The Future of Work is Diverse

Our commitment at Projectline to making the Future of Work better for people and the companies they work with is indomitable. Our team’s focus is often on the positive outcomes of the fissure between employee and employersuch as more choice of when, where, and how our consultants work.

But we also focus on diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Except for Hacking HR, in Future of Work circles, don’t see enough conversations around diversityplenty of research around robotics, AI, automation, remote work, independent workersblended workforces, etcBut not much about subjects like racialgender, and other equity, especially at the board and exec levels of companies that are embracing the Future of Work. These two narratives need to come together.

If you aren’t clear on why those who are architecting the Future of Work need to think about diversity, let me give you a few examples: 

  • According to a Forbes Insights study, “Diversity is a key driver of innovation and is a critical component of being successful on a global scale.”1 
  • McKinsey research shows that, Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.2  
  • AJ Agrawal pointed out in Inc. Magazine that, “Diversified groups have the ability to outperform other groups not simply because they offer a set of new ideas, but because of their diversified environment. This offers the ability to trigger a more careful thought process.3 
  • According to Harvard Business Review“Diverse teams are more likely to constantly reexamine facts and remain objective. They may also encourage greater scrutiny of each member’s actions, keeping their joint cognitive resources sharp and vigilant.4 

But beyond the business benefits, there are US and global demographic imperatives that will drag stodgy companies kicking and screaming into the diverse futureIt’s predicted that people of color will be the majority by 2043 in the US.5 And yet, ~97% of US corporations have senior-leadership teams that don’t reflect the demographics of the labor force or population.6 In the US across all ethnic and racial backgrounds, an average 60% of all college degrees (associates, bachelor’smasters, and doctorate) are earned by women,7 and women will continue to grow as a proportion of decision-making clients and business influencers.

Beyond the business benefits and demographic imperatives, it is important to remember that diversity, inclusion, and belonging are ethical imperatives. Fighting our own biases and creating a more equitable work environment is the right thing to do.

And although the census data and research related to diversity currently focus more on gender and race, by no means is that the extent of how different the future will look. The Future of Work and leadership will also be more differently abled, less binaryqueerer, and, if we have anything to do with it, composed of people from a wider range of ages.   

As we think about what the Future of Work will look like, let’s create a world where people have more freedom, where companies have more flexibility, where work is more interesting and creative, and where leadership represents the entirety of our world, not just a small portion of it. Projectline works with and supports groups like the Pacific NW Diversity CouncilFuture For UsLatinas in Seattle, Be BoldWork of HonorHacking HRWomen in Digitaland more to create the world we want to see. Join us! 

Let’s chat more about this topic on LinkedIn or Twitter: @AnikaMarketer

1https://images.forbes.com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Innovation_Through_Diversity.pd
2https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters
3https://www.inc.com/aj-agrawal/why-diverse-teams-win.html
4https://hbr.org/2016/11/why-diverse-teams-are-smarter
5https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/25/minorities-will-become-th_n_2948188.html
6https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters
7https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=72