Diversity may be a good thing per se, but in the past performance-obsessed senior managers have needed persuading. Fortunately, there is now a new realization that a diverse and inclusive organizational culture benefits the bottom line and is an essential prerequisite to business sustainability, and that building diversity competencies for leadership development should be a core objective for the organization.
New research, from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, underlines the strengthening support amongst business leaders, who according to this study view diversity and inclusiveness as important in improving bottom line performance and critical to attracting and retaining leadership talent.
See Above To Download The White Paper: UNC Leadership Survey 2016: Diversity Competencies for Leadership Development
In a survey of c.800 companies key findings were that: 75% identified creating an inclusive culture as an essential priority; 86% said diversity was important for improving the bottom-line; and 95% believed that an inclusive culture is critical to their organizations’ future success.
“Demographics in the global workforce are changing rapidly and so are attitudes about diversity and inclusion,” said David Leonard, UNC Executive Development executive director. “Many companies are changing their approaches to diversity and inclusion, as you can see reflected in the research findings.”
The researchers considered leadership’s importance in fostering an inclusive culture and focused on:
- How are organizations redefining the competencies their leaders need to manage a more diverse, globally distributed workforce?
- What qualities are they focusing on?
- How are leaders asked to support diversity and inclusion goals?
- How is success measured?
At a time when the workforce has seen men and women almost equally represented, a greater spread of ages ranges than ever before, and the most racially diverse younger generation entering employment, organizations that incorporate diversity competencies into their leadership development strategy will be best positioned to succeed.
In their accompanying White Paper Kenan-Flagler Business School reflect on the results of the survey and include contextualizing data from the full survey where appropriate, and consider how to avoid some of the roadblocks to achieving a diverse and inclusive culture in the workplace.
“The conversation is changing about diversity and inclusion,” said Kip Kelly, UNC Executive Development director of public programs. “Companies are recognizing that diversity is not optional – it is critical to the success and sustainability of every organization. Successful companies are working harder to foster a culture of inclusion, and they’re holding their leaders accountable.”
Click Download This Resource to read the white paper: UNC Leadership Survey 2016: Diversity Competencies for Leadership Development