How Cognitive Diversity Can Elevate Your Business

Canadian Demographics Shifting

How Cognitive Diversity Can Elevate Your BusinessIn a highly-rated and enlightening session during ASI’s Canadian Power Summit in Whistler, BC, Renee Bazile-Jones – director of client services for the Canadian Centre of Diversity & Inclusion – explained how having many different, competing opinions in the workplace can ultimately lead to quantifiable revenue growth for companies. “Look, we’ve seen it happen with companies we work with again and again – when they hire people who look and think differently than the majority, you avoid ‘group think’ and create an atmosphere for robust discussion, creation and implementation of new ideas,” Bazile-Jones said.‎

Noting that Canadian demographics are shifting much like the U.S.’s, in that a true multiculturally diverse workforce is coming into its own, Bazile-Jones said that only 20% of Canada’s workforce could be defined as “white males.” Instead, “for the first time, we have at least four generations in the workplace and many different cultural heritages – tapping into this is smart business for companies and can help them grow,” she pointed out, adding that one company who actively focused on promoting and cultivating its cultural and cognitive diversity saw a 20% bump in sales.

“Look at women,” Bazile-Jones said. “There are still many unfounded stereotypes that women don’t make good leaders because they’re too emotional. But women bring such specific talents to the table – a strong ability to empathize, for example – that they’re often wonderful leaders.”

And one trend of note from Bazile-Jones: “Our studies show that when women hit their 40s, that’s when – if they're not totally happy, fulfilled and engaged in their jobs – they'll jump ship to follow their own passions. So, you can expect to see a lot of‎ new female entrepreneurs in the marketplace.”