Why diversity must be a priority for all companies in future

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Digitization and diversity Why diversity must be a priority for all companies in future

Published on 13.08.2021 by Tijen Onaran, founder of Global Digital Women

Ever more companies are waking up to the importance of diversity in tackling the challenges of digitization. Soon the question will no longer be whether or not to confront the issue of diversity, but simply how.

Even before the pandemic, it was clear that digitization is permanently shaping and restructuring the world of work on a fundamental level. For years now, the ideas of “new work”, innovative capacity, automation, agility and work-life balance have been at the forefront of this discussion. As we restricted our physical contact and transitioned to virtual collaboration and working from home, it soon became apparent who had done their homework and could therefore quickly adapt and reorganize. But the pandemic also revealed that digitization is about much more than just new tools and technologies ― above all it’s about diversity. Many companies today still do not fully understand the importance of this realization.

So why do digitization and diversity go together? This link can be seen first and foremost in the innovative capacity of a company. Simply acquiring new software does not make a company innovative by a long shot. The relationship between diversity and innovative strength has now been scientifically proven in many ways. In short, the general rule is the greater diversity, the more innovation. This means that diverse teams produce more innovative and better solutions. People who have different life experiences due to their background, socialization or gender bring new perspectives with them to the table. Though this may lead to more debate or conflicting ideas, it also produces more innovative and creative solutions that ultimately result in greater economic success.

The question of innovative capacity and future viability is closed linked to the challenge of attracting and retaining talented young employees in the future. More than almost any other generation before, young people nowadays can choose where they do and don’t want to work. This is placing greater demands on employers. Diversity is one of the key criteria that future generations take into account when choosing their employer. Businesses where diversity is not the norm will increasingly face difficulties when competing for the most talented young people.

When it comes to diversity, companies no longer need to question whether diversity is important. The only question is how to approach it. This includes defining objectives and taking them seriously, developing measures to achieve these goals, and regularly reviewing interim results and implementing counter measures if necessary. If a business fails to do this, nothing less than their future viability is at stake. They also have to be accountable to their shareholders. And the reputational damage of a media frenzy focused on a lack of diversity will soon be far more costly for a company than realizing the advantages of diversity today and seriously engaging with the link between diversity and digitization.

 


Due to the current situation, Connecta Bern will again be held as a digital event in 2021. Connecta is renowned for shining a light on the diverse nature of digitization and this year will be no different with content presented across the three formats of Connecta Blog, Connecta TV and Connecta Talk. Find out more here: www.swisspost.ch/connecta.

 

Tijen Onaran, founder of Global Digital Women

Tijen Onaran is the founder of Global Digital Women, an international company advocating greater visibility, empowerment and advice in diversity issues. As a member of the Handelsblatt Expert Council, she publishes articles and, every week, interviews eminent figures from society and the world of business for Business Punk’s “How to Hack” podcast.

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