The ROI of Diversity: 3 Advantages of Having a Diverse Company Culture

The manufacturing industry is undergoing a major digital transformation, and with it comes a huge demand for skilled workers. One shocking stat: By 2030, there may be up to 2.1 million unfilled jobs in the sector.

And there’s a great opportunity on the horizon for job seekers. Zekelman Industries (ZI) is building a pipeline of skilled talent by fostering a company culture where every person contributes to our success — and is rewarded for that contribution.

Here are three ways cultivating a diverse company culture pays off for ZI:

1. Brings in New Points of View

We know that having employees of different ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and beliefs gives our teams access to broader insights and new ways of thinking. Numbers back this up: Companies with more diverse management teams earn 19% more revenue from innovation than their less diverse competitors, according to a survey by Boston Consulting Group.

At ZI, building innovative teams is about developing each person’s unique potential so that diversity of ideas can flourish. The company “believes in the principles of appreciating talent,” says Angela Miu, vice president of tax and associate general counsel finance, ZI.

And that begins from the first day on the job. When she started at ZI, Miu recalls “everyone being so welcoming and open to my questions … I never felt that I was on my own.”

And Alejandra Ortiz, a factory floor worker at our new Wheatland/Western Tube facility in Rochelle, Illinois, was recently welcomed to the company with a personal call from our CEO Barry Zekelman. “Barry actually called me himself on a Sunday afternoon,” recalls Ortiz, who has worked in warehouses for about a decade. “I had never had that happen to me at any other warehouse or company that I’ve worked for.”

2. Creates a Competitive Advantage

Fostering a diverse company culture also boosts the bottom line. A study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute found that manufacturing companies with a diverse workforce experience increased productivity, better organizational management and a competitive advantage in the industry.

ZI leaders empower all employees to fulfill their potential through a focus on employee upskilling, internal hiring and promotions, tuition reimbursement and internship programs, family scholarships and more. “Our organization equips everyone with opportunities, while holding them accountable,” says Miu.

As Galen Davidson, maintenance planner at Atlas Tube, Blytheville, Arkansas, puts it, “If you prove that you’re a hard worker, you’re dedicated, you’re willing to learn … you can move up very fast.”

3. Retains Great People

Creating a culture where employees feel valued increases job satisfaction and retention.

Darnell Bright recently joined the Wheatland/Western Tube facility in Rochelle as a packaging line operator, and he says he already sees himself staying at ZI for a while. “The hourly workers are definitely treated with a lot of respect and understanding,” Bright says. “The company wants us to know that we are like family here.”

That sentiment follows through to Bright’s daughter, too. His biggest aspiration for her? College. Bright is excited by the prospect that after his first work anniversary, his daughter could be eligible for a ZI scholarship to continue her education.

“There’s so much advancement, so much pride in what we do,” says Teresa Johnson, the buyer for ZI’s Atlas Tube Blytheville, Arkansas, and Birmingham, Alabama, facilities. Johnson says she knew she’d be at the company for a long time as soon as she met her team — and saw how every person had clear opportunities for career growth. “We’re very welcoming to any of our new people.”

Diversity shouldn’t be a quota. It’s a mindset that leads to innovation, growth and an environment where people can do their best work. By giving everyone a voice at ZI, we give everyone an opportunity to make an impact — simple as that.

A diverse team is a powerful team. So let’s make it happen. Explore careers at Zekelman Industries.


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