Alexis Rose, director of business operations for Accenture Strategy Europe, spoke about diversity and inclusion at this year’s Inspiring Women in Business Conference, unveiling Accenture’s latest research for International Women’s Day. Getting to Equal 2019 reveals how a culture of equality drives innovation.
Addressing an audience of business women at the EICC, she said:
“We found a culture of equality – the same kind of workplace environment that helps women advance to higher positions – also boosts an innovation mindset, or a willingness and ability to innovate, across the organization. In fact this innovation mindset is six times higher in companies with a robust culture of equality than in least equal cultures.
“Additionally, a culture of equality is a more powerful driver of innovation than a company’s geography, demographic factors, size or sector. The stakes are high: we could see global GDP increase by up to $8 trillion by 2028, if the innovation mindset in all countries was raised by 10%.
“That makes building a culture of equality not just an ethical imperative, but a business priority. Companies that aren’t continually creating new products, services, content or processes can’t succeed in the age of disruption.
“If organizations want to thrive, they have to get to equal. They must unleash the inherent potential of their employees to not only manage and lead, but to transform companies through creativity, invention and a forward-looking vision.
“No matter who or where they are, if employees experience a feeling of belonging, and are valued by employers for their unique contributions, perspectives and circumstances, they are both free – and empowered – to innovate more.
“And lastly, while diversity is absolutely a critical element, it’s just a start. Diversity within a culture of equality has a much bigger impact on innovation than diversity alone. That’s because in a culture of equality people are truly valued for their differences and free to be their authentic selves. They’re not just there to check a box, they’re empowered to contribute.”
For Alexis, “Diversity polices and initiatives give us the framework, and technology gives us the tools to change things for the better. But, for true change to happen we all need to show leadership and take responsibility. It can only happen if we all work to create it. Change starts with the individual.”
See Accenture’s video, “inclusion starts with I”, below.