November 17, 2018 - 161 views|
We propose three ways for businesses to effectively pursue diversity and inclusion practices to master the future of work.
Are you greater than the sun
that shines on everyone:
Black, Brown, Yellow, Red and White,
the sun does not discriminate.
— Sara Ting, “Sun Poem.”
You’ve seen the warning on your rearview mirror: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” The future seems to be approaching faster than ever before. The rise of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) is raising questions about the employable skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to thrive in the future of work. Given the dramatic shifts taking place in the work world, how to prepare for the future of work poses one of the biggest questions — and opportunities — of our time.
That said, the business case for diversity and inclusion has never been more front and center than it is now — and why not? Organizations with diverse workforces are better prepared to meet the complex demands of a dynamically changing business environment. In fact, multiple studies show that proactively encouraging diversity can directly impact a company’s bottom line. The Center for Talent Innovation, for instance, found that firms with high diversity levels experienced an 80% performance improvement compared with companies with low diversity levels, and research by the American Sociological Association found that for every 1% rise in the rate of diversity in a business, there was a 3% to 9% rise in sales revenue. These are just some of the studies pointing to why diversity is quickly becoming a pillar of productivity, profitability and engagement.
While many companies are jumping on board the diversity and inclusion bandwagon by creating and amending workplace policies, fewer are seeing actual results. Too often, “inclusion” is the missing ingredient — simply hiring people from diverse backgrounds does not automatically make your company a future-of-work champion. In order to make diversity truly inclusive, companies need to encourage their diverse workforces to work together effectively.
Three Steps to Improving D&I
We propose three ways for businesses to effectively pursue diversity and inclusion practices to master the future of work:
We’re poised at a critical moment in time, with AI and automation driving us to rethink our existing workforce and business models. How we respond to this moment — that is, the choices and decisions we make in the next few years — will shape the fate of many individuals, educators, businesses and economies. In this moment, creating an inclusive and diverse work environment is not only the right thing to do; it is the key to businesses surviving and thriving in the digital economy.
We’ve assembled some of Cognizant’s keenest minds to share their thoughts on how businesses can improve diversity and inclusion, both in an e-book, “Making Room: Reflections on Diversity & Inclusion in the Future of Work,” and a blog series.
In addition to our kick-off article on D&I in the tech industry, our upcoming blogs will cover an array of topics, grouped in four categories:
We invite you to read and welcome your comments to continue this vital discussion.
--Blog editors Desmond Dickerson, Senior Consultant, and Caroline Styr, Research Analyst, Cognizant Center for the Future of Work