Why do we need diversity on our teams?

Spanish version is on Ping a Programadoras blog.

Let’s overlook the statistical justice of having a diverse team. Let’s overlook the social justice of having a diverse team. We are capitalists, so let’s go directly to why you, as someone interested in having business at the end of the year, are interested in having a diverse team.

Each one of us sees the world from a different perspective, because of the vital experience that the society where we grow offers us. Those different perspectives are what makes us see different details on the same situation. And these details are what gives the products and services offered by your company  the quality you need to succeed.

Are the diverse teams more efficient and economically profitable? Yes

Are the diverse teams more creative? Yes.

If you want to build a really accessible building, you must bring together a team that knows not only the laws (which usually cover the minimum), but a team that is composed of people who have suffered accessibility issues themselves.

Have you ever seen a chapter of a police series in which, after an exhaustive search, they find blood in the apartment of a murdered woman and conclude that it was there where they killed her? Well, it looks like no woman reviewed the script, because having blood your house is… common?

But the script is written by writers in a hurry, right? It is not a good example of careful work. Well, let’s give a more complete example. A fantastic science fiction classic book: Dune . Scrupulous and careful, the author describes everyday aspects to the smallest detail to give credibility to his story.

In Dune, the characters live on a desert planet where water is the most precious asset. Even moisture that escapes from the breath is something that must be stored and reused. So all these characters have a special suit at all times . This suit collects sweat and other body fluids to reuse them as drinking water. An adult has an amount of water in his possession in a closed cycle inside his suit.

Do they mention menstrual blood? Not at all, although the author mentions quite scatological details. But suppose it is a slip without bad intention.

However, something that is not mentioned at any time is how this cycle is maintained between pregnant women, babies and children. A pregnant woman needs more water as the pregnancy progresses. Not only because of the water that is given to the fetus, but also because of the water in the placenta. When the baby is born, the mother will continue to lose water through breast milk. And when this process is over, the child will continue to consume extra amounts of water throughout its development.

Is this relevant? Maybe not for a large part of the population, but the truth is that, in that world so explicitly detailed, the author skips a very important and relevant part of the whole process. Without taking into account all the problems of pregnancy and the development of children, their entire social system collapses and goes from being something plausible in science fiction to a deux ex machina in fantasy.

There are a thousand more examples of ideas, services, products and strategies that fail because the team behind is not diverse enough, with varied perspectives. And if these ideas are used in a business, they will fail miserably in something that could have been easily avoided.

How can you improve diversity in your team? I don’t know, you can try to improve the way you hire.

But, above all, make sure that once hired, everyone is treated fairly and equitably. Diversity is something that is achieved day by day.

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