How Business Transformation Can be Used to Promote Greater Workplace Diversity & Inclusion

In a way, the “Digital Age” we live in and the past year’s drastic shift to remote work has transformed businesses across all industries into data and tech companies — even if they don’t know it yet. Organisations are realising more and more the value that can be unlocked by digital transformation of core business processes.

There’s another opportunity being presented by the shift to digital: the opportunity to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Melanie Lougee, ServiceNow’s leader of employee workflow strategy, stated in a recent Forbes article, “As digital transformation initiatives proliferate, it’s crucial to understand how an organisation’s workflows can foster, or stifle, diversity and inclusion. Employers are investing in technology that better connects and supports a remote or hybrid workforce, so there’s a great opportunity to ensure that these tools include features to promote a more inclusive culture.”

Automation improves employee experience in myriad ways, and driving diversity and inclusion throughout all business processes is just one of them. Diversity isn’t just limited to racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic factors. It also includes different types of learners, personality types, working styles, life experiences, perspectives and other differences — all of which bring new skills, knowledge and value to an organisation. When leaders understand these differences and how digital transformation can be used as a tool to “bake in” inclusivity into every workflow, they can start cultivating a greater breadth of candidates and employees.

How diversity benefits your people, culture and business overall

Simply put, businesses with more diversity and tools for promoting inclusivity just run better, and the reasons why are fairly obvious:

  1. It brings new skills, talents and experiences to the table — ones that you’d miss out on with a more homogeneous workplace.
  2. It sparks innovation. With people of varying backgrounds, experiences and working styles working together, the possibilities for new ideas and innovation grow exponentially.
  3. It makes staff happier in their roles. When employees are able to feel comfortable, happy and supported in their work environment, they can feel more confident in their ability to do their job and achieve their goals.
  4. It builds a progressive culture. Businesses that prioritise diversity and inclusion create a culture that is more open to change, capable of developing new ideas and seising new opportunities.

When it’s all said and done, having a strong diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIB) strategy is a win-win for both business leaders and their employees. Apart from the moral case for promoting diversity and inclusion at work, research also shows that organisations benefit when people are encouraged to be themselves, including:

  • Enhancing job performance by 56%;
  • Increasing revenue by 3-9%;
  • Reducing turnover rates by 42%; and 
  • Mitigating costs associated with discrimination by $64 billion.

Diversity of data, tools and techniques

In addition to the need for a diverse staff, having diverse data and tools is key to successful digital transformation. As with people, the more varied your data can be, the more value and new opportunities it can present to your business, all while creating new levels of visibility that help to improve decision-making and forecasting strategies.

Diversity and digital

In the aforementioned Forbes article, Lougee also stated, “Employers have always cared about the wellbeing of their employees. That’s HR’s purview. They now must better understand their mental wellbeing and understand their sense of belonging. We need to be much more digitally connected to our employees in this absence of physical connection.”

Through digital transformation of core processes, businesses can use technology as a way to foster a culture that promotes diversity, inclusion, innovation and growth. And the sooner they start their transformation, the sooner they can start reaping the benefits and become a leader in both diversity and digital.  

-Written by, Taylor Bucher