« Money is king« .
In my blog post published earlier this week, Bright future, I mentioned a recent talk with a CEO of a well established brand in Brussels, Belgium.
« Do or die » he told me, before we even touched upon the subject of this blog post. He believes that leaders and businesses not considering « inclusion & diversity » will disappear. Demographic and technology are creating changes that are going pretty fast.
Depending on your company’s culture, on your executives’ views of the world and boardroom’s dynamics, on your industry; some may be quicker than others to recognize opportunities and manage organisational change. Do or do not. The train has left the station!
The topic of « racism at work » seem to make a lot of business people (that I have talked to so far) uncomfortable. I asked him if this is an area where CEOs would be open to discover a blind spot in their strategy dashboard or would be happy to turn a blind eye?
To my surprise, he thinks that CEOs in corporate Brussels / Belgium would be open and interested to discover a blind sport, especially if this results in financial performance and outperforming competition.
Remember, « money is king ».
As an executive or board member making strategic and operational decisions, how similar is the makeup of team versus your competitors? And future disruptors?
McKinsey published their latest study of diversity in the workplace, Delivering through diversity, that shows a correlation between diversity and financial performance, suggesting « how organisations can craft better inclusion strategies for a competitive advantage ».
« Yet progress on diversification initiatives has been slow. And companies are still uncertain about how they can most effectively use diversity and inclusion to support their growth and value-creation goals ».
In their research, McKinsey defines diversity as « a greater proportion of women and a more mixed ethnic and cultural composition in the leadership of large companies ».
As an original research, they had already published this study, Why diversity matters, in 2015.
Alert: I am focusing on the racial / ethnic diversity.
With date from 2017, McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for « ethnic and cultural » diversity on their executive teams were 33% more likely to experience above-average profitability (in terms of earnings before interest and taxes or EBIT) than companies in the fourth quartile.
Or said differently, they found that that « companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams—not only with respect to absolute representation but also of variety or mix of ethnicities —are 33 percent more likely to outperform their peers on profitability ».
« Top-team ethnic and cultural diversity is correlated with profitability ».
Yet in corporate Brussels / Belgium, ethnic and cultural diversity on executive teams is low.
They also found that black female executives are more likely to in staff roles than in line roles. And their sample denotes an absence of black female CEOs. They defined line roles as potential incubators of future CEOs.
« The correlation between gender and ethnic diversity and financial performance generally hold true across geographies. »
The main message of this research is to highlight that gender, ethnic and cultural diversity, particularly within executive teams, seem to show a strong correlation to financial performance across multiple geographies.
The role of a CEO: « Imperatives to deliver inclusive growth »
Last but not least, « creating an effective inclusion and diversity strategy is no small effort and requires strong, sustained, and inclusive leadership… Companies that do this well can create a strong corporate ethos that resonates across employee, customer, supplier, investor, and broader stakeholder groups… »
Do you feel like having a conversation?
Does your company have an inclusion and diversity agenda?
Born in Congo, I am committed to developing more inclusive workplaces. My passion is to open the job market to talents with no opportunity.
About eight years ago, a friend told me something like « in my company, they consider me as a high potential. I participated to the annual event of our industry, 500 people – la crème de la crème – and I was the only non-white in the room. A journalist even came to me and discreetly asked « what about upward mobility »? The problem is that in our industry, the majority of the workers at the bottom of the pyramid are non-whites. The higher you go in the hierarchy, the whiter it becomes. »
How to increase racial diversity at the top of corporate Brussels?
What can you do to try to make your workforce more diverse and inclusive?