How Agile Ways of Working Can Improve Diversity

What Does Agile Have to Do With Diversity?

I first formally experienced Agile work practices and became a practitioner (SAFe agile methodology) while supporting a program that encompassed both software development and complementary business transformation activities within the Agile methodology. Fast-paced, collaborative, and always focused on what brought the most value to the end consumer, I found my perfect way to work.

What Is Agile?

The word Agile has different meanings between different people and organizations. While the focus here is on Agile approaches born out of the software industry to deliver business outcomes, if you’re new to Agile and want to learn more, you can find helpful information here.

How Could Agile Approaches Improve Organizational Diversity?

Agile approaches inherently leverage self-managed teams and bridging organizational silos. Such business practices increase contact between diverse groups working together toward a common goal. This process consequently lessens bias and breaks down negative stereotypes, ultimately leading to more equitable hiring and promotion practices.

What Are the Drawbacks?

From the lens of delivering using SAFe agile methodology and with a specific focus on gender diversity, there are two key challenges to implementing an agile approach:

Gaining a Competitive Advantage

There is an opportunity for organizations to drive diversity and inclusion efforts through less traditional yet more effective approaches, such as broader adoption of Agile working.

  1. More gender diversity on their executive teams are more competitive, more likely to experience above-average profitability, and more likely to outperform their peers on longer-term value creation;
  2. A stronger focus on Diversity and Inclusion within their culture are more attractive to millennial job applicants; and,
  3. More diverse management teams have higher revenues due to innovation.



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