The Importance of Diversity in Business

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By: Lizet Tymon 

Workplace diversity is among the most important predictors of sales revenue, customer numbers and profitability, according to research published by Cedric Herring in the April 2009 issue of the American Sociological Review.

Herring found that a workforce comprised of employees of both genders and varying racial backgrounds resulted in positive business outcomes. Companies reporting the highest levels of racial diversity brought in nearly 15 times more sales revenue on average than those with the lowest levels of racial diversity.

For every percentage increase in the rate of racial or gender diversity up to the rate represented in the relevant population, there was an increase in sales revenues of approximately nine and three percent, respectively. Herring found racial diversity to be a better determinant of sales revenue and customer numbers than company size, the company’s age and the number of employees at any given work location.

There is no doubt that Jabil employees are very diverse. Our global footprint gives us access to people all around the world, but are we really taking full advantage of this diversity?

Working Mother magazine recently recognized the 25 Best Companies for Multicultural Women in the United States, which included tech companies such as IBM and Cisco Systems.

The data of these 25 best companies shows how multicultural men, white women and specially multicultural women groups are not proportionally represented at the senior manager and executive levels. White men are the only employee group to gain representation as they advance in their careers.

Representation by Job Level

If these are the best companies in the United States, then we can conclude that managing diversity in Corporate America is still at very early stages.

As billionaire investor Warren Buffett said in an essay about the need of greater participation of women in business published on the May 2013 issue of Fortune magazine, “The closer that America comes to fully employing the talents of all its citizens, the greater its output of goods and services will be. We’ve seen what can be accomplished when we use 50 percent of our human capacity. If you visualize what 100 percent can do, you’ll join me as an unbridled optimist about America’s future.”

We Want to Hear from You: How does the issue of diversity fare in other regions of the world such as Europe and Asia?

Lizet TymonAbout Lizet

*About our guest blogger: Lizet joined Jabil in 2002 as an Industrial Engineer after receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. In her 10 years at the company, Lizet has risen to her current position of Global Planning and Inventory Manager. Lizet also holds an MBA from Grand Valley University.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on Jabil Joules, please email your story idea to jabil_joules@jabil.com.

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