Defining Diversity

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BetterUp Studios

6 min

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Diversity refers to the variety of different perspectives represented on a team. These perspectives will vary depending on an individual's race, culture, abilities, gender, and sexual orientation.

Research has shown that the more diverse a team is, the better it performs. Companies with gender-diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to see above average profits than those without diverse leadership; companies with ethnically diverse executive teams outperform others by 33%.

Diversity can also lead to greater creativity. Social psychologists have found that people who maintain a strong relationship with someone from a different country score higher on routine creativity tests.

This spike in creativity and productivity can be attributed to the “edge effect.” In a term borrowed from ecologists, the edge effect refers to the areas in which two ecosystems meet. The rich diversity of these places creates a habitat in which new organisms thrive. It is much the same in business—when different perspectives come together, new and exciting things are created.

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