Blog post

500 million reasons why diversity is the business

Fri, 24 August 2018#MyRightsAreYourRights

Europe’s diversity is one of its most valuable assets. Not only is it common courtesy to respect and embrace our differences, but it also makes sound financial sense. 

A recent study by McKinsey of 300 multinationals found that most ethnically diverse companies are also the very best performing. Together we are definitely stronger. 

Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to make financial returns above their competitors. 

This is great news for the 500 million inhabitants of the EU… arguably the most diverse region on earth. And it also makes perfect sense. 

Companies with workers from a mix of backgrounds can tap into a variety of skills and experience. They are a melting pot of ideas and decisions reflect the diversity of their customers. 

Allowing people to be their whole selves at work, home and in everyday life makes a richer experience for us all. 

Michael McEachrane, representing the European Network of People of African Descent at the 2018 Forum, says: “Increasing diversity is a true blessing to Europe.” 

He adds: “Europe can now retreat into nationalism and racism or rise to the occasion and see the increased diversity as an opportunity to deepen its commitment to dignity, equality and solidarity. 

“From a moral perspective the choice should be obvious. Also from the perspective of sustainability.” 

As Steve Howard, Head of Sustainability at IKEA, said during the Fundamental Rights Forum 2016, businesses have to reflect and be connected to the diverse and inclusive societies they serve.

They should take a stand for communities and can lead by example in their workplaces. “The business case can almost always be created to do the right thing, so why would anybody do anything else?” he said “If we lead with intent we can be the generation to fast track change.”

The #MyRightsAreYourRights track at #RightsForum18 will look at how and why we can, and should, help make human rights a reality for all. 

It will acknowledge that human rights and responsibilities are for all. And by celebrating diversity and respecting the rights of others it will help build a European sense of belonging. 

Sessions will share experiences and best practices to help people of all ages, races, genders and religions to reach higher without feeling the need to conform. 

The aim is to build a stronger, richer more diverse European Union. 

Even if you’re not attending #RightsForum18 you can take part in the discussions on diversity by following  #MyRightsAreYourRights online. 

(Articles posted on this blog represent the views and opinions of the authors)

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