This begs the question, how will workplaces tackle this? The business case for greater diversity and inclusion is well established, as better financial performance is well documented as a key benefit of more diverse organisations. McKinsey’s report 'Diversity wins: How inclusion matters' directly highlights the impact of a more diverse leadership team on the bottom line, in addition to a BCG report ‘How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation’ which notes that earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins for organisations that had greater diversity were nine percentage points higher than companies with below-average diversity in their management teams.
‘I&D is a powerful enabler of business performance. Companies whose leaders welcome diverse talents and include multiple perspectives are likely to emerge from the crisis stronger.’
McKinsey & Co, ‘Diversity wins’
With the skills shortage widely talked about, diversity and inclusion may not only determine long-term business success, but may also help to tackle recruitment and retention challenges faced by organisations as the labour market becomes more buoyant. Utilising under-represented demographics and making sure that the workforce is more reflective of the customer base can fuel business performance. A greater spectrum of voices and experiences can create a competitive edge, helping businesses be bolder in their decision-making which is crucial in a crisis. Early education and assembling representative teams to overcome unconscious bias, break down hurdles and gender stereotypes are all deemed crucial in truly building a more inclusive workplace, regardless of socio-economic background, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender. Successful equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) networks such as the one built by Kettering General Hospital NHS which truly champions a sense of belonging and openness are focused on building a place where people want to work.
The opportunity to reimagine the employee experience
With reports that employee burnout has doubled since lockdown ended, employee wellbeing must be at the heart of a company’s strategy as it adapts and potentially embraces hybrid working. Glassdoor revealed that out of 2,000 full-time UK employees, 52 per cent reported that work regularly ate into their personal life and 35 per cent felt that they could not achieve a healthy work-life balance in their current role.