The word ‘diversity’ has for a while now run the risk of becoming yet another misunderstood business buzzword, like ‘synergy’ or ‘circle back’. But, says Angie Lanham-Love of Lanham-Love Consulting, a 73.57% Black Owned Level 2 BEE Exempt Micro Enterprise that specialises in ensuring comprehensive B-BBEE compliance for businesses across the spectrum, we deride it as merely a buzzword at our peril.
“Diversity in your business is not just about inclusion or your reputation, although those are two vital aspects of diversity that must not be dismissed,” says Lanham-Love. “There are a number of immediate benefits to investing in diversity in your business that go beyond the ultimate goals of social justice.”
“Firstly, the variety of different perspectives that a diverse workforce can offer your business mean that different ideas can feed off and build on one another to result in the best solution to whatever problems your business may face,” says Lanham-Love. “In addition, it’s worth remembering that your customers are diverse, too, meaning that a diverse workforce will give you better insight into your customer base.”
“Creativity is another advantage that having a diverse workforce can grant your business. At Lanham-Love Consulting, we’ve found that having a diverse team naturally leads to a more creative approach to problem solving,” says Lanham-Love. “When your team is homogenous, it can result in the same old standard solution being trotted out to solve every issue.”
A diverse workforce can also have an immediate and demonstrable impact on your bottom line. According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, “employees of firms with 2-D diversity are 45% likelier to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.”1
“I find this concept of two dimensional, or 2-D diversity fascinating,” says Lanham-Love. “It refers to the idea that diversity can be inherent or acquired. Inherent Diversity covers those traits that one is born with, such as gender, race, or sexual orientation. Acquired Diversity are those traits that one gains through experience, such as working in a different country, or having a different educational background.”
“The benefits of acquired diversity should also not be ignored. Not only does this kind of diversity allow for creative thinking and problem solving, but it also means that those creative solutions are more likely to be heard, instead of dismissed or glossed over,” says Lanham-Love. “It’s really worth investing in all kinds of diversity in your business.”
If you understand that diversity is far more than just a buzzword and want to learn more about how it can benefit your business, now and in the future, speak to Lanham-Love Consulting today. Our key philosophy is to create solutions that result in additional benefits and increased compliance across multiple elements of the scorecard.