How Can Technology Support Diversity?

Russell Porter

Many people intuitively support workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives. Of course we should have more diverse teams to encourage innovation. And of course we need to attract, engage, and retain the best people, no matter their life choices or personal circumstances.

But beyond the ethical considerations and personal benefits, what’s the business case for having a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture? And how can technology be used to encourage and enable diversity in organisations?

What’s the value of diversity?

When McKinsey & Co. looked into this, their research showed that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to outperform those in the bottom quartile. Similarly, those in the top quartile for ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to outperform the market average for their industry.

Credit Suisse research also showed that companies that embrace pro-LGBT policies perform better in the stock market.

For organisations in the public sector, it’s more important than ever to represent and be a reflection of the communities being served. Agencies and departments are more outward-facing than ever before, consulting with communities to develop programs and deliver services in ways that work for all of the public.

In addition, there are a number of strategies now in place that mandate specific targets or reporting requirements on government departments around diversity (for example in Australia, the APS Disability Employment Strategy, the APS Gender Equality Strategy, and the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy).

When you take a step back, ensuring a diverse workforce can be seen as an economic imperative. Advancing women’s equality could add $12 trillion to the global economy. And with more than 350 million people with disabilities entering the workplace over the next ten years, ignoring the issue could result in lost opportunities and missing out on a huge population of potential talent.

What role can technology play?

This will be a hot topic to watch in 2017 and beyond, as we see machine learning and other advanced technologies stretch into new areas that were previously unimaginable due to outdated, fragmented, and clunky HR systems.

It’s clear that we’re entering a new age where HR departments can use technology to enable action and results, not just control behaviour and resources.

Download the e-book to find out more about how SAP SuccessFactors addresses diversity and inclusion across the entire employee lifecycle.


Russell Porter

About Russell Porter

Russell Porter is part of the Business Transformation Advisory team with SAP SuccessFactors. He partners with HR and business leaders to help them identify, deliver and realise the value of innovative cloud-based Human Resources solutions – so that organisations can optimise their workforce and achieve their strategic business objectives. Based in Sydney, he provides industry thought leadership, strategic solution advice and expert consultation across the Asia Pacific region.