When it comes to work it’s not just about where they were born, but the experiences that they have had growing up that attribute to the work ethic and mindset employees have now. Most teams, whether large conglomerate, enterprise brands or simply bootstrapping startups, all highly value diversity within the workplace as the multiculturalism indicates an array of unique ideas and perspectives that are extremely important within any company. Similarly to how we place importance on a person’s professional experience being a crucial factor to their hiring chances, an employee’s culture, beliefs and outlook are also significant as this invests creativity to a team due to everyone’s diversity. We need to foster diversity, not just for the team’s productivity, but also for our individual growth as learning about other customs and rituals is essential for us to appreciate and understand the world around us – especially in such a cosmopolitan city like London!
Here at Smarter, our team benefits from an extremely distinct group as only 30% of our team members are British! 70% of the Smarter Team identifies their culture as non-British, ranging from Arab to West African to East Asian to the Caribbean and even just under 20% of us are South Asian! With the second highest majority, 29% of us being European, its safe to say that the workplace is forever ignited with fascinating conversation as our team is not just diverse with regard to culture and heritage, but also where they have worked around the world. Place us in the blistering heat of Dubai or the serene landscapes of Germany, Smarter has done it all!
Working in such a multi-cultural team enables Smarter to learn about foreign rituals and practices, we share Asian sweet treats across the office at lunch, Macaroons are devoured and even Turkish delight to name a few. Our employees’ joke that since they’ve joined Smarter, not only have they learnt about the world around them, but also adventured on an international culinary expedition as every snack is accompanied with a short story about the link the team member has with that food item. Diversity does not just encourage international understanding and acceptance, but it also promotes creativity. A host of experiences increases a company’s ability to see the world differently, and as a result, resolve challenges with a much more creative solution, often a more expedited one too. In fact, L’Oréal credits much of its impressive success in emerging markets to its multicultural product development teams.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of diversity is a simple fact that the Smarter Team, or any other international team, can speak countless languages! Here at Smarter, we can speak twelve languages! Our metropolitan team can converse in Spanish, Arabic, Urdu, Filipino and even Greek to name a few! As with any linguist, being able to communicate in foreign languages enables teams to bridge the gap between borders, easily expand into international territories and even teach each other languages in order to interact with international consumers and peers both within the city you live or externally too. As a result, research from McKinsey demonstrates that ethnically diverse companies were shown to be 35% more likely to have financial returns above the national industry median.
So, now that you know about a few of the key advantages of diversified teams in the workplace, have you asked your colleague to tell you about their cultural heritage or past? Or even just teach you a few words in their native language? Here at Smarter, we believe that in order to look forward to a prosperous future, we must celebrate our differences and use them to grow both personally and professionally.