Why is diversity important?


The reason for diversity is that it’s good for business, not just because it’s the right thing to do!

There is no denying that diversity at any level in an organization contributes to greater than average organizational performance. Diversity, whether gender, age, race or ethnicity all contribute to bringing multiple perspectives, backgrounds and experiences into the workplace and provide the foundation for better decision making, innovation, quality, and performance.

Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on International Women’s Day, celebrated earlier this month, and the significance this may bring to our strategies regarding organizational diversity. In 2013, Mercer (a consulting firm) conducted a study for AECOM to understand gender diversity across global engineering, design and construction firms. The study suggests that women comprise, on average, slightly less than 1/3 of entry level employees at these types of firms. What is profound is that Mercer reports this percentage drops significantly at the middle and senior organizational levels. Why? Are we not truly leveraging the contribution that our female employees can make? What strategies can we all adopt that promote the voices of women and engage them at all levels of the organization, particularly in leadership?

At a fundamental level, a core value at Massaro is “people matter” and we want “all employees to reach their full potential.” We recognize that it takes leadership, commitment and real strategies to ensure that all employees have a voice, contribute at high levels and can reach their career aspirations. Over the past three years, we have increased the population of younger talent and female talent through focused recruitment and talent acquisition strategies.

To support the evolving (and quite diverse) face of our employee population, we knew that we also had to make changes in how we engage and develop our talent. Specifically, we have formed the Massaro Women’s Cohort to provide a forum for women to connect, support one another and grow professionally. Another program, Massaro College, ensures that all employees have the training to propel them to higher performance in their current roles and supports growth in expanded roles. And, later this year, we’ll launch Emerging Leaders, an initiative to provide expanded development opportunities for high potential talent.

It’s an on-going journey… it’s an investment… and well worth it!

Article by Angela Arrington, Organizational Development Specialist

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