Back to Blog Why Diversity and Inclusion Strategies are Vital to Your Agency by Sally Wong on February 20th, 2020 Having a diverse workforce makes business sense. We know it, you know it, and your clients know it. Companies which mirror their customer base perform better than those that don’t. Research by the Centre for Gender Economics and Innovation and Infinitas Asset Management, for example, reveals that businesses with gender-diverse boards perform more than 7 per cent better than those with all-male boards. Despite this, the ‘usual suspects’ still make up large proportions of corporate boards. But could things be changing? And what opportunities does this present your agency? A Desire For Change Diversity is at the forefront of the culture, and the recent same-sex marriage legislation suggests that diversity and inclusion are becoming ever more important. There are also significant signs of change in the corporate world. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s research suggests that there have been advances in employers’ efforts to attract and, crucially, retain women. The report also reveals that more organisations are carrying out gender pay gap analyses, offering flexible working arrangements and managers are increasingly being made accountable for gender equality outcomes. Clearly, though, there is more to be done. Diverse Businesses Win the War for Talent However, with new research revealing that diversity and inclusion could significantly help address skills shortages, there are clearly more advantages to be had than increasing profitability alone. The Future of Talent report, compiled by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and PwC reveals that seventy-seven percent of CEOs are worried about how skills shortages will impact future growth. However, they also believe that they are probably searching for skills too narrowly and diversity and inclusion could offer significant gains. The report states that: “Diversity and inclusiveness is no longer a feel-good HR sideline – it is key to accessing the widest pool of candidates, whether that be older workers, workers with carer responsibilities, people with a disability or any other element of difference.” So if business leaders acknowledge that attracting diverse skills is vital for success, but many aren’t doing enough to tap into disparate talent pools, your agency is in a prime position to add strategic value in this area. Your Agency’s Role as a Strategic Advisor Consequently, you need to be able to identify where these diverse talent pools are and create added value content that addresses the interests of each demographic. And act as a strategic partner when it comes to diversity and inclusion – think about what content you can create for your clients which gives examples of diversity best practice based on the work you have done with other companies. You want to be viewed as an extension of your clients’ businesses, and not just a supplier so address the pain points they face. Is Your Agency Diverse? As Australian businesses battle to become more inclusive, the opportunities to add real value, position yourself as a strategic advisor and win more business, are plentiful. Supplier diversity is becoming a key factor when it comes to choosing a recruitment partner. Consequently, your agency must be able to demonstrate an inclusive culture. Ask yourself how diverse your agency is and if you can’t show that you are taking steps to mirror the diversity initiatives of your clients, you may very well find yourself missing out on business opportunities. Are you practicing what you preach? Want to learn more about what other strategies you can put in place to add value to your business? Subscribe to our blog to get the latest updates!