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The business case for diversity is not that "it would be nice to have it", it's the McKinsey study that diverse companies consistently outperform homogenous ones.

So in the end investors who resist diversity miss out on some runaway successes.




From Peter Thiel (http://www.businessinsider.com/peter-thiel-google-monopoly-2...):

> Google's motto — "Don't be evil" — is in part a branding play, but it's also characteristic of a kind of business that's successful enough to take ethics seriously without jeopardizing its own existence.

> Monopolists can afford to think about things other than making money; non-monopolists can't. In perfect competition, a business is so focused on today's margins that it can't possibly plan for a long-term future. Only one thing can allow a business to transcend the daily brute struggle for survival: monopoly profits.

The McKinsey study (at least to my reading[1]) establishes correlation, not causation. It could well be the other way around, ie: basically everyone agrees that diversity is an ethically good thing... so perhaps profitable companies are more diverse because they can afford to be, rather than being more profitable because they're diverse.

This seems falsifiable btw... we could brainstorm perks that companies offer when they're doing well, and see how closely the correlation there matches McKinsey's observed 35% overperformance.

[1] From the summary at http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-... - The pdf is behind a paywall, sadly.


You make a very good point, and my problem with McKinsey study was its bundling of various industries without subsequent breakdown by field. While it seems natural that customer-facing enterprises benefit from diversity (sales people, nurses, customer support), where a customer might seek out a familiar face, the analogy seems to stretch when you stretch it to other areas (tractor manufacturing, winemaking, etc.)

P.S. The McKinsey article is behind a wall, not paywall, just a registered account with mckinsey.com




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