Why diversity matters—even more now?

Diversity is a fertile ground for breeding creativity, innovation and productivity, says Sujata Barla, Chief Digital Officer, Integrace

Why diversity matters—even more now? - CIO&Leader

Gender diversity at workplace and its impact on business outcomes is a long-debated topic. While I was doing my research for this article I came across multiple studies and research stressing on why women leaders are better than men, how women manage situations differently, how women leadership approach is healthy for driving company’s bottom line and thriving the culture of innovation.

Well, as much as I agree with these, I equally disagree too.All men are not the same and so is the case with women. Each individual brings in a very distinct personality, character, perspective and working style to workplace.

The point is not so much men vs women as it is about diversity per se. Diversity in general is a fertile ground for breeding creativity, innovation and productivity.Endorsing and celebrating everyone’s unique style is a win-win situation for the organization.

A diverse organization—like a pluralist society—has multiple strengths. It is not just more creative, it is more resilient too.

Gender Diversity

Traditionally organizations have been dominated by male who think in a particular manner.

Women as a gender bring in a very different perspective at the workplace. Nature and Nurture plays a very significant role in shaping up a women and the way she looks at the world and interprets it. A research by Harvard scientists shows that women use their brain differently than men.

So, by definition a solution to a business problem will cover all possible perspectives if there’s diversity of workforce. Research shows that there are aspects—such as emotional implications—that come to women’s thinking more naturally than men’s.

With large scale automation and application of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and robotics in the business, increasingly the route to efficiency will look more similar for different organization. What will make one organization more effective than another is their ability to apply the human values such as empathy and sharing—attributes research shows women are better at.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) just popularized a phrase—Globalization 4.0—that was the theme for its just concluded annual meeting at Davos. “With advances in robotics and artificial intelligence in the context of aging societies, we will have to move from a narrative of production and consumption toward one of sharing and caring,” said WEF founder Klaus Schwab explaining the concept.

Can a global regime that is looking to put ‘sharing and caring’ at the centre stage afford to ignore gender diversity?

The author is Chief Digital Officer at Integrace

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