Whatever your organisation’s commitment to diversity in the workplace, the evidence is stacking up to suggest diversity initiatives are no longer a ‘nice to have’, but an imperative for business development and growth – and the time to act is now.Research carried out recently by Broadridge Financial Solutions looked at the impact of diversity on business. Some 91% of 100 respondents said diverse workforces help organisations identify and access new opportunities for business. Some 51% said the biggest benefit of diverse workforces is a better ability to acquire, engage and retain top talent, 22% that diversity has an impact on improving client service, suggesting that there is external demand from clients to work with diverse teams, 8% saying diversity can improve product innovation, and a further 8% that it can support abilities to serve new markets.
Nearly all the respondents – 95% – agreed that executives managing profit & loss should be actively shaping diversity progress within their organisations, although 46% said they are not doing this because human resources is responsible for diversity.
Broadridge carried out the research among 100 independent financial services professionals and advisors at a financial services conference in late January 2019.
Frieda Lewis, chief commercial diversity officer at Broadridge, says the financial services industry is taking strides towards understanding the cultural benefits of diverse workplaces, but notes a significant disconnect in understanding the true potential for the bottom line. This, she says, requires less dependence on human resources and more on motivating business leaders to build diverse teams that can drive the bottom line in innovative ways.
As environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) strategies grow in popularity in the financial industry, Broadridge also asked respondents if companies with visible commitments to gender diversity are more attractive to investors – both retail and institutional. Some 76% said diversity and inclusion is important to retail investors, and 68% said it influences institutional investors’ decisions.