In a study looking at firms from France, Germany, the US and Brazil, the three most common reasons firms gave for promoting Diversity and Inclusion were:
Diversity is a source of innovation
Diversity is a source of performance
Firms need a workforce that reflects the diversity of the customer base
Junko Takagi, professor of management at ESSEC Business School, reflects on how diversity and inclusion can be a source of innovation and performance, arguing that firms should capitalize on diversity in order to achieve their outcomes.
Diversity and its Impact on the Cognitive Processing of Individuals in Diverse Teams
When working in a diverse group, team members do not take for granted that others know what they know, and thus are more likely to share information and ideas, and also to seek more information from others than in homogeneous teams. This has been shown to lead to better decision making.
How to Encourage Thinking about Thinking?
Also in order to create an inclusive environment and to manage biases, it is important to develop awareness of conscious and unconscious biases In order to encourage thinking about thinking and to reap the benefits of diversity, many companies have now instituted unconscious bias training in order to develop more inclusive mindsets among their collaborators.
Diversity and Inclusion as a Source of Innovation and Performance
Diversity and inclusion have been shown to be a source of innovation and performance for innovative firms dealing with complex problems. This is the case when there is top management support to develop an inclusive work environment, and individual collaborators are encouraged to become aware of their potential biases and to develop their cognitive complexity.