Spaces filled with identical people and ideas frustrate me.
What I find more rewarding: colorful, diverse rooms. Rooms with lots of different points of view and different kinds of people. Here is why I prefer these kind of rooms: I love success.
The most successful, competitive organizations are diverse. Again and again the data reflects this positive outcome. Diversity predicts profitability.
Diversity in the board room matters. A society where all voices are at the table, empowered to bring insight and exert decision making on future outcomes, is a more just and equitable society. And the other outcome of diverse leadership: profit.
The Diversity Data:
According to McKinsey’s most recent 2017 data, there is a direct correlation between business success and the presence of women and minorities on executive teams. A quick example from the data:
· The worst performing quartile of companies had 1 woman line executive for every 58 men.
· The second worst performing companies had 4 women for every 48 men line executives.
· The number of women jump in the second best performing companies: 6 women for every 48 men. (Yes, this is still a dismally inequitable number.)
· Top performing companies had the most women line executives: 10 women for every 41 men.
· Imagine the performance of companies where gender parity is achieved...
The data tells us:
As diversity metrics rise so do profitability outcomes. So why are so many c-suites monolithic in gender, color, age, orientation, or background? What would I find if I came to visit your next meeting?
I find diversity is an outcome of awareness and experience, and that is very hard to change without intentional effort. To become aware of a blind spot we actually have to have someone point it out, or we don’t notice.
Here are a couple step you can take to begin to shift your awareness:
Notice who is at the table the next time you walk into a room.
· What diversity is present? Absent?
· Does the makeup of the room reflect the reality of the whole organization?
· What can you change with an invitation to the next meeting?
Diversity arises with intentionality. It is not an accident when a group of leaders in an organization are gender, age, ability, background and orientation diverse. It happens with effort: strategic, tactical effort.
Diverse rooms are fun to be in: especially as the trust rises. The stories I hear and the insight I gain when I spend a lot of time with people who are not like me teaches me so much.
Spend some time cultivating a friendship with someone who is different from you.
You will learn things about yourself and others and the world we share that you never knew. And we are all the better for it when we learn something today we didn’t know yesterday.