Building a Diverse Workforce: Strategies for Inclusive Business Growth 

In a world that’s becoming increasingly interconnected, the need for diversity and inclusion in the workplace is more critical than ever. A diverse workforce is not just a moral imperative; it’s a business strategy linked to increased creativity, higher profitability, and a broader consumer base.

This article aims to guide businesses on their journey to creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Whether you are a start-up looking to build your team from the ground up or an established enterprise aiming to evolve, the strategies presented here will offer valuable insights for inclusive business growth.

Understanding Inclusion and Diversity

Navigating the concepts of inclusion and diversity can sometimes feel like walking through a maze. Yet, these two pillars form the backbone of a successful, modern business. While diversity invites a spectrum of backgrounds into the workspace, inclusion ensures that everyone has a seat at the decision-making table.

Within the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) world, platforms exist to assist business in diversifying and strengthening their workforce. One such platform, Inclusio, stands out from competitors by offering a comprehensive approach to DEI. Inclusio’s purpose is to aid a business in shifting their culture to be as inclusive as possible. Their platform stands above the rest. inclusio explains the different protected characteristics, such as age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and disability, which are legally safeguarded traits. This level of education ensures legal compliance, fosters equity, and provides measurable impact.

DEI platforms, like inclusio, can help a business go from confused and unsure where to start to confident by guiding them through the process of improving the culture of their workplace.

Why Diversity Matters for Business Growth

The value of diversity goes beyond social justice or ethical reasons. It offers real business advantages supported by recent statistics and studies. Here are some compelling reasons why a diverse workforce is good for business growth:

Increased Innovation

According to a study by McKinsey & Company in 2019, companies with diverse teams are 25% more likely to achieve above-average profitability. Diverse perspectives and experiences foster creativity and drive innovation, giving businesses a competitive edge in today’s rapidly changing markets.

Better Decision-Making

A Forbes study found that diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time compared to homogenous teams. Differing viewpoints lead to more comprehensive analysis and thoughtful deliberation, resulting in sounder choices for the business.

Talent Attraction and Retention

Recent research from Glassdoor in 2021 shows that 76% of job seekers consider diversity an important factor when evaluating potential employers. Companies that prioritize diversity are more likely to attract top talent and retain their employees, reducing recruitment costs and enhancing productivity.

In an era of heightened social awareness, companies with diverse workforces are less susceptible to discrimination lawsuits and reputational damage. A study by EY in 2022 found that diversity and inclusion initiatives can reduce legal risks by up to 30%.

15 Strategies for Inclusive Business Growth

Employee Training Programmes

Training can be a powerful tool for fostering a diverse and inclusive atmosphere. Programmes often extend beyond basic diversity training, being integrated into executive MBA programmes to instill these values in future leaders. These courses cover aspects such as unconscious bias, cultural competency, and effective communication across diverse groups.

Fair Recruitment Practices

A fair recruitment process sets the stage for a diverse workforce. Make sure job descriptions are inclusive and that you are reaching out to a diverse talent pool. Blind application processes, where identifying information is hidden, can help minimise bias during the screening phase.

Support Networks and Mentorship

Support systems within the company can help retain diverse talent. For instance, Microsoft has established Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) like Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) and Women at Microsoft (WAM) that provide a sense of community and support for underrepresented employees. 

Additionally, Microsoft runs a robust mentorship programme where employees from diverse backgrounds are matched with experienced mentors within the organisation, fostering career development and inclusivity.

Retaining Diverse Talent

Keeping individuals who foster diverse talents is crucial. Offer flexible working arrangements, consider various religious and cultural holidays, and provide equal opportunities for career advancement. When employees see that they have a future in your company, they are more likely to stay.

Establishing Leadership Accountability

For any diversity programme to be effective, leadership must be on board. Intel Corporation, for example, ties a portion of executive compensation to diversity and inclusion metrics, demonstrating the company’s commitment to diversity and holding its leadership accountable for driving progress in this area.

Open Communication Channels

Employees should feel safe to express themselves and raise concerns about diversity and inclusion. Salesforce, a leading cloud-based software company, regularly conducts employee surveys to gauge satisfaction and gather feedback on inclusion efforts. The company also hosts “Equality Circles,” which are open forums for employees to discuss diversity and inclusion topics openly, encouraging a culture of transparency and open dialogue.

Measure and Review

What gets measured gets managed. Regularly reviewing metrics like employee satisfaction surveys and promotion rates among various groups is essential. 

Google emphasises measurement and review in its diversity and inclusion initiatives, publishing an annual Diversity Annual Report detailing the demographic makeup of its workforce. The company also conducts regular diversity and inclusion training and provides tools and resources to managers to ensure fair promotion and pay practices, demonstrating its commitment to continuous improvement.

Community Engagement

Engaging with the community can expand your company’s diversity efforts beyond the workplace. JPMorgan Chase sponsors events like Black History Month celebrations, actively demonstrating its commitment to diversity within and outside the workplace. Furthermore, the bank provides economic opportunities to underserved communities through initiatives like the AdvancingCities programme.

Leveraging Technology for Inclusion

In the digital age, technology can be a significant enabler for inclusion. IBM has been a pioneer in this area, developing an AI-based tool called “AI Fairness 360” to identify and mitigate bias in AI models, promoting diversity within the tech industry and ensuring fairness in AI applications across various domains.

Employee Feedback Loops

Constructive feedback is essential for growth and improvement. Procter & Gamble (P&G) conducts regular one-on-one meetings between employees and managers to discuss diversity and inclusion concerns. The company also utilises anonymous surveys to gather employee feedback on these initiatives, taking this feedback seriously to continuously improve its inclusion strategies.

Equal Pay Audits

Racial and gender pay gaps can be an issue even in diverse workplaces. Regularly perform audits to ensure that all employees are being paid fairly for their work. If discrepancies are found, take immediate steps to correct them.


Building a diverse workforce is an ongoing commitment. It enriches company culture and sets the stage for inclusive business growth. With the right strategies, like those outlined above, businesses can become more innovative, competitive, and well-prepared for a global marketplace.

Author: Leona Harrison – Freelance Business Writer

Photo credit: Kampus Production

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  1. This article brilliantly underscores the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In today's interconnected world, where businesses are constantly evolving, embracing diversity isn't just a social responsibility but a smart business move. I wholeheartedly agree with the strategies outlined here.

    Training programs are pivotal for equipping employees with the skills and awareness needed for collaboration in diverse teams. Fair recruitment practices, like blind application processes, can truly level the playing field and help identify the best talent without bias.

    Support networks and mentorship programs, exemplified by Microsoft, offer a sense of belonging and growth for underrepresented employees. These initiatives not only retain diverse talent but also contribute to a richer and more dynamic work environment.

    Leadership accountability is paramount. When top management commits to diversity and inclusion, it sends a powerful message throughout the organization. Tying executive compensation to diversity metrics, as Intel does, demonstrates a genuine dedication to these principles.

    Open communication channels, measurement and review, community engagement, and leveraging technology all play a vital role in creating a more inclusive workplace. They foster a culture of trust, innovation, and continuous improvement.

    The commitment to address pay gaps is non-negotiable. Regular audits ensure that all employees are compensated fairly, promoting equality and diversity.

    In conclusion, the strategies presented here provide a clear roadmap for organizations to foster a more inclusive and innovative work environment. This benefits not only the workforce but also the overall success of the business. It's a win-win approach that aligns with the values of the modern world.


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