Every day there are more headlines about the challenges of workforce diversity. A focus on diversity often means a focus on hiring, and even with substantial investments of time and money, it takes years to turn the tide for companies with thousands of employees. But there is a way to make change happen faster. Companies can capitalize on the diversity they already have by including more diverse employees in business decisions at all levels.
Accenture has found that a culture of equality—the same kind of workplace environment that helps everyone advance to higher positions—is a powerful multiplier of innovation and growth. Global gross domestic product would increase by up to US$8 trillion by 2028 if innovation mindset in all countries were raised by 10 percent. Diversity positively influences an innovation mindset, and equality is the multiplier. A culture of equality is anchored by three pillars: an Empowering Environment (one that trusts employees, respects individuals and offers freedom to be creative and to train and work flexibly), Bold Leadership (a diverse leadership team that sets, shares and measures equality targets openly), and Comprehensive Action (policies and practices that are family-friendly, support all genders and are bias- free in attracting and retaining people).