Diversity Matters

Leverage Diversity to be More Successful

Increasing diversity and inclusion in organizations is not about “doing the right thing”—it is essential to the success of organizations. Catalyst helps organizations build the business case for diversity and inclusion, starting with Why Diversity Matters, which summarizes the current research on how diversity affects businesses and leadership.

Culture Matters

Often, employees feel like outsiders or “others” in the workplace even if it is not obvious to you or others on your team. Catalyst’s report Feeling Different: Being the Other in US Workplaces examines the experience of otherness in the US workplace. By listening to the unique experiences of diverse employees and adopting inclusive approaches to talent management, organizations can truly empower and tap into their employees and benefit their business.

But diversity is not exclusive to the US. Our infographic shows the ripple effect and impact women have on the world economy. The economic empowerment of women can improve a country’s growth and stability, shrinking labor forces, and contributing to economic development.

Diversity Put into Practice

With 2014 Catalyst Award-winning initiatives, Kimberly-Clark and Lockheed Martin both embraced diversity with astounding results.

Lockheed Martin understood that in order to continue providing innovative solutions to meet customer needs, it had to attract, engage, and leverage a wider range of talent. This set the company on a deliberate journey to create a sustainable workforce for the future by making diversity and inclusion an integral part of the business strategy. With its US-based initiative Women Accelerating Tomorrow, women’s representation in the exempt population increased during 2004-2013 from 19.8% to 23.6%. Among senior executives, women’s representation grew from 16.7% to 21.7%. Additionally, women’s representation on Lockheed Martin’s Board of Directors has surged from 13.0% to 33.0%.

The more an organization’s workforce mirrors its markets, the more likely it is to understand consumer needs and build relationships that deliver long-term value. Kimberly-Clark understands this; its initiative, Unleash Your Power: Strengthening the Business With Women Leaders, seeks to drive diverse talent into influential roles across the company. Thanks to these efforts, between 2009 and 2013, women’s representation among Director+ roles has increased globally from 19.0% to 26.0% and women’s representation on the Board of Directors has increased from 16.7% to 25.0%.

Diversity Isn’t Always About Color

Two recent Catalyzing blog posts discuss how women in India and Japan can and should be added to the workforce in order to bolster the economy and talent pool.

But Color Is Definitely Part of the Picture

Discussions of otherness and inclusion must involve women of color, including African-American women, Latinas, and Asian women, who will make up 53% of the female population of the United States by 2050. In this blog post, Catalyst’s Katherine Giscombe, PhD, shares her thoughts on why businesses need to stop squandering the ever-growing and senselessly under-utilized talent pool that women of color represent.

And So Is LGBT

Sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression—not to be confused with sexual activity or behavior—are personal characteristics that everyone has. Including LGBT employees is a vital component of a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy.  Find out how to better recruit, retain, develop, and advance LGBT employees to help your organization compete effectively for talent, minimize attrition costs, and better access LGBT consumer markets.

Using these reports and tools, organizations can move discourse beyond anti-discrimination policies to everyday issues facing LGBT employees:

For Catalyst Members:

Outside the Organization

The reputation of an organization is determined by its actions within its communities as much as it is by operations among employees. Catalyst's report Gender and Corporate Social Responsibility: It’s A Matter of Sustainability found that gender-inclusive leadership and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are linked, leading to sustainable big wins for companies and society.