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Research shows that companies with a greater diversity tend to outperform their more homogenous counterparts. High performance is fostered by teams which are inclusive and varied in terms of age, ethnicity, gender and other facets. Attracting diverse talent may require that you update your employee leave entitlements.

Benefits of diversity

The benefits of diversity were shown in this study by technological research and consulting firm Gartner which found “gender-diverse and inclusive teams outperformed gender-homogeneous, less inclusive teams by 50%, on average.” 

Creating a diverse workforce is not only an ethical decision, it’s also effective on a business level. Research indicates there is a correlation between diversity and innovation. 

A respectful and accepting workplace culture is also vital for the benefits of diversity to flourish. There is no use in having a diverse workplace if staff don’t have a sense of belonging. An essential element to creating a diverse and successful workplaces is written into your company policies.

Improving policies

Take a look at your company values and policies and investigate whether certain areas need improvement. For instance, do you provide diversity and inclusion training? Are you working to remove bias from the hiring process? Do you foster a culture of belonging? Another major policy area that can be improved is employee leave entitlements.

Leave Entitlements

If you’re looking for inspiration on leave entitlements that will help you attract diverse talent look at the policy changes of independent publisher and media group Hardie Grant. 

A couple of weeks ago Hardie Grant announced a set of new paid benefits for employees. These new leave entitlements are – menstrual and menopause leave, fertility treatment leave, and gender transition leave.

As announced here in Books + Publishing, Hardie Grant have also broadened some of their existing policies to be more inclusive:

  • First Nation employees: ‘Several policies that include the definition of ‘family/household’ will be broadened to include kinship groups according to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship rules. This broader definition will be applied to entitlement for Personal and Carer’s Leave and Compassionate Leave.’
  • Caring relationships: ‘The business is broadening the group for whom personal and carer’s leave (Australia) and family and carers leave (UK) may be taken from immediate family or household to include broader family, close friends, and pets to reflect the reality of many staff’s circles of caring. If a staff member wants to support a close friend or look after a pet due to an emergency, they now can use the carer’s leave to do so.’
  • Public holidays: ‘Hardie Grant is also giving staff the option to substitute three designated public holidays each year to be more inclusive and flexible. This will allow for staff to swap out days to better reflect their needs including to observe community/cultural and ceremonial events or relevant religious holidays throughout the year.’

Companies who adapt their policies such as through progressive leave entitlements, reflect the needs of a individuals in the workplace. Doing so gives businesses a greater capacity to attract diverse talent. The benefits of inclusive and diverse workplaces are higher performance and innovative.