a team made up entirely of white men - as I did last night.  There is a business case for diversity.  Or, to put it another way, diversity is good for business.  

What do you think?  Is there enough diversity in London and UK businesses?  If not, why not?  And is there a business case for increasing diversity?  Please leave your comments below.  

And click here for my Black Success audios Click here for more advice from Black business experts.  Because positive representation is important to me.

Here's to your success! 


Diane Corriette said...

When I first read this I didn't see the word "Lord" so was thinking it was Boris Johnson saying that! Should have known better - like he cares. Thank goodness someone in authority is saying something. You'd never have to tell Ken Livingstone about the power of diversity.

R Tramble said...

I couldn't get the link to Woolf's comments to work. In any case, yes, diversity is good for my workplace states here:

It's not about counting how many women or blacks or whatever you have on your team. It's about getting people from different genders and cultural backgrounds to be able to offer customers and stakeholders solutions that may fit the bill. It's also about avoiding institutional blindness:

"'I think that the greatest risk that we have inside any corporation - institutional blindness - is the biggest risk to the future of any organization," said futurist Patrick Dixon. Institutional blindness happens when a majority of an organization's decision makers have the same background.

'If it's true that institutional blindness is the biggest challenge to the future of any organization, then it must be true that to have a homogeneous group of people who are all roughly the same age, the same sex, the same backgrounds, went to the same schools, it must be a terminally suicidal risk.'"

Zhana21 said...

Thanks for your comments. I have fixed the link.

Another problem is that, with the lack of diversity, we are not seeing role models that reflect us positively. The visual message to us is not "you can do it, too!" It's more like, "Others can do it, not you".

Industry needs the best and the brightest - of all backgrounds, and both genders.

Zhana21 said...

Thanks for your comment, Diane. Yes, Ken was very aware of the power of diversity, although he was also very selective about who he listened to and consulted - too selective, I would say.

R Tramble said...

Yes, we do need more people who reflect "us," but the business world doesn't really care about that. In my opinion, linking diversity to a way to increase profits may be more successful than linking diversity to moral - societal issues.