An overwhelming lack of diversity in many companies is one of the biggest issues in the business world today, especially in certain industries. Nearly everyone agrees that diverse workplaces are more successful—they’re more innovative, there’s less turnover, and overall, diverse companies bring in more revenue. In a 2015 study, McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity were 15% more likely to outperform other organizations with less diverse workforces. Ethnic and racial diversity made companies perform even better. The problem is not in the theory of organizational diversity—it’s in the practice. Almost all companies want the benefits of more diverse teams, but building them can be surprisingly challenging. Leadership’s role in this process is absolutely crucial for establishing a diverse and productive workforce, but so many leaders fall short of their responsibilities in creating this environment. Here’s why leadership needs to take the reins—and a few tips for getting started.
How should you respond when a student says something you said or did was domineering, insensitive, racist or sexist? What if you think that criticism is unfair or inappropriate? What if you think the critic has a good point and you feel bad about it?
High-profile allegations of bullying at a German research institute highlight the need for better systems to protect young scientists. Picture the scene: You are an enthusiastic young scientist, with, you think, the world at your feet. You have an exciting offer to join a world-leading research institute in another country. And then, to your dismay, you find yourself in a workplace where everything feels wrong. Your supervisor intimidates you and you receive upsetting e-mails, but the institute leadership seems indifferent. You are alone in a foreign culture, and you don’t know what to do. Your friends tell you to complain, but you are afraid of repercussions — and of losing the opportunity you fought so hard for. And, anyway, you don’t know who to trust.