Workplace Diversity: It’s in our secret sauce!

As you saw on my last blog post, one of the questions on the Hewitt staff engagement survey pertains to workplace diversity. In fact, our staff gave us higher marks on diversity than on any other area. So we did some digging, and here is what we found:

• 47% of Smartsalary staff were born overseas; this is more than double for Australia as a whole.

• Smartsalary staff hail from right around the world.

• Following on this, it is probably not surprising that more than 45% of Smartsalary staff are multi-lingual – again more than double the level for Australia as a whole.

Certainly diversity encompasses a broader definition; we’d need to include gender, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic background . . . the list goes on and on. And we believe that Smartsalary would fare well on just about all of these dimensions.

So why is diversity important?

We think that a diverse workplace, one in which staff have a greater range of perspectives, is probably conducive to better serving you, our increasingly diverse customers!

You see, Smartsalary has been one of the fastest growing companies in Australia, having grown more than 40 times over the past decade. We think that diverse ways of thinking have helped us to better problem-solve and to better adapt to rapidly evolving workplace and customer requirements.

One of the things that our copywriter Nell (the person who helps me with these blog posts!) stressed to me is that there are no boundaries within management . . . that perhaps the most diverse team in the company is our executive management team. Nell thinks that this diversity at the top shows staff that the only thing that matters when it comes to promotions is ability – personal, social and environmental factors simply don’t get a guernsey! She said to me that “as long as you work hard and deliver quality results, you will advance.” Ahhh . . . music to my ears!

This diversity thing is sounding better and better! Seems like we are onto a good thing. With so many business challenges, it is good to see that the company is tracking ok on this important measure.

Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer

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April 2011
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