Diversity in companies pays off

Career at thyssenkrupp | Corporate culture | Engagement | People at thyssenkrupp | Diversity is good – not only for employees but also for companies. Studies show that where companies have high levels of diversity the working atmosphere is better - and profits higher. Diversity has become an important success factor.

The management consultancy McKinsey published a study in 2018 according to which diversity in a company translates directly into business success. To put it more simply: companies that employ a diverse workforce earn more money. Entitled “Delivering through Diversity”, the study reaffirms “the global relevance of the correlation between diversity (defined as a greater proportion of women and ethnically/culturally diverse individuals) in the leadership of large companies and financial outperformance,” say the authors of the study in their foreword.

And they back it up with facts and figures. Their surveys and analyses of more than 1,000 companies in twelve countries show that businesses with a particularly high proportion of women in management positions are 21 percent more likely to make above average profits than companies with a lower proportion of women. The likelihood of higher profits increases by as much as one third (33 percent) if a company fills management positions with people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The figures represent a small section of the study. To sum up, diverse companies grow faster and are more innovative.

For Chief Human Resources Officer Oliver Burkhard, diversity is invaluable both humanly and economically. That's why he is constantly engaged in discussions about diversity, women in management positions and thyssenkrupp's various commitments, as here at an event for Diversity Day 2017.

For Chief Human Resources Officer Oliver Burkhard, diversity is invaluable both humanly and economically. That’s why he is constantly engaged in discussions about diversity, women in management positions and thyssenkrupp’s various commitments, as here at an event for Diversity Day 2017.

Not just a question of fairness

“The correlation between diversity in management teams and business success is real. Promoting talent from different backgrounds, men and women, different ethnicities and academic backgrounds, is both a question of fairness and a business priority,” says Julia Sperling of McKinsey. Diversity can be most effective if it is promoted according to objective criteria, for example through the use of data-driven people analytics. Sperling: “That way the best people end up in executive positions.”

Very similar results were found in a 2018 study by the Boston Consulting Group which also included age and education in its research. It too concludes that companies with a diverse workforce are more successful. One of the reasons for the success is that more diverse companies are better able to attract top talent, improve their customer focus, employee satisfaction and decision-making, and increase their social acceptance.

Diversity increases loyalty

Diversity increases the satisfaction, loyalty and ultimately also the performance of managers and employees. Employees in diverse companies are on average healthier, and absenteeism and turnover are lower. Healthier people equal a healthier company is the simple equation that corporate leaders and owners must internalize.

Many companies still struggle with the issue, says McKinsey, and do not engage in active diversity management. thyssenkrupp recognized the opportunities offered by a diverse workforce some time ago. “We at thyssenkrupp value and respect each other. All thyssenkrupp employees should have equal opportunities. That is part of our corporate culture,” says CHRO Oliver Burkhard.

How thyssenkrupp promotes diversity

thyssenkrupp created its “Inclusiveness & Diversity” department in 2014. Its job is to increase and guarantee diversity at all locations of the Group worldwide. For example, thyssenkrupp is involved in the Femtec career network, which specifically promotes female students in technical subjects. The aim is to make it easier for talented women to go into engineering occupations. Another point is increasing the proportion of women in management positions. Their share rose last year from 12 percent (30.09.2018) to 13.1 percent (28.04.2019).

At Christopher Street Day in Cologne, thyssenkrupp has been on site with its own truck for several years. With statements such as “Come as you are” and “Free for all”, the “Proutemployer” shows that everyone is welcome at thyssenkrupp – regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
At Christopher Street Day in Cologne, thyssenkrupp has been on site with its own truck for several years. With statements such as “Come as you are” and “Free for all”, the “Proutemployer” shows that everyone is welcome at thyssenkrupp – regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
CHRO Oliver Burkhard together with thyssenkrupp's HR expert Sarah Ungar, who started her career at thyssenkrupp as a man. She says clearly: No company today can afford to ignore LGBTI employees.
CHRO Oliver Burkhard together with thyssenkrupp's HR expert Sarah Ungar, who started her career at thyssenkrupp as a man. She says clearly: No company today can afford to ignore LGBTI employees.

In 2016 thyssenkrupp employees founded the LGBTI@thyssenkrupp network. Together with this network, we support the interests of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual employees. Since 2016 thyssenkrupp has been a Proutemployer.

All this has an impact not just on corporate culture but also on business success. Even if it’s not possible to determine concrete figures for thyssenkrupp – we don’t know where we would stand without this pronounced awareness of diversity – the advantage is obvious. CHRO Oliver Burkhard likes to point to an impressive figure. “Companies where diversity is firmly anchored are on average 69 percent more profitable,” he says.

 

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