As published in Worcester Business Journal.
As society and companies continue our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) journey, it's important to remind ourselves that DEI is not only the right thing to do, but it is also an important business imperative. Our society continues to become increasingly diverse, and the challenges of a dynamic economic environment require us to develop and embrace new ideas. Companies that succeed in the future will lean into this opportunity in terms of customers and talent.
Numerous recent research projects have demonstrated the strategic importance of employee diversity in three broad areas: performance, innovation, and future talent. A study by McKinsey & Company, a leading management consultant, found that companies with greater gender and ethnic diversity in their leadership generated higher profits and grew at rates above industry averages. These conclusions highlighted the fact that diverse perspectives and experiences at the top of the organization can lead to better decision-making and a deeper understanding of diverse customer segments.
Moreover, a study by Boston Consulting Group, a global firm that partners with leaders in business and society, revealed that companies with above-average leadership team diversity produced a greater proportion of revenue from innovation compared to below-average companies. When different backgrounds and perspectives come together, it fuels creativity, problem-solving, and the generation of new ideas. Embracing diversity in the workplace can unlock innovative solutions and give companies a competitive edge in an ever-evolving business landscape.
The importance of diversity extends to attracting and retaining talent, particularly among millennials and Gen Z. Over 70% of job seekers in these generations consider diversity a factor when evaluating a prospective employer. A Deloitte study of millennials found that they would stay longer with firms that appreciate the demands of a diversified workforce. In an era where the war for talent is fierce, creating an inclusive environment where individuals from all backgrounds feel valued and supported becomes a critical factor in attracting and retaining the best talent.
At The Hanover, diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just buzzwords but core tenets of our culture. As the Chief Strategy Officer, I have a unique vantage point to help establish DEI as a strategic imperative and advance our progress. The Hanover has a strong and welcoming culture embodied in our CARE values (collaboration, accountability, respect, empowerment) and this is the starting point for our inclusion efforts. Organizations looking to create inclusive environments need to ensure they have a clearly stated mission with values identified for all employees to live by. Within our walls, we understand that diversity goes beyond mere representation; it involves creating an environment where everyone can thrive, develop, contribute their unique perspectives, and bring their whole selves to work.
About the author
Basil Morris is the Chief Strategy Officer at The Hanover Insurance Group, and serves as Executive Sponsor for the company’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Council.