How diversity can help boost our business

In this think piece, Team Van Oord outlines why it firmly believes that diversity in the workplace increases innovation and the bottom line – by up to 35%.

At Team Van Oord, we are clear that greater diversity and inclusion leads to better results for the company as a whole. Put simply, a balanced business is a better business.

Research proves that a more diverse company will outperform a less diverse company every day of the week.

A report published in 2015 by the consultants McKinsey & Company found that a company with a greater gender diversity on its Board is likely to outperform others by around 15%; and companies that are more ethnically diverse are likely to outperform their competitors by 35%.

A diverse workforce means greater diversity of thought and experience, which leads to superior performance. Being able to bring your whole self to work releases energy and maximises creativity.

In 2016, the leading global financial services firm Morgan Stanley said: “Gender diversity can improve team decision-making and improve innovation capabilities for development of new products or services.”

Our customers are diverse and we need to reflect this to understand their issues and needs, and to open up a wealth of potential solutions that may have previously been untapped.

Growing numbers of organisations are acting on research to enhance their performance with a more balanced workforce.

A recent research report by the City-based think tank Economic Geography suggests that diversity is both an economic asset as well as a social benefit. The report concluded that organisations with greater levels of diversity create more new and better products than those without.

Whilst understanding the theory is easy – the reality of implementing it is much harder.

Within the WEM Framework Team Van Oord has started the conversation about diversity and inclusion. Our vision is a Framework where everyone is empowered to be themselves and all employees and communities are inclusively engaged – to enable us to deliver the best project outcomes as a result.

Working in partnership with the Environment Agency, we have introduced a standard insert into site inductions to share a consistent message to all. We’ve also jointly created an award to celebrate greater inclusiveness, and we’re really excited that this new award category will be presented at the 2018 Environment Agency Project Excellence Awards ceremony.

As we grow and evolve, it is essential we provide a diverse environment of inclusion that ensures everyone is respected and supported. In doing so we will all benefit and attract even more talent to our sector which, in turn, will help us contribute to the Environment Agency’s goal to be the very best organisation it can be.

23 October 2017