Workplace diversity in the events industry – tips for encouraging diversity

By SearchWide Global

2 mins

Workplace diversity in the events industry: best practices and tips

Before we begin, let’s understand why a diverse workplace will impact your bottom line and, why the diversity discussion is at the forefront of recruiting. The hospitality and tourism industry is a melting pot of people working in events, destination management, lodging, restaurants, attractions, transportation and other fields that serve a wide and culturally diverse population of visitors and travellers.

Our global industry creates opportunities for people from all walks of life and workplace diversity offers personnel an opportunity to better understand and appreciate different cultural backgrounds and lifestyles. A diverse workforce also creates a positive image for businesses and shows they are inclusive and offer equal employment opportunities.

EDI education session

The business case for workplace diversity and inclusion

According to Travelshift, the travel industry should be leading the way and data shows there has been an increase in the number underrepresented employees year over year.

Organizations with a diverse staff are more creative, innovative, retain staff longer and companies earn more money by capturing greater market share by marketing to a wide range of consumers; races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities, and sexual orientations. Diversity of thought, skillset, experiences and education also round out a workforce. A 2015 study from Bersin by Deloitte, showed that diverse companies had 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee over a three-year period than non-diverse companies did.

How can diversity drive business performance and growth?

As we seek to recruit top talent, diversity is a top priority. Not only for SearchWide Global, also the companies we serve. According to Forbes, “companies in the top quartile for gender diversity outperform their competitors by 15% and those in the top quartile for ethnic diversity outperform their competitors by 35%.”

Gallup studied 800 business units from the retail and hospitality industries in 2014. They found that gender-diverse business units had better financial outcomes, including revenue and net profit, than those dominated by one gender. Financial performance was dramatically better for gender-diverse business units that were also highly engaged.

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Below are a few ways you can work to create a diverse workforce:

  • Make diversity a part of your brand and company culture – It’s important to show that your company is one that respects and embraces differences, and is welcoming to everyone
  • Provide diversity training in your workplace for employees to fully understand the benefits of a diverse workplace. Training people at all levels on topics like unconscious bias. Here’s a great example to get started.
  • Be open to accommodating cultural and religious holidays and diversity-friendly apparel choices.
  • Diversify the boardroom in order to leverage your company’s full potential. According to Pew Research, by 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the United States, and our nation’s boardrooms need to represent these changing demographics.
  • MSCI Inc. studied the financial performance of U.S. companies from 2011-2016 and found that those with at least three women on the board had median gains in return on equity 11% higher, and earnings per share 45% higher, than companies with no women directors.
  • Create an inclusive environment - teamwork and collaboration and a work environment of trust and involvement. Diverse and inclusive teams have been shown to help employees feel more engaged, says Human Resources Today.
  • Focus on gender equality, more work needs to be done as men are still getting paid more than women, says Travelshift.
  • According to studies cited by Scientific American, organizations with inclusive cultures have greater innovation, creativity and bottom line results.
  • Make representation of diversity at all levels of your organization a priority.

There’s a huge benefit to bringing people together from a variety backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles and belief systems. Not only will this create a well-rounded and inclusive workforce, it will also bring creativity, different perspectives, new thought processes, which will impact your bottom line, improve efficiencies, land more customers, and you’ll be giving yourself one of today’s biggest competitive advantages.

About the author

SearchWide Global is a full-service executive search firm primarily for companies in destination organisations, hotels and resorts, venue management, experiential marketing, tradeshows and exhibitions, industry associations, sports and entertainment. Specialising in C-Level and Director level executive searches for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies and associations.

SearchWide Global