Diversity - a way out of the crisis?

 

The international financial crisis has not been easy on the people relying on profits to survive – many private companies in Copenhagen are struggling. So what can we do to enhance sales and secure future growth?

 

The answer could be diversity. That is why the City of Copenhagen under the headline "Engage in CPH" is collaborating with "Association for Integration of New Danes on the Labor Market" and "Innoversity Copenhagen" to recruit private companies in the new diversity program: INNOGROWTH via Diversity. Several studies has proven a positive connection between diversity and innovation. A study from the United States shows that a diverse group of students (in terms of IQ) always will perform better than a group consisting of high performers (very high IQ).

 

Right now 30 private companies are being recruited to undertake an investigation of how diversity can be used as a way of increasing innovation and productivity within the organization. The City of Copenhagen is doing an effort to involve stakeholders from all over the city to engage in the city’s diversity and view it as a strength and not an obstacle. The challenge is to make people realize that recruiting more diverse employees can be a way out of an extensive European crisis.

 

There are many good reasons to join the program. "Innoversity Copenhagen" has already shown that diverse cleaning teams in ISS Facility Services Denmark have an average of 3,7 % more earnings than homogenous teams. ISS Facility Services Denmark has more than 11.000 employees in Denmark, and if every cleaning team were as diverse it could mean higher revenue of 100 million Danish kroners pr. year. The government’s Agency for Research and Innovation has published an official report proving that diversity within the organization enhances the chances of being innovative with up to 30 %.

 

The aim of the INNOGROWTH program is exactly this:

1) Getting the companies to realize the positive potential in recruiting new employees in a broader perspective and with a more diverse aim than before.

2) Getting the decision makers to realize that diversity is here to stay and that it can be a turning point if used correctly.

 

In the City of Copenhagen we are trying to push this agenda forward and can always use feedback and inspiration from other similar projects in Europe. Please contact Project Assistant Thor Ridderhaugen for more information, for sharing new perspectives from your own projects or a bilateral feedback session.