Cologne, 06.–09.03.2022 #IEM2022

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Diversity drives success

24 Jun 2021

Diversity drives success
Diversity drives success

Many companies in the crafts and technical sectors are desperately seeking qualified skilled workers. It is worthwhile for them to increase their commitment to diversity. Companies that use the potential of women, older people, people with challenges or from other cultures are demonstrably more successful.

A craft or a trade provides for a solid base - this saying is still true, but many businesses in the skilled trades are troubled by a lack of new recruits. The result: projects do not move forward, customers become dissatisfied and many a lucrative order goes to the competition.

The solution to the problem of finding new staff is diversity. When looking for potential employees, this means taking into account social groups that have scarcely been on the radar of the hard goods industry so far: women, older people, people with special needs or from other cultures. According to estimates by the Federal Employment Agency, they form a reservoir of up to four million potential employees.

Diverse companies are more innovative

Actively using the talents of these groups not only helps companies to secure their need for skilled workers but also benefits them economically. A study by the Boston Consulting Group has shown that companies that leave well-trodden paths of thought and integrate people with different biographies, experiences and cultural backgrounds into their team approach problems more creatively. They are more innovative, tap into new clientele more easily and have an edge when it comes to internationalisation. Last but not least, diversity improves the atmosphere in the team and helps to reduce staff turnover, thus directly contributing to the growth and success of the company.

Many have recognised the "power of diversity". But there is still a lack of implementation. Only one-third of companies are actively engaged in diversity management. Yet there are many successful examples: refugees who have proven themselves to be committed employees and valued colleagues, and above all women, without whom many a company would have had to close down long ago. Young, highly skilled women in particular are making their way in modern, often already digitalised craft and technology firms: as master craftswomen and engineers, founders and entrepreneurs.

Women conquer jobs in trade and crafts

The world of crafts has long since ceased to be a purely male domain. The share of women among vocational trainees is about 18 per cent; in the creative professions it is much higher, in the industrial professions it is still very low.

But this could soon change: if more companies broaden their focus beyond the supposedly ideal applicant - young, male, with good grades in STEM subjects - and harness the potential of equally suitable candidates.