Diversity Drives Success In Times Of Crisis

A closer look at the breaking news of Pfizer’s potentially life-changing success on the Covid-19 vaccine reveals an interesting trend. Their team is full of diversity, from gender to ethnicity, and multiple publications have commented on this as a driving factor behind their achievement.

It’s worth examining this intersection of success and diversity on a broader scale. Our analysis: Diverse teams tend to be more innovative and capable of making well-informed decisions. They are also more flexible, allowing them to pivot during trying times.

Innovation is a function of diversity because of the variety of thoughts and perspectives that come from experiencing the world through different lenses. When corporations construct teams that are not uniform, they tap into a wider range of ideas and solutions.

Diversity pushes companies to be open-minded and promotes a more complete outlook on business strategy. One study found that when diverse teams make a business decision, they outperform individual decision makers up to 87% of the time.

Taking a closer look at the functions driving this statistic, it’s also true that differing backgrounds and perspectives can spark controversy. This controversy can only be remedied through the unifying and common language of facts. Diverse groups must pay close attention to unquestionable data and facts, ensuring level-headed, well-informed, unbiased and effective decision making.

Attraction and retention of employees are other benefits of diverse teams. Studies show that 67% of job seekers said a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating a company. 72% would consider leaving an organization for one they think is more inclusive. Recruiting the best people and having a healthy working environment directly reflects the success of a company.

Further data signifying diversity as a metric of success include:
  • Gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to outperform
  • Ethnically-diverse companies are 33% more likely to outperform
  • Non-diverse companies are 29% more likely to underperform

With the best people, the most innovative ideas, and the fastest decision making, diverse firms are far more equipped to handle whatever may come their way.

With everything we know about this correlation, why do so many companies still look so homogeneous? 

The underlying challenge of diversity is the perpetuation of the existing make-up of the workforce. As an example of this phenomenon, the findings of the McKinsey report: Women in the Workplace concludes that women are staying in the workforce at the same rate as men, despite their increased education levels. Without the conscious and concerted effort to promote diversity, the systems in play will remain unchallenged and therefore unchanged.