Businesses that recruit a diverse mix of employees are more likely to be highly innovative and creative in their respective industry, new research has found.
In a new YouGov study exclusively commissioned by DP World, 77% of respondents from the GCC and North Africa strongly agreed that cultural diversity was key to a more innovative workplace.
A large majority of respondents (78%) said that they were more attracted to a company that employed a diverse mix of employees, rather than ones with employees who matched their own background, culture and thinking.
Other important factors linked to innovation in the workplace were a balanced mix of age groups (68%) and a balanced ratio of male-to-female employees (61%).
The results of the study, entitled ‘Diversity in the Workplace’, were revealed by DP World Group chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem at the 16th edition of the Arab Media Forum (AMF).
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “We talked to young people in our region and listened because they are our leaders of tomorrow. The findings highlight how cultural diversity is more important than ever to them in their workplace.”
“It is crucial for successful business and entrepreneurship, strengthening a nation’s economy in the process. The more diverse a workplace is, the more it benefits from creative and innovative thinking. It is the ethos of the world’s most successful and respected companies around the world,” he added.
While increased cultural diversity resulted in greater creativity and innovation, the research found that it also increased productivity and made for a more engaging and enjoyable working environment.
Comparatively, the majority of respondents felt that religious diversity and inclusiveness of colleagues with disabilities had a limited effect on innovation, highlighting that personal beliefs or circumstances should not influence a hiring manager’s decision in attracting the right talent.
Bin Sulayem concluded: “Diversity and inclusion enhances our talent with different world experiences and skills, they make us an employer of choice, and they make us a sustainable company for the long term. At DP World, our strength lies in our workforce, an exceptionally talented team that’s comprised of members from all corners of the world. Innovation is at the heart of what we do, and the more accessible we make employment for all, the better.”
With a presence in over 40 countries, DP World employs 36,500 employees with 103 nationalities.