Finding the Value in Diversity

By Crystal Arredondo, NAWBO National Chair

No matter what your company does, the people are the most important asset to a business. For companies to innovate and succeed, they must retain the right skills and resources – and that requires diversity.

It’s important to consider the beauty and strength that diversity brings to our lives and businesses as women entrepreneurs. For example, a McKinsey & Company study found that the increase in women’s overall share of labor in the United States (women went from holding 37 percent of all jobs to 47 percent over the past 40 years) has accounted for about a quarter of current GDP. We have learned that diversity is a key ingredient to a strong economic growth as we approach hiring decisions, problem-solving, launching new products, expanding into new markets and more. Diversity is quickly becoming a driver of growth, and when businesses employ individuals of varying backgrounds and perspectives the impact can be seen across the board, including:

  • Market share: Businesses can more effectively market to diverse consumers and increase market share.
  • Talent: Businesses are more likely to hire the best and brightest in the labor market to remain competitive.
  • Retention: Businesses that foster inclusive workplaces are shown to decrease employee turnover.
  • Innovation: Diverse businesses tend to be more creative, innovative and able to more effectively problem-solve.

I have personally seen the benefits of diversity in my own business. And as a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) National Board, I’ve witnessed the benefits within my local chapter and with my fellow board members. I am proud to say that one of NAWBO’s top initiatives is expanding our membership by attracting more diverse women entrepreneurs and embracing all races, religions, ages, sexual orientations, national origins and disabilities. The diversity in our membership strengthens our voice across the country as all women entrepreneurs are encouraged to bring their expertise and insights to the table.

Founded in 1975, NAWBO is the unified voice for over 9 million women-owned businesses in the United States representing the fastest growing segment in the economy. Today, NAWBO boasts 5,000 members and 60 chapters and is the only member organization representing women entrepreneurs in all sectors, sizes and stages of their business development. It’s the resource for women to build and grow their business, collaborate with women from all different industries and backgrounds and work together to build profitable businesses.

We’re excited to strengthen this initiative at the United State of Women Summit. NAWBO is also hosting events for its members surrounding the Summit, including the NAWBO Leadership Development Trainings (June 14) and the NAWBO Public Policy Day (June 15), as well as participating in America’s Small Business Summit (June 13) alongside Women Impacting Public Policy and the Association of Women’s Business Center.

If you want to join us in leading the culture change in business that propels women business owners, find your local NAWBO chapter and get involved.