The win-win of workplace diversity 30 August 2017

A compelling business case in a changing world.

Our 2017 Living Ratings revealed that just 23% of the world’s 100 leading asset managers provide any meaningful diversity & inclusion content. Our evidence tells us that it’s not a topic that’s being taken seriously. However, if you switch focus from the asset management sector for a moment and browse the home pages of the leading law or accountancy firms’ websites, you’d be forgiven for thinking that workforce diversity is business’s latest feel-good trend. But you’d be mistaken because this is a commitment that’s here to stay. 

Right across the professional and financial services sectors, organisations are increasingly committing to offering equal opportunity to all irrespective of gender, social background, or ethnicity. Why? Because the world has changed and there’s a powerful and compelling business case driving this activity.

Smart firms recognise the need for immediate action. They are ready and willing to invest in dedicated resources to manage workplace diversity. And they’re doing it now. They know this is a win-win scenario because of the wide-ranging benefits it brings. But before we look at the benefits in more detail let’s consider its real meaning.

The meaning of workplace diversity

Workplace diversity refers positively to the many differences between people in an organisation. In this context the meaning of diversity goes way beyond race and gender. It can encompass ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, length of service, corporatefunction, education, family background and more.

It’s not just about how people see others but how they perceive themselves. Their perceptions affect all their interactions. This is key if employees are to function and coexist effectively as a group.

Benefits of workplace diversity

In any sector an organisation’s success and competitiveness depend upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize the benefits. These can include:

Increased adaptability

A diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems across service, sourcing, and resourcing. Employees from diverse backgrounds contribute individual talents, experiences and ideas that can help a firm adapt to fluctuating markets and changing customer demands. 

Broader service range

A diverse collection of experiences, languages, and cultural insights allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis.

Different viewpoints

A workforce that communicates diverse points of view provides a larger pool of ideas for the business to draw from to support its strategy and the needs of customers.

Enhanced execution

Companies that actively and openly encourage workplace diversity inspire everyone to perform to their highest ability. This can result in higher productivity, profit, and ROI.

No asset manager can genuinely understand and respond to what motivates clients unless the same things are reflected within its people. Diversity is a source of innovative ideas and approaches that every firm needs to embrace today when the old ways of operating are being disrupted and made obsolete. Asset Managers - ignore diversity at your peril.

Creating difference

Here at Living, we drive business performance with strategic thinking, brand creation and cut-through messaging - creating effective communications that get tangible results.

To see how we can help you unlock your diversity proposition opportunities, please contact Greg Hobden in London, Aliena Lai in Hong Kong, or Kate Shaw in New York.