Why diversity matters in business
Lasting businesses endure disruptive changes. This phrase is from an old business and economics college textbook. Our class assignment at the time was to define and solve potentially disruptive changes that could affect a company. This year would’ve certainly made that list, given the ongoing pandemic. Although our instructor preferred to call it “innovative change.” This, she said, is because the companies that endure such challenges are typically flexible, creative, and innovative.
Diversity is also a key ingredient. On one level, diversity reflects a company’s range of products or services. And in disruptive times, it’s the ability to become innovative. Diverse and novel ideas are the catalyst for growth and perseverance. Several fastener businesses are proving good examples of this so far this year, with many supplying products that support the fight against COVID-19.
Case-in-point: Advance Components, an industrial fasteners master distributor, now offers what it calls “a new kind of fastener.” Unconventional perhaps, but these new fasteners (called Face Mask Comfort Straps by ARaymond) address the discomfort associated with wearing a mask and are currently in high demand. Additionally, PennEngineering’s Heyco division is supplying face-shield frames to the health care sector. (The frames are etched with the words, “Helping People…Saving Lives,” as a thank you to the workers wearing them.) Several other manufacturers are also supplying much-needed components that support essential services.
Turn to the article, “Working through COVID,” for lessons from essential manufacturers about working through the pandemic. The overarching theme: it’s imperative to embrace change and learn how to do business differently.
On a much deeper level, diversity is also critical in the workplace. It reflects how well a workforce represents equality in regards to race, gender, age, physical abilities, and other characteristics. Statistics repeatedly show that companies with higher-than-average diversity perform better and support higher innovation revenues. But shouldn’t this be obvious?
Diversity is expansive, exposing new information and perspectives, which paves the way to better decision-making and problem-solving (ideal for overcoming disruptive changes). Essentially, diversity makes businesses smarter.
To this end, Women in the Fastener Industry (WIFI) deserves full credit for providing support, opportunities, education, and mentorship for women in fastening — and for more than a decade now. However, it takes more than one organization to make lasting changes. How is diversity reflected in your business? AT WTWH Media, we’ve had several recent discussions about how to best ensure inclusion, equality, and innovation in the workplace. What is your company doing?
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