By Annie Pettit

Canada prides itself on the diversity of its people. Within nearly 10 million square kilometers, our 36.5 million residents, including 20% who were born outside of Canada, speak more than 200 languages. Despite this massive diversity in life experiences, we recognize the strength it brings in creating a better life for everyone.

Diversity is most often considered in terms of gender and ethnic origin but diversity is so much more than traditional demographics. It includes personalities, life experiences, and work experiences such as whether you were raised by a mom and a dad or by your grandfather, whether you are introverted or extroverted, or whether you have one month or forty years of work experience.

A Harvard Business Review article titled “Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter,” (November, 2016) shared results from numerous research studies outlining some impressive outcomes that incorporating diversity into the workplace brings. Among many other findings, the article notes that:

  • Companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity were one third more likely to have financial returns above industry average
  • Companies with at least one female board member had higher net income growth than those with no women
  • Heterogeneous groups challenge their members to overcome standard thinking processes thereby reaching better outcomes

Within the Sklar Wilton & Associates family, the power that diversity creates is actively appreciated and sought after. For instance, our internal blogging team consists of about one third of our employees, twelve diverse people who reflect a wealth of demographic, psychographic, and life experiences. Whether we’re researching consumer trends or defining strategies, we’re guaranteed to have twelve unique stories from which to choose the most relevant and impactful one. Diversity is what creates the best possible blog posts.

And, we use the Power of 32, our own special form of collaboration, to take advantage of the diversity of our full team. For instance, in anticipation of Canada’s 150th birthday, a recent company-wide email asked everyone to submit examples of Canadianisms. While any one person might list the maple leaf and hockey, with the Power of 32 and more than 250 years of employee life experiences, the end result was a unique collection including the Toronto Raptors’ “We the North” campaign, Hudson’s Bay iconic blankets and mittens, and Canada Goose outerwear. A bonus is that every time we bring the Power of 32 to solve problems, we learn more about each other.

It’s always a good time to take a more pro-active stance when it comes to diversity. The success of every project you fulfill for your clients depends on it.

Sklar Wilton & Associates is a Certified Great Workplace as recognized by the Great Place To Work Institute. We are excited to be selected as one of ten winners in 2017 of a specialty award for Best Workplace for Celebrating Success. In keeping with that award, we will celebrate that success with our full team at the upcoming Great Place to Work awards ceremony on April 26th.