In a recent study by McKinsey & Company, research showed gender and ethnically diverse companies outperform their competitors by 21% and 33%, respectively. Accenture, a global strategy consulting firm, found that businesses which actively seek to employ people with disabilities enjoy 28% higher revenues and a 90% increase in employee retention. Diversity in hiring, however, is not enough to move your business forward—inclusion is imperative.
Our role model for inclusion in the workplace might surprise you. Henry Ford, to most people, is remembered as the founder of the Ford Motor Company and chief developer of the assembly line. Yet few realize his progressive thinking in regard to hiring and inclusive practices within his business model. Decades ahead of his time, Ford understood that a fair workplace is a profitable workplace and provided jobs and opportunity for advancement for people of color, women, and those with disabilities. A close look at his leadership style reveals two core lessons.
Decades ahead of his time, Henry Ford understood the best way forward is together. Census data predicts that by 2050, there will be no racial or ethnic majority in our country, and women already make up 46.9% of the labor force. Research repeatedly shows that diversity, inclusion, and success go hand in hand, and that we, as leaders, have the power to make it happen.
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Do you have ideas about how to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace? Do you have questions about how others are approaching this? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, below!