In historical terms, Germany has long been a culturally diverse society. Yet the question has repeatedly been asked of how the country should deal with this diversity. The 2018 Reinhard Mohn Prize on “Living Diversity – Shaping Society” is bringing new momentum to this debate, for example with The Diversity Factor, a study (its complete text is only available in German) which shows that culturally diverse workforces have a positive impact on innovation.
The examined research reveals a moderately positive correlation between cultural diversity and innovation, showing that cultural diversity has a stronger impact on innovation than other diversity indicators such as age or gender.
In order to promote workforce diversity and make optimal use of diversity’s ability to ensure innovative power, our study recommends that small and midsized enterprises in particular introduce diversity management measures which take cultural diversity into account, in addition to gender, age, sexual orientation and disabilities. Since resources are limited, communities and regions could play an important role here. Especially promising are multifaceted approaches that combine efforts to promote economic activity, community development and the education and training of potential employees, while also involving actors from business, the policy sphere, public administration and civil society. Midsized companies in particular would benefit if such activities were coordinated on a regional level, facilitating an exchange of experience.