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How to win the battle for talent: five arguments for diversity

Anyone who automatically thinks of the multicultural models in the colourful advertising campaigns of United Colors of Benetton when hearing the term "diversity" is not entirely wrong, but this thought is a little short-sighted. Diversity is much more multi-faceted than it appears at first glance. It not only includes origin and cultural affiliation, but also parameters such as gender, age, disability, religion or sexual orientation. In addition, there are differences in values and attitudes – at best, a diverse workforce covers as many of the target groups in society as possible. Diversity also plays an increasingly important role in the battle for the best applicants. In the following, you’ll find five reasons why.
Written on 10/21/20

1. Diversity implies equal opportunities
According to a study by stepstone and the German Newspaper Handelsblatt, 77 percent of respondents  would rather apply to companies that advocate tolerance and diversity. Even more respondents explicitly wish for a heterogeneous working environment. The reason for this is the belief that companies committed to these values automatically create equal and better career and promotion opportunities for all employees. Therefore, it is not surprising that diversity is particularly relevant for applicants with promotion aspirations.

2. Diversity creates a positive image
In recent  decades, a change of values has taken place in the world of work, which also affects the demands on employers. In particular, values such as meaningfulness and networked working with colleagues are becoming increasingly important, especially in the so-called generations X and Y. The clear positioning of companies in social debates, for example, on "Me too", "#Outcry" or "Black Lives Matter", is also appreciated – if not expected. If a company manages to position itself sensitively and authentically on these issues, this can become a decisive added-value for its public perception. The premise, however, is that these values are an authentic part of the corporate culture.

3. Diversity ensures a better work-life balance
A company that implements diversity management in a responsible manner not only attaches importance to a healthy mix in its own workforce, but also deals with the different realities in the lives of its employees. This automatically requires HR managers to address  issues such as flexible working and good work-life balance. Thus, it is no wonder that diverse companies often offer more progressive concepts and enable a better work-life balance

4. Diversity is a feel-good factor 
"Diversity also has an internal effect", as it says on the website of the initiative "Charter of Diversity - for Diversity in the World of Work". Employee satisfaction is higher in diverse companies. So if you have gained a qualified employee, you will probably retain him/her in the long term. 

5. Diversity helps to avoid mistakes
The first airbags were invented in the 1950s - a major achievement in terms of road safety that has proven its worth to this day -- provided that the driver or passenger is male. According to Focus, even today’s airbags are designed for the ”average male“. However, women, teenagers and older people do not have the proportions of the “average male” and hence suffer more, and worse, injuries in case of a crash. These days, at least there are female crash test dummies; in the 1950s this was not the case. Women’s bodies were simply not considered by male engineers. If the team of scientists had been more diverse, this certainly would not have happened. In the Tagesschau Zukunftspodcast, the economist Prof. Dr Monika Schnitzer, member of the German Council of Economic Experts, advances the theory that incorrect business decisions caused by a team that is too homogeneous can be avoided. So could the diesel emissions scandal have been avoided  if the managers at VW etc. had been more diverse? This question cannot be answered, but the decisive factor here is that diverse teams examine their decisions per se from multiple perspectives, making one-dimensional assessments less likely.

Especially companies affected by a shortage of skilled workers should actively engage in diversity management. Of all the arguments for diversity, there is one thing that stands out: diversity makes you successful. Countless studies leave no doubt about this. Diverse teams work more successfully. And success is attractive - after all, who wouldn't want to work for a successful company?