“We are in a war for talent. And the only way you can meet your business imperatives is to have all people as part of your talent pool–here in the United States and around the world,” stated Rich McGinn, former CEO of Alcatel-Lucent Technologies.
From 1998-2007, LATINA Style Magazine named Alcatel-Lucent one of the 50 best employers for Hispanic women in the United States more than seven times. You may be wondering how a company lands itself on a list such as this one. McGinn believed that what earned Alcatel-Lucent a spot on the list was the company’s decision to adopt a diversity stance. “It made good business sense, yes, but in addition, it was the right thing to do. It was an issue around equality,” stated McGinn.
Statistics show that by about 2040, minority groups will make up more than half of the population of the United States. Corporations are gradually starting to realize that diversity is a competitive advantage. Different people approach similar problems in different ways. According to Ivan Seidenberg, former CEO of Bell Atlantic, “If everybody in the room is the same, you’ll have a lot fewer arguments and a lot worse answers.”
Not only can a diversity-friendly environment boost creativity, but it can also promote a sense of investment to a corporation and enhance team spirit. To capitalize on the effectiveness of diversity at all levels of a corporation, diversity has to first exist. According to Patricia Digh, former vice president of international and diversity programs for the Society for Human Resource Management, there are many effective ways to promote diversity within a company:
- Understand demographic changes in the workforce.
- Educate staff that “diversity” is not synonymous with “minority.”
- Build long-term relationships with minority organizations.
- Learn how to effectively interview diverse groups.
- Make sure to make appropriate internal culture changed that will enable diversity to thrive.
- Become the employer of choice for a diverse workforce.
- Ensure retention by developing a diversity-friendly culture.
- Foster a culturally sensitive work environment.
- Network for strategic alliances to enable long-term diversity recruitment.
- Measure the effectiveness of their recruitment efforts.
By implementing some of these ideas, corporations generate a diverse staff and a minority-friendly image. This image would greatly benefit a company’s marketing and customer relations. Many potential minority customers are highly aware of a company’s minority-friendliness and often make buying decision on that knowledge.
Diversity is essential in the corporate world because a diverse workforce means individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, knowledge and beliefs. A diverse environment is greatly beneficial to a corporation as long as it utilizes its diversities as advantages.
(Information provided in this post is from Alcatel-Lucent Named to LATINA Style 2007 List; Getting People in The Pool; and What is Diversity in the Workplace? Image provided by http://www.employmentblawg.com.)