Today we celebrate German Diversity Day. On this day, we share some thoughts on how important diversity in the workplace is.
What makes a company particularly diverse? When colleagues congratulate each other not only on Christmas and Easter, but also on Ramadan, Diwali or Hanukkah? Or that top positions in management or technology are occupied by women, without this being newsworthy? The proportion of older employees, LGBT people?
Diversity is not only variety, but the opposite of boredom
Successful diversity management incorporates all dimensions of diversity into the work environment: Age, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation and identity, disability, religion and belief, ethnicity and nationality. Indeed, Lucie Perrot, HR officer for Diversity & Inclusion at ING, shares this opinion: “Diversity is not only variety, but also the opposite of boredom. The more homogeneous a company is, the more monotonous its work culture. Diversity not only broadens one’s own horizons, but also those of the company.“
Diversity in the workplace is not just nice to have, but must become an essential component of sustainably successful corporate management. Because diversity management within a company is not only beneficial for the image of the company itself, but also brings real, organic business benefits: Diversity in the workplace makes people happy, productive and boosts morale. According to the study “Diversity Wins – How Inclusion Matters” (McKinsey, 2019), more diverse companies have (on average) a greater probability of being more profitable. With high gender diversity, the potential increase is 25 percent, with ethnic diversity as much as 36 percent.
Demand for equality and participation is growing exponentially
For many people today, attention to diversity, equity and inclusion is a decisive factor in choosing an employer in which to invest their careers. “The demand for equality and participation is growing exponentially,” says Dr. Aladin El-Mafaalani, Professor at Universität Osnabrück; “For the current and following generations, diversity is a core element of their social and corporate vision.”
At scoutbee, our hives contain 143 people from 33 different nations – from Argentina to the Ukraine. Today, 37 percent of us are female, not a terrible percentage for a B2B tech startup headquartered in Germany – but we are working flat out to make this as close to 50/50 as possible.
We are also committed to maintaining an environment where everyone can bring their true authentic selves to work, be proud of who they are and encourage others to be confident.
scoutbee´s Employee Resource Group on diversity, equity and inclusion
Some time ago scoutbee employees started an Employee Resource Group on diversity, equity and inclusion. The DEI-ERG places greater emphasis and attention on topics related to diversity and inclusion. It also aims to attract more diverse talent and ensure a safe and nurturing space for all employees.
Anastasiia Tymoshchuk, Lead Software Engineer and Lead of the DEI-ERG at scoutbee, says: “Different cultures have different levels of communication; the key is finding common ground and a common style in communication, whereby each team member has the same understanding of the topic of the discussion. The main benefit of diversity in the workplace is having different perspectives concerning the same feature, product or topic.”
We asked colleagues across scoutbee for their thoughts on how diversity has enhanced their work lives and shaped the output of their teams. Here’s some of what they said:
“One of the biggest advantages of diversity is that it gives a chance to learn about yourself. I think the opportunity for personal growth in a diverse environment is the key motor for innovation as it requires us to learn to switch reference frames for our thinking.” – Konstantin Mergenthaler; Chapter Lead Data Science
“Working in a diverse and inclusive workplace can benefit us as individuals but also the company as a whole by making biases much less likely to be baked into company culture and the products that the company puts out in the world. I try to follow the approach of almost never assuming stuff about peers; being curious and openly communicating is the better alternative to making assumptions.” – Theo Costea, Full Stack Developer
“Diversity gives you the feeling that everyone can receive help, understanding and encouragement, no matter what gender, religion etc… The fact that diversity is challenging is probably what makes it beneficial. I’m super happy to learn to understand and manage differences in language, culture, background and doing it enriches me. And it’s fun. Diversity in personalities needs inclusion and understanding. Diversity should be cultivated, talked about and not hidden and flattened. For me diversity is first of all more interesting. I’m super curious to get closer to people that have adifferent background than mine.” – Alberto Jacini, Full Stack Developer
“For me diversity, equity and inclusion does not mean to be a woman representative in the team or to be hired as a female developer, but to be a team member with the same right to express my opinion as everyone else. The most challenging thing in a diverse environment is to find a way to communicate effectively.” – Anastasiia Tymoshchuk, Lead Software Engineer
“DEI is a culture that should be fostered in all workplaces and organizations. When done correctly it should mean all employees/members of the organization are given equal opportunities, regardless of gender, ethnicity or physical disability. I feel proud to be part of a company where my colleagues are from all over the world. This brings value to my experience at scoutbee because I can work with and learn from colleagues with different backgrounds.” – Phoebe Atkinson, Product Designer UI – UI/UX
The American artist Donald Judd already expressed his distrust of homogeneous systems in the 1960s: “Things can only be diverse and should be diverse. Styles, schools, common goals and long term stability are not credible ideas.” And he is still right today.
Diversity and inclusion is certainly a work in progress, and we at scoutbee share a common commitment to improving our diversity on all levels. It’s a long and important journey, but it’s an exciting one. While it cannot be perfected overnight, positive change happens day by day, and will ultimately succeed when a team has a strong shared vision of their best potential.
Indeed, Happy German Diversity Day today, but also everyday!