A recent report from GlassDoor found that employers will focus on investing in diversity and inclusion programmes in the coming year, citing a lack of investment as a significant obstacle in attracting and hiring highly skilled workers. In a period where companies globally are reporting talent shortages, and expect the trend to continue, it is more important than ever to reconsider and expand the talent pool, and showing a commitment to diversity is a fantastic way to do this.

However, for companies to ensure employee retention, they need to demonstrate long-term and genuine investment in diversity programmes to create cultural change, rather than concern with being seen ‘to do the right thing’.

With these issues in mind, it is a better time than any to remind ourselves not only what companies can do to attract diverse talent, but what that diverse talent can do for them. While diversity continues to be a hot topic, it's important for companies and hiring decision makers to remind themselves why they should make the investment. In the last few years, there's been a growing consensus that having a diverse workforce adds value to the bottom line. In particular, numerous reports, including those from McKinsey, Deloitte, and Catalyst, have argued that gender diversity increases financial performance. Where women are positioned in decision-making roles, such as general management, and executive board directors - the improvement in financial performance is even greater. Proper investment in diversity programmes will not only help acquire and retain talent for the general workforce but help promote more women into the leadership pipeline.

As we enter the close of 2017, the holidays give us ample opportunity for reflection and setting new goals; companies and hiring should consider the commercial value that increasing diversity brings, ensure genuine investment in diversity programmes, and encourage a financially prosperous New Year.