The Case for Diversity and Inclusion
Recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse employees is critical to our organization’s success. Countless studies have shown that teams of mixed gender, ethnicity, physical ability, age and sexual orientation offer a variety of viewpoints and a wider range of experience, which in turn improves decision-making and problem-solving. In addition, diverse work teams are more representative of our customers and in order to adapt and meet the needs of the communities we serve, we need to ensure we are looking at our services through an equity lens to make sure no one is being left behind.
Organizations that are successful in leveraging the diversity of their workforce are better able to adapt to changes in the external environment. They are more innovative in anticipating and responding to these changes. A yearlong study conducted by McKinsey & Company involving 77 companies and almost 6,000 managers and executives concluded that the most important organizational resource over the next 20 years will be talent: smart, sophisticated people who are technologically literate, astute, and operationally agile. And even as the demand for talent increases, the supply of it will decrease. Not only will organizations have to devise more imaginative hiring practices; they will also have to work harder to keep their best people and this is where inclusion efforts become important. Research shows that employees are less productive when they do not feel respected and when they are unable to be themselves. The end result is that they end up leaving the organization.
Bottom line, not only is supporting diversity and inclusion the right thing to do, but it’s a key strategy in our 5 Year Business Plan. Diversity and inclusion at the County of Marin is an important part of the values and the responsibilities we have as public servants. In our recruitment efforts and work environment, we have the opportunity to illustrate a healthy way of addressing differences through respect, inclusion and equal opportunity.