Organizations that focus on diversity can provide support and foster new ideas.
During your job search, are you looking at employers that stress diversity in the workforce? You should. Companies that focus on diversity — not just in terms of race, but also gender, sexual orientation, age, culture, educational background, and more — can offer you a lot of benefits other companies can’t.
Consider these four reasons to seek out employers with diverse workforces.
Diverse workforces have a wider range of ideas
Diversity among employees means a diversity of thought, says L. Nicole Williams, managing director at Redpaint, a consulting firm that helps organizations understand and retain women of color. “Diverse workforces, or those that to the best of their ability accurately reflect the combined cultural and ethnic landscape of society, create an environment of diverse thought,” Williams says. “Homogeneity ultimately results in stagnation; whereas, diversity in thought drives personal and professional growth.”
A diverse environment is one that fosters continuous learning, Williams says, as it challenges people to reexamine preconceived ideas and perspectives. “The ability to generate results through engagement with others who see the world differently than we do is an invaluable part of the human maturation process. And, in the global economy, it’s a skill that will become increasingly sought after.”
Diverse organizations’ value employees’ differences
Diversity means difference, and an organization that fosters diversity means it will value your differences, says Stan Kimer, founder and president of Total Engagement Consulting, which offers diversity consulting with a focus on LGBT issues.
“Job-seeking candidates should most definitely seek out employers with excellent support of diverse workforces,” Kimer says. “This will signal to job seekers that the unique skills, experiences and background they have will be truly valued by the company, and they will be encouraged to bring their whole selves into the workplace for maximum positive impact. They will be respected, listened to, integrated as part of the team which will lead to very high levels of job satisfaction.”
Diverse organizations support individual cultures and needs
If you have special needs for any reason, a company that focuses on diversity will be open to meeting them, says Suzanne Robitaille, principal at abledbody & co., an inclusive marketing and communications consultancy.
“Companies that value diversity are more likely to support a job seeker’s culture and needs,” Robitaille says. “In making public statements about their diversity and inclusion efforts, a company is effectively saying, ‘we value your unique perspective and we’ll do what it takes to make sure you are productive and successful in our workplace.’”
Diverse organizations let you bring your whole self to work
Diverse workforces can be more comfortable for people who are in a minority. “In an inclusive workplace, job seekers don’t have to stress as much that someone on their team is judging them adversely because they are different,” Robitaille says.
“A company that embraces a diverse culture understands and supports for example, extra time off for a doctors’ appointment if you have a disability that requires medical care,” she explains. “This support comes from the top down; your bosses and colleagues will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary while keeping your needs and records confidential. A diverse company will offer flexible work arrangements that are tremendously helpful in such situations.”