Research shared in the Harvard Business Review shows “compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth.” Forbes reinforces that “groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers” and “multicultural networks promote creativity.” Beyond business performance, diversity is good practice ethically.
Incorporating diversity into your own company is one facet of the idea. But, how do you integrate the importance of diversity – diverse thoughts, diverse cultures, and diverse disciplines – into the greater industry you are a part of?
This January, the 19th International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Industry Roundtable addressed just this, diversity and inclusion in the interior design industry. Moderated by IIDA Vice President and CEO Cheryl Durst, the discussion focused on the diversity of not only race and gender, but of thought and discipline. As a result of the conversation, IIDA formed the first-ever Interior Design Diversity Council, chaired by Milliken’s very own Stacy Walker, the director of customer experience of Milliken’s floor covering division.
The council is now in the process of creating a diversity policy statement for the entire interior design profession. The statement will “tackle goals ranging from funding diversity research, promoting diversity resources, and creating a curriculum that encourages students of diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in design.”
Milliken is honored that Stacy was chosen to spearhead the council’s collective effort to move diversity to the forefront of industry initiatives and help provide more opportunities for inclusion and progress.
We know the value and importance of diversity. Over the last 150 years, Milliken has expanded from humble roots as a general store and small textile manufacturer, branching out into a myriad of industries – from infrastructure solutions to floor covering. With Milliken’s growth and diversification came experience and education, as our leaders and associates applied new knowledge and skills to each new endeavor.
That same principle, of strength in diversity, applies to our workforce and to the way we function as a company. At Milliken, we are committed to providing a welcoming environment that values diversity with a conscious desire to achieve understanding, respect, inclusion, and continuous learning. This is just one facet of our dedication to doing good and practicing ethical conduct.
Welcomed diversity can foster an open-minded environment for innovation. In fact, Malcolm Forbes defined diversity in the simplest yet most inspiring way: “Diversity: The art of thinking independently together.”