I walked into a well-kept office, art from all over the world decorated office cabinets, desks and the walls. I was immediately struck by the diversity of the team at Marketing Challenges International. This was my first impression! Since its inception 35 years ago, MCIntl set the bar high in hiring a diverse staff in an industry that is not so diverse. As Jacqueline Hewitt, Managing Partner recalls, “We understood from the very beginning that diversity was paramount to our success because it was/is simply the best decision for any business to make.”
How can diversity be effectively measured?
The HR definition ascribes Diversity as a “feature of a mixed workforce that provides a wide range of abilities, experience, knowledge, and strengths due to its heterogeneity in age, background, ethnicity, physical abilities, political and religious beliefs, sex, and other attributes.” (Business Dictionary) Diversity is more than a minority group representation in your staff or who has a seat in your Board of Directors. It also requires daily practice in speech and action
A perfect example of Diversity in action is Apple. The company believes that “Diverse teams make innovation possible.” For this reason, 36% of Apple’s employees in 2017 under 30 years old are women and 29% make up the leadership team. At the same time, 50% of new hires were from historically underrepresented groups in tech (Apple: Inclusion & Diversity). Apple takes a general approach to diversifying their workforce by recognizing the importance of ethnic, age, and religious beliefs.
Here at MCIntl, there is a diverse representation of cultural backgrounds and experiences. Our team members are from 4 continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America), each bringing a diverse wealth of knowledge and expertise that naturally, creates an energetic creative atmosphere. Michel Couturier, MCIntl’s Managing Partner shares that “diversity is culturally enriching, provides different points of view and adds the advantage of relating to our international clients. It assists in building a better bridge between North American planners and MCIntl’s clients.”
On a personal note, my experience with diversity has fostered new ideas and presented a wider range of solutions to issues I encounter on a daily basis. I learned that diversity is more than a mere buzz word or social/cultural expansion, but when adopted, it fosters a positive and inclusive corporate culture. As much as Diversity has its benefits, there are also some challenges that comes with it. But, I know that the rewards outweigh these challenges. I experience it every day.
Photo description: Some members of the MCIntl team (L to R: Jennifer, Nikki, Cindy, & Alex)