Why Diversity Matters For Small Businesses

A wonderfully diverse group of employees gather to discuss work.
| 12.29.22
Cecily Kellogg

A company’s greatest resource has always been its people. In today’s competitive business marketplace—where a fifth of adult workers identify as non-white—success depends on building agile and diverse teams. Inclusion and diversity aren’t just social issues; they’re economic ones that can determine how your company stacks up against the competition.

Why Diversity & Inclusion Are Good For Business

The American workforce is more diverse than ever, a trend that shows no signs of slowing. That’s good news for business. A larger and more diverse talent pool means increased creativity, innovation, and growth opportunities.

Let’s examine how diversity and inclusion can help grow your business.

Connect With Your Customers
Take a look at your customer base. Chances are, your customers come from a wide range of cultural and social groups. They probably don’t look alike, speak the same language, live in the same communities, or shop the same way. Yet each wants to see themselves reflected in your company’s public face. Now, look at the customer base you want to have in ten years when society will be more diverse. If growth is on your business agenda, emphasizing diversity and inclusion now is essential.

Get Creative
Imagine if we attempted to solve every problem using one tool or prepare every meal with a single utensil. Success would be elusive. Diversity affects every aspect of your business, from concept to final product. The more diverse your workforce, the broader your creative input. A wider range of perspectives inspires out-of-the-box thinking and can reveal new ways of problem-solving. A diverse workforce also makes your workplace more welcoming to new hires, who may otherwise feel isolated or excluded.

Appeal To Young Talent
GenX and GenZ are tech-savvy and socially engaged—and they’ve made it clear that workplace diversity is important to them. Attracting top young talent today may take more than a sweet salary and bonus package. In this job-seeker’s market, applicants want to see your company’s commitment to diversity before they sign on. You’re probably already competing with companies that emphasize diversity in their hiring programs. Don’t get left behind.

Boost Worker Retention & Reduce Turnover
One metric of a company’s overall health is employee retention. Companies that demonstrate a commitment to equitable treatment of their workers are more likely to have a motivated and engaged workforce. That’s important when you’re seeking to recruit the best talent. An unusually high turnover rate can indicate a larger problem with your work environment, company policies, or equitable treatment of workers. Why risk your business appearing inhospitable or directionless? Implementing diversity and inclusion programs can help you retain and attract quality talent while improving your company’s image.

Tips On How To Build Your Small Business Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Program

Creating a successful DEI program begins by examining where your company stands on diversity now. Look at your current workforce. Does it represent your current customers or customers you want to reach? How well does it reflect the community or national demographics? The answers will help you set goals for your DEI program. Consider these benefits.

  • Promoting awareness and education on the benefits of DEI throughout your business can help your employees understand why diversity and equity matter.
  • Broadening your company’s career development and recruitment practices will help attract from a wider range of social backgrounds and communities.
  • Ever thought about the barriers applicants face when seeking a job with your company? Encouraging a diverse applicant pool by streamlining your application process makes it (and your company) more inviting.

Actions speak louder than words, and demonstrating a commitment to equitable treatment of all employees makes your business more likely to attract and retain quality talent. Corporate and social responsibility can become part of your company’s mission. Society is changing, and falling behind is not an option. By making responsibility a cornerstone of your company’s mission, you’re also committing to the future success of your business.

About the Author

Cecily Kellogg is a digital marketing expert specializing in the B2B industry—particularly in infrastructure, chemical & pharma, and technology. For over a decade, she ran the boutique marketing agency Double Good Media before joining her current team at Percepture. She's been writing online since the internet was invented with publications ranging from parenting to pet insurance to small business—garnering millions of views. She lives in Philadelphia with her long-suffering husband, her radical teen daughter, too many cats, and a heck of a goober dog. (That's the technical term.)