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Greater diversity leeds to better business

Published: 18 May 2020

Inclusive business models lead to better competitiveness. An on-line tool, Richer business, can help companies and organizations to become better at gender equality and do better business.

– This is a tool for companies and organizations that want to become more gender aware and at the same time more competitive, says Paula Wennberg at the Centre for Distance-spanning Technology and project manager for Gender Smart Arena within whose framework the tool was developed.

– If companies and organizations use a greater diversity of expertise and driving forces in the development of new products and services, it contributes to a more profitable business model.

More perspectives with inclusion

Historically, business and innovation development has revolved around a few people and perspectives, mainly men with expertise in technology, industry and natural sciences. Thus, other groups have not had the same opportunity to influence the range and design of future products, services and value chains.

The Richer business tool is developed in collaboration between researchers and companies. The tool allows users to self-critically review how their companies are acting in four different scenarios, focusing on six different areas: customer value, capital, skills, collaboration, communication and culture.

– Users can also get help articulating approaches critical of norms. To reduce set norms in an organisation is a known trick for achieving better business results, says Jeaneth Johansson, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology.

Better results

The starting point for Richer business is that inclusive business models contribute to a norm-critical and norm-creative development of existing business models and thus create additional opportunities for value. The goal of the equality process is to change an old business model to a new one, both in thought and action.

– Gender-aware business models are about protecting and encouraging diversity. When different perspectives meet, a broader understanding of what development needs really exist in organizations and communities, concludes Jeaneth Johansson.