4 Reasons Why Identity Diversity Matters

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A great deal of research makes it clear that identity diversity matters just as much as cognitive diversity in creating effective teams.

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Over the past few years, leaders have seemed to shift their focus from identity diversity to favoring cognitive diversity instead. That is, they’ve have started placing less importance on what people look like or how old they are, and more weight on how they think.

The truth is, both are important.

In a recent Forbes article, Khalil Smith, Head of the NeuroLeadership Institute’s Diversity & Inclusion Practice, presented four research-backed cases in which more visible forms of diversity still offer unique benefits.

They include:

  1. Identity diversity can achieve cognitive diversity
  2. Employees care about identity diversity
  3. Clients and customers care about identity diversity
  4. Investors and governments are starting to care about identity diversity

Together, these reasons present a strong business case for actively selecting recruiting and retaining people with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

What we know, Smith writes, is that “decision-making improves, employee engagement increases, customer interest increases, and investors and governments have more confidence in the health of a business when one key priority is upheld: hire, retain, and promote with an eye towards identity diversity.”

Click here to read the entire Forbes article.

To learn more about the essential habits for leadership, register for this year’s Culture & Leadership Insight Lab.

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