Entrepreneurship and Diversity – The Ideal Mix!

May 7, 2020 By Neha

We are at a point in time where organizations are constantly evolving in terms of their business practices and outlooks with the aim of bettering their business and the society as a whole. Having a culturally diverse workforce within organizations today could definitely help with that. It not only helps in bringing fresh perspectives and ideas to the table but also adds to the talent pool, creativity and innovation, improved employee performance and a subsequent increase in revenue and profits. This further helps in fostering a sense of harmony and mutual respect outside the organization as well. This is why it has become important that the entrepreneurs of today understand and aim to implement this in their organizations as well. Irrespective of what field they venture into and what their business goals are, workplace diversity must be one of the top agenda of every entrepreneur today.

Entrepreneurs must understand the difference between having workplace diversity as a platform for gaining respect and not recognition. Most organizations implement diversity mainly to get featured under certain headings or to make it to a few prestigious management lists. This is again where firms miss out on the true essence of the presence of workplace diversity. The whole idea of encouraging diversity is to give and gain respect to and from the people that actually matter. This includes giving the deserving employees platforms and opportunities to voice their opinions and the power to influence growth within the organization in the right direction. Entrepreneurs should focus on investing in respect rather than create superficial initiatives that serve no real purpose and are just there to meet their organizational compliance needs. The unique values, differences and learnings of workplace diversity can only be achieved once organizations realize that respect cannot be demanded or ordered, it can only be earned.

An interesting way for entrepreneurs to look at workplace diversity is to compare it with the concept of a 'cultural mosaic'. The latter refers to the coexistence of multiple cultures, ethnic groups and languages within a society. The idea behind this term is to promote and encourage the presence of multiculturalism. Entrepreneurs are also considered leaders which gives them the power to bring about a change of this stature within their workplace. In order to do this entrepreneurs must first focus on converting the present melting pot of differences or homogeneity in the organization into the desired mosaic. This would provide the fuel needed to foster the needed innovation, growth and opportunities that would stem from having diversity within the organization.

From Coca-Cola to Johnson & Johnson to Ernst & Young, an increasing number of MNC's around the world have incorporated diversity in their management. This further reiterates how imperative inclusion has become in determining organizational success.