Why the ‘business case’ for diversity isn’t working

Workplaces and executive boardrooms should reflect the world’s diversity, and lots of companies are using the so-called “business case” for diversity to instigate action. But, popular as it may be, it’s a failed strategy. You’ve likely heard a variation of the argument that companies with more diverse staffs produce better results for shareholders, or make decisions better than their homogenous counterparts. Unsurprisingly, you can read this logic trumpeted in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, but lately even nongovernmental organizations such as Oxfam have been championing equality for its business value. But, what’s puzzling about everyone’s obsession with the business case logic is that it’s not working. The 2020 Global Gender Gap report by the World Economic Forum shows that at the current rate of progress, Europe won’t reach gender parity for 50 years, and it will take 100-150 years in North America. We are even further behind on achieving racial equality. Studies show that rates of hiring discrimination against African Americans haven’t declined in 25 years. Read more at Fast Company.

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