Importance of Diversity in Startups
Innovation Norway Canada hosted a two day program in Oslo to kick off the entrepreneurial program GET, hosted by Babson College in Boston. 10 companies from an array of sectors – oil and gas, aquaculture, retail, and software – attended the session, along with representatives from Innovation Norway. Seema led an interactive session for the companies on why and how to ensure diversity.
Startups have the great advantage of creating an inclusive culture from the get-go. A culture that welcomes multiple perspectives for product development and encourages a healthy debate for new approaches and ideas, is key in global competition. In order to lay foundation for an organization that meets the requirements for the future, startups must incorporate relevant expertise and knowledge on how to manage diversity. Managing diversity is about understanding and welcoming different perspectives, allowing individual styles of working, and embrace practical solutions employees bring with them from previous experiences.
A business that actively manages diversity will most likely experience an increase in employer satisfaction, sense of mastery and an inclusive work environment, thus reducing sick-leaves, misunderstandings and conflicts. It is however, important to note that a diverse team in itself does not lead to innovation, greater client focus or competitive advantages - diversity needs to be managed correctly, and purpose and strategy is vital in order to achieve the results you want.
Seema and Innovation Norway developed a guidebook about diversity for startups in 2018 - take a look here.