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Promoting Innovation: The Role of Diversity and Inclusion


Awareness of the benefits of diverse teams and an inclusive working environment has grown considerably in recent years.

The more diverse, the better – this phrase is increasingly being used in discussions, including in the work context. Awareness of the numerous benefits of diverse teams and an inclusive working environment has grown significantly in recent years – as has the body of academic research on the topic.1

A fundamental assumption as to why diverse teams perform better than homogeneous ones is the ability of people with differing backgrounds and experiences to develop varying approaches to the same problem – thereby increasing the chances of a timely, successful solution.2

The question of how diversity affects the performance and innovation of teams and, subsequently, companies and organisations is by no means new to science and management consultancy. Large-scale studies and analyses have been conducted for several years.3


Diversity dimensions and intersectionality

These studies address diversity in relation to the familiar diversity dimensions such as gender, age, background and sexual orientation, but also in areas such as field of study, career path and international experience.4 Intersectionality, i.e. the simultaneous occurrence of several diversity factors and the unique effects of such a combination, should not be neglected either.


Diversity and performance

A study by the Boston Consulting Group, which also surveyed Austrians, showed back in 2017 that promoting diversity in management teams has a positive impact on innovation and economic performance.5 The authors conclude that companies can achieve significant gains through relatively minor adjustments to the composition of top management.


Promoting diversity as a first step

The creation of a culture of inclusion within the team must not be forgotten, however. While promoting diversity is an important step in the right direction, it does not automatically lead to better teamwork on its own. McKinsey also concluded this in the course of a large-scale study.

Rather, clear, systematic and determined steps are needed – from the representation of diverse talent – especially in management roles – and the active involvement of senior management in promoting diversity and inclusion, to the establishment of fairness, transparency and openness, to the conscious cultivation of a sense of belonging for all team members that empowers and motivates them to participate in the further advancement of the company.6


Diversity and communication

A key factor in the success of any diversity and inclusion endeavour is effective, authentic communication – both internally and externally, for example for employer branding and to attract a more diverse pool of talent. Teams that have little or no experience in diversity-sensitive communication can benefit particularly strongly from working with a professional communications firm.



In summary, implementing effective measures in the areas of diversity and inclusion is not only a question of corporate social responsibility (CSR), but rather a strategic necessity for sustainable corporate success.7

1 see, for instance, Forbes (2023)
2 see, for instance, BCG, Europäische Kommission, Forbes (2020), Forbes (2023)
3 see, for instance, Brainworker, Deutsches Stiftungszentrum
4 see, for instance, Forbes (2020)
5 also see Deutsches Stiftungszentrum, HBR
6 also see Forbes (2023)
7 see, for instance, Forbes (2023)


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Fotocredits (c): Marvin Meyer on Unsplash