Why Diversity Matters, Both in Hiring Employees and Finding Customers

By Jenna White

Does diversity matter to your business? No matter the size of your organization, the simple answer should be, “Yes!” Diversity energizes business.

Chances are that you will interact with at least one person who is completely different from you today. As a woman in the auto industry, the array of people I meet on a daily basis has always energized me. Today, your business could reach clients across the state, country or world in an instant—which is very real and very exciting. When you seek out new clients and create an environment in your office in which diversity is revered, your business will grow from a broad, solid foundation, and your your team will be motivated to succeed.

As technology makes leaps and bounds, new avenues to connect with diverse customers present themselves daily. Any time you can connect to a new customer, that interaction brings new energy and innovation to your business. The experiences you gain by maintaining a diverse client base will only strengthen your foothold in your industry, while securing the longevity of your brand.

From a corporate culture perspective, diversity is key to engaging a dynamic, innovative and loyal workforce. When your company values support employee growth and respect for each other, this becomes second-nature to everyone in your organization. The beauty of embracing diversity is seen when you walk into an environment full of people from all walks of life. That only happens when you honor diversity by seeking out unique individuals to join your team because of their individuality.

The 2010 U.S. Census found that in every region of the United States, at least 20 percent of people identify as minority, and the percentage of minority identification in the Gainesville area is closer to 35 percent.

The Census also found the demographics of America across all identifying factors is changing rapidly. Chances are the next person you interview will most likely not look, act or speak anything like you. But they could have the best idea for your next big project because of their life experience. When you cultivate a working environment in which everyone is confident in their abilities, feeling valued for what they bring to the team, your clients will be treated accordingly and your business will prosper.

Diversity matters if you want your business to grow and thrive in today’s economy. It matters in the breadth of clients you reach as well as the culture of the organization you cultivate for the long term.

Bio: Jenna White has been a Human Resources Generalist at car rental service Enterprise Holdings since April 2009. A graduate of Salisbury University with a Bachelor’s degree in history, she is deeply connected to the community through her work with the Society for Human Resources Management and the United Way.

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