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Staffing and Diversity: The Business Case

Workplace diversity—including and respecting the range of attributes that each employee contributes to a business—can have a positive effect on a staffing firm’s bottom line, according to research by the trade association Business for Social Responsibility. Diversity once referred to visible characteristics like gender, race, or age, but now many companies are defining diversity more broadly to also include beliefs, skills and talents, life experiences, thought processes, and working styles.

BSR reports that more companies than ever are engaged in serious efforts to define and integrate diversity into all aspects of their business. Diversity can provide several benefits, including these described by BSR.

  • Improved financial performance: Studies suggest a correlation between socially responsible business practices and positive financial performance. One study showed that stock prices of financially underperforming companies improved when they implemented corporate governance reforms.
  • Increased ability to attract and retain employees: Companies that have a strong commitment to diversity often find it easier to recruit and retain talented and diverse employees. BSR studies show that employees are more likely to recommend an employer that is socially responsible, even in difficult labor markets. More than half the students in one survey indicated they would seek another job if they found that their values conflicted with those of their employer.
  • Reduced risk: Companies that have established diversity programs and developed policies to address and resolve potential discrimination and harassment issues may be less vulnerable to penalties in the event of discrimination or harassment lawsuits. Because diversity programs can present unique legal issues, diversity programs and initiatives should be carefully crafted and should be implemented with guidance and advice from legal counsel.
  • Enhanced brand image and reputation: Clients and job applicants often are drawn to brands and companies with good diversity reputations.
  • Expanded client base: As companies work with an increasingly diverse client base, they must ensure that their workforces more accurately reflect the composition of their client companies. Many companies have found that by concentrating on diversity and inclusion, they are better able to reach out to diverse markets.
  • Expanded supplier base: By establishing relationships with suppliers in increasingly diverse markets, staffing firms can gain a competitive advantage.
  • Greater innovation: Contributions from people of diverse experiences and perspectives allow companies to improve innovation by generating new ideas and highlighting emerging issues.

The NDC is the first non-profit organization to bring together the private, public and non-profit sectors to discuss the many dimensions and benefits of a multicultural environment.

The vision of the National Diversity Council is to cultivate a nationwide network of affiliated councils to advance diversity and inclusion by transforming our work places and communities into inclusive environments where individuals are valued for their talents and empowered to reach their fullest potential. The mission of the NDC is to be both a resource and an advocate for the value of diversity and inclusion. The NDC serves as the umbrella organization to support our statewide and regional affiliates, which foster an understanding of diversity and inclusion as a dynamic strategy for business success and community well-being through various initiatives.

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