More Diverse Teams Are Smarter and More Creative

    February 11, 2021

    In recent years, there’s been a significant societal push for more diversity in the workplace. But did you know that more diverse teams are actually smarter and more creative?

    Diverse teams are smarter

    According to Harvard Business Review, a 2015 McKinsey report found that out of 366 public companies, those that were in the top 25 percent for ethnic and racial diversity in management were more than 35 percent more likely to have financial returns that were above their industry average. Companies in the top 25 percent for gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have returns that were above the industry average.

    Similarly, Credit Suisse conducted a global analysis of 2,400 companies and found that organizations that had at least one woman on the board yielded higher net income growth and higher return on equity than those without any women.

    Why is this? When people from diverse backgrounds get together, they focus more on facts and process those facts more carefully. They’re more likely to constantly look at facts and remain objective, while at the same time encouraging greater attention to each member’s actions. This ensures that their joint cognitive resources remain consistently vigilant and sharp.

    Diverse teams are more creative

    There’s a fascinating correlation between being exposed to other cultures and creativity. For example, many famous creatives did—or do—their best work when living overseas. Just think of the author Hemingway or the artist Picasso. So, what is it about multicultural experiences that enhances creativity?

    Forbes reports that diverse teams are more creative because a person’s individual creativity is enhanced by their ability to integrate different points of view—something that many of us learn when interacting with people from different backgrounds. In fact, multicultural experiences have been found to improve awareness of the underlying connections between different ideas, as well as enhance idea flexibility.

    The case for hiring diverse teams

    When you put all of this together, hiring people from a range of different backgrounds isn’t just the right thing to do for equality—it will also make your team smarter, more creative, and ultimately, more innovative, which can have a positive impact on your bottom line. But be sure to foster inclusive practices in the workplace, so that the new team members you bring on board feel comfortable enough to be themselves and bring their best to work every day.



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