Many changes have struck MDS in the last 9 months. Some of them are very clear and straightforward to the market. When it comes to HR policies and Organizational Development strategy, we are still discreet. But May 17th (International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia) was one piece of evidence: all employees received a postcard mentioning the importance of the date, a set of “respect diversity” button + layard and had access to 2 blog posts (Portuguese only) – Post 1 and Post 2.
It was a day for creating awareness, promoting acceptance and fostering respect. But also the opportunity to communicate stakeholders that we choose to be among companies that follow the positive significant correlation between team diversity and financial performance. According to McKinsey’s study from 2017*, “companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. For ethnic/cultural diversity, top-quartile companies were 33% more likely to outperform on profitability”. And these are just two types of diversity among many that we need to value!
Since it was granted with a Directory, MDS’s HR has tried to be closer to the main sources of energy drain in the workforce. And the feeling of not fitting in has to be out of our way. HR team has been responsible for a slow but driven cultural change. As part of it, Inclusion and Diversity is key to win the war for talent, refine customer insight, and improve employee satisfaction.
Besides the candid approaches to the subject, such as social justice and legal compliance, we regard I&D as important action for the business. It is a source of competitive advantage and significant enabler for innovation and growth.
I&D seconds our values of collaborative, professional, creative and client oriented. As an article of HBR** states “Diverse teams are more likely to constantly reexamine facts and remain objective. They may also encourage greater scrutiny of each member’s actions, keeping their joint cognitive resources sharp and vigilant. By breaking up workplace homogeneity, you can allow your employees to become more aware of their own potential biases — entrenched ways of thinking that can otherwise blind them to key information and even lead them to make errors in decision-making processes”.
If a diverse and multidisciplinary team is responsible for creating the solutions at a company, chances are that they are going to have the best fit with a broader profile of clients.
And it is so rewarding and motivating to see that this spreads through our ecosystem. According to the already mentioned study, Sodexo, one of our important clients, “is an outspoken champion of diversity. Led by an enthusiastic CEO and board chairwoman, the global multinational services company has publicly committed to improving five dimensions of diversity: gender, people with disabilities, generations (age), cultures and origins, and sexual orientation and gender identity”. We received encouraging feedback from many other clients in the last days. That moves us forward and empowers our employees, who are proud to belong to an organization where respect is above all. We want to thank the insight Reinaldo Bulgarelli shared with us. The CEO panel he organizes reinforces the power of building a strong ecosystem for I&D. Special thanks to Luciana and João as well, who put energy and good ideas to this campaign.
At MDS we still have a long journey ahead of us, especially when it comes to reducing unconscious bias. But we begin a new chapter. And it speaks different languages, reflects many colours, learns from neglected boundaries, profits from new perspectives and sees human beings with positive lenses.
**Why diverse teams are smarter https://hbr.org/2016/11/why-diverse-teams-are-smarter