5 Reasons To Increase Your Company's Diversity

 Kim Davis, Advancing Executives Women Leader.

Kim Davis, Advancing Executives Women Leader.

This past July, New York AWE Leader, Kim Davis, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at NFP, was interviewed by Jilea Hemmings, CEO & Co-Founder of Best Tyme, who asked Kim to share how and why increased diversity can raise a company's bottom line. Kim leads a team that creates, implements, and supports NFP’s administrative and strategic employee programs, in addition to ensuring that NFP attracts, engages, and retains top talent. With more than 25 years of HR strategic oversight experience, Kim partners with business leaders to continuously ensure that the programs empower NFP employees to live their healthiest, most fulfilling and well-rounded lives within a people-first culture.

Here are the top 5 ways Kim says increased diversity can raise a company’s bottom line:

1. Outperform competitors: Metrics have shown that companies that embrace gender diversity tend to outperform other companies by 15%, and when diversity and inclusion is applied within a business, those businesses have shown to outperform other companies by 35%. 

2. Increase innovative thinking: The best innovations are coming from teams that bring diverse mindsets and life experiences from varied genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, education levels, etc. This enables projects or products to be more diverse and encompassing of the people that will use the products/services.

3. Maximize the talent pool: With the lowest unemployment rate in 10 years, if a company is not working to build an environment that is inclusive of many different faces, they are minimizing the pool even further. For instance, 60% of all college degrees are being awarded to women. If a company isn’t actively working to build and foster an environment that is supportive and open to women, they are reducing their talent pool by 60%.

4. Retain top female leaders: We are finding that women who are having children and raising families are also more likely to remove themselves from the talent pool when they’re in their prime career growth trajectory. Losing these women or not acknowledging them as they return to work will have a similar effect to a reduced candidate pool. Similarly, it will negatively impact diversity in innovation if a subset of the population is not being actively engaged. Offering maternity leave with pay and transitional services for going out and returning to work can have a significant impact on retaining these women in the talent pool. Additionally, offering programs that show schedule and location flexibility, daycare and after-care access will help these women manage their family and professional lives simultaneously.

5. Be representative of clients: American demographics are shifting, becoming more racially and ethnically diverse than ever. By 2030 Caucasians will no longer be the majority ethnic group in the U.S. This means that the faces of leaders and employees within organizations are changing too, and it is important that our workforce be representative of our clients and their workforces. Ensuring everyone has a voice at the table will significantly increase value for clients, as products and offerings will integrate an understanding of their motivations, values and experiences.

Click here to read the full interview and see other pieces by Jilea Hemmings on diversity in the workplace.  

Bloomingdale's is in AWE!

We're proud to announce that we're now partnering with Bloomingdale's. Thank you for supporting AWE's mission to create more diversity in corporate America. Together we can increase the number of women in corporate leadership and on boards to improve the global economy.

Bloomingdale's is America's only nationwide, full-line, upscale department store and is widely recognized for its originality, innovation and fashion leadership. It is a contemporary and "of the moment" brand with an omnichannel approach focused on providing a seamless customer experience from in-store to online. Bloomingdale's is truly "Like no other store in the world" (the brand's famous tagline) and is a leading attraction for domestic and international tourists. The brand operates 38 stores, bloomingdales.com and 17 Bloomingdale's The Outlet locations.

AWE Challenge: Stop Referring To Women As "Guys"

awe challenge.jpg

By: Meiko Takayama, Founder and CEO of Advancing Women Executives

Have you ever noticed that it's common vernacular to say, "Guys" even when referring to a group that includes women? We forget that the actual definition of "guy" is "man." Put another way, would you feel comfortable addressing a group of men or even a mixed gender group, "Gals?" I consider myself a pretty confident feminist and I can't see myself saying that anytime soon.

However, I have become much more aware of the word, "Guys" and I try to stop myself from saying it unless I am, in fact, addressing a group of guys. Language is one way to create more gender equality so consider choosing your words carefully. I challenge you to...

Stop referring to women as "guys"!

What should you say instead? You could say nothing, since it's really just a filler word, or use words like everyone, all, team, ladies or folks. Please feel free to pass this challenge along to the guys!


AWE Challenges are monthly action-oriented emails we send to executives in our AWE Leader Program to empower them to be better leaders. This was previously sent in May of 2015.