Prioritizing diversity within an organization is valuable for many reasons. A diverse team introduces new perspectives, voices, and experiences into a workplace. A company represented by people of different genders, ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds fosters an open, inviting, and inclusive culture. But diversity isn’t just a smart human resources tactic – it’s also essential to a company’s growth and competitive advantage.

In a 2018 study, McKinsey & Company found a link between diversity – “defined as a greater proportion of women and a more mixed ethnic and cultural composition in the leadership of large companies” ­– and a company’s financial outperformance and long-term value creation for economic profit:

  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile
  • For ethnic and cultural diversity, this finding was a 33% likelihood of outperformance on earnings

The unemployment rate in the U.S. is low – 3.7% in September 2018 – and companies must compete to attract and hire employees from a limited pool of applicants. To fill IT and tech positions, employers face even greater challenges finding candidates who have the necessary skills.

Innovative companies are recognizing that in order to grow and thrive, they need to explore outside-the-box approaches to hiring talent. They realize that “traditional” hiring methods – for example, only considering applicants who have a computer science degree or several years of IT experience – they are missing out on candidates with great potential to succeed.

York Solutions, a veteran-owned business, is helping companies diversify and strengthen their teams by opening up a new pipeline of talent. What York Solutions recognizes is that the unemployment rate is based off people in the labor force or who have recently been in the labor force, which doesn’t account for anyone who is interested in an encore career like stay-at-home parents, veterans and caregivers.

York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry Program (B2E) is a returnship program that is specifically geared toward stay-at-home parents, veterans, and caregivers returning to the workforce. B2E offers comprehensive paid training to give individuals the professional skills they need to launch a career within IT – and ultimately become essential team members for the companies that hire them.

Companies that expand their hiring strategy to include non-traditional candidates or underserved populations gain a strong competitive advantage. Professionals trying to re-enter the workforce after an employment gap or military service often encounter obstacles, even though employers would benefit from their diverse experiences and transferrable skills.

One study showed that stay-at-home parents ­applying for jobs were heavily penalized for having an employment gap on their resumes. Stay-at-home parents were about half as likely to get a callback from employers as unemployed parents and one-third as likely as employed parents.

Programs like B2E are working to change this reality – helping companies close the diversity gap and support their long-term goals.

To learn more about how the B2E Program can help take your company to the next level, click here.