In the last five years, the number of people employed as director of diversity has doubled, and the demand for this role is only set to increase in the coming years. Many companies have realized that more inclusive leadership translates into improved creativity, higher growth, and better productivity. In the year 2019, inclusivity-related job postings in the United States grew 23%. Here’s why diversity roles are going to become increasingly prominent.
Companies See Diversity as an Investment
Companies are actively seeking to improve the diversity of their workforce by increasing representation of women, as well as people with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. They’re also working to become more inclusive in terms of age and ability. Research has shown time and again that diversity in the workplace makes businesses more profitable by increasing everything from stock prices to annual revenue. In addition, the average consumer values diversity and naturally perceives companies who have a culture of inclusivity more favorably.
Diversity Initiatives Aren’t Straightforward
Issue around diversity are still a sensitive topic so inclusivity programs require some finesse. Diversity initiatives require strong leadership. To improve representation, you have to do more than just hire more varied employees. You also have to manage the company’s brand to broaden your appeal to candidates, educate current employees about different cultures, promote a more accepting work environment, and more.
You Need Someone Who Can Drive Change
Many people instinctively fear change so you will likely experience some resistance as you transition toward a more inclusive work environment. Companies are hiring Heads of Diversity because they need leadership that can inspire cultural change. Directors need to have a wide range of talents. They have to be able to act as an advocate as well as a coach. They need tact and empathy in order to navigate challenging conversations. In addition, companies are realizing that creating an inclusive work culture is a continuous process that require permanent specialists.
Director of diversity roles have grown steadily over the past five years as more and more companies realize the necessity of having inclusive work cultures. Many employers feel a moral obligation to promote diversity in their companies, yet highly diverse companies also have a competitive advantage. Companies are hiring professionals to lead diversity programs because they know inclusivity is a smart and ethical investment, but they also understand the challenges that come with the territory.
by Ruben Moreno
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