Why diversity means change, belonging… and profit

January 4, 2020 | Share this article

“Hire more women.”
“Hire more Black and Brown people.”
“Take an ad out at NYC Pride.”

Some organizations follow a haphazard checklist for diversity then wonder why their efforts produced no tangible results – goals aren’t met, projects are stagnant and the halls look the same as ever.

That’s because true diversity reflects meaningful change, transformation that occurs at all levels of an organization, using the efforts of employees up and down the corporate ladder. True diversity is a significant aspect of a company’s culture, the subject of consistent executive discourse and planning, and is directly tied to business goals. With true diversity, there’s a widespread understanding that creating a diverse workforce isn’t just about doing the right thing, it has an undeniable impact on the bottom line.

In the McKinsey report “Delivering Through Diversity,” researchers said that companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers in terms of profitability. Despite that, Blacks and Latinos each hold a paltry 4% of senior executive positions nationwide, and Asian-Americans comprise only 5%. These stats are particularly worrisome in the advertising industry, since we are charged with connecting to people from all walks of life. Our world is shifting and moving at a pace where by 2040, today’s ethnic minorities in the United States will be the majority of the population. How can we connect powerfully with different audiences of that magnitude if we don’t have that diversity ourselves, at all levels?

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