The Evolving Diversity of the Global Marketplace

9/19/2014

Diversity as we know it has changed over the last decade, and is continuously evolving as the world economy grows. New players are entering the market at a rapid pace, and some well-established players are taking on a secondary role. As an example, consider that in 1963 two-thirds of the world’s top 100 global companies were headquartered in the US. That number has dropped to only one-third in a span of 50 years.

What does this mean in relation to organizational diversity? Well, simply, employees in companies both local and global are more likely to be dealing with people from different cultures, whether in terms of nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc. The more contact we have with people from different cultures, whether we work with them directly or virtually, the more chances that cultural gaps can interfere with smooth and effective workflow.

But savvy business leaders do not see diversity as a threat to good workflow, but rather as an opportunity to be leveraged. Today, best practices to leverage global diversity include a top-down belief that diversity drives innovation and creativity. It is embraced by leaders in every location and encourages key inclusion, respect and engagement practices. Leveraging diversity is a business imperative in the rapidly evolving global marketplace in which, now more than ever, people from different cultural backgrounds work together.

Ila Gandhi