Ingredients for a Diverse and Thriving Workforce
When I graduated from college, I didn’t imagine that my path would lead to such a rewarding career in human resources. I was driven toward this incredible journey by my passion for people and my desire to live and lead by influencing change through diverse business practices. I have had the privilege of working on many high performing teams globally, and have learned valuable lessons along the way—and the one constant factor that is a mainstay for success is diversity.
The discussion surrounding diversity in the workplace is not new and we have recently seen the conversation escalate in the news as more individuals, organizations, and people of power speak out about feminism, the gender pay gap, and immigration reform. This moment in time has prompted me to reflect further on diversity within an organization, which I have always found to be an essential ingredient for building successful teams and organizations.
Early on in my career, I learned the importance of surrounding myself with a team that brings diversity of thought, different experiences, and unique insights to the table. This type of teamwork and collaboration has helped me make better decisions that were more meaningful to my employer and, ultimately, drove positive change. To drive innovation and deliver for your customers, teams should not only be diverse to reflect your customer base, but think and act with shared purpose. This will create an environment where everyone truly belongs and varied experiences and perspectives are leveraged to deliver superior outcomes for both customers and employees. Stephen Covey once said, “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” This rings true to me and has been a guiding force in developing teams to deliver results that positively impact a company’s bottom line.
In today’s business environment, the pace of change is faster than ever before, and companies need to respond quickly with innovative ideas and solutions in order to be competitive. I have learned that this can be accomplished by making certain your company thrives on the diverse ideas and skills of its people.
The next breakthrough idea, whether it’s a new food solution or a revolutionary medication, will come from leveraging the diverse skill sets of employees who are encouraged to express ideas, seek out innovations, and develop solutions. No matter what, people are the most important asset in any organization, and I will continue working to make that the hallmark of our employment image at Ingredion.