Why do diversity and inclusion matter?

The risks of overlooking diversity and inclusion in tech companies are manifold and affect all aspects of business, and at great cost. Risks can affect:

  • Everyday business practices

    For example: Poor quality decision-making, which isthe result of homogeneous ‘groupthink’

    (the practice of making decisions within a group of people that all conform to a certain demographic norm, i.e. team members are all of one gender or ethnicity).

  • Business objectives

    For example: Slower rates of innovation affecting competitive edge. In Spain, research involving more than 4,277 companies discovered that companies with more women were more likely to introduce radical new innovations into the market over a two-year.1

  • Company performance

    For example: The quality and quantity of products/ services provided. In England, the London Annual Business Survey analysed data from 7,615 firms to conclude that ‘culturally diverse leadership teams were more likely to develop new products than those with homogenous leadership’.2

  • Employee engagement

    For example, a lack of inclusive policies in the workplace regarding physical and mental wellbeing for working people incur enormous costs to businesses and economies.

    In the UK, ‘lower work productivity due to common mental health problems costs in (approximate) excess of £15bn a year, and over 170 million working days are lost to sickness absence’.3

  1. Rock, D and Grant, H. Why Diverse Teams are Smarter. HBR online, November 04, 2016.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Carew, D et al. Employment, Policy and social inclusion. The British Psychology Society. Online, January 2010, Vol. 23 (pg. 28-31).