Separate studies have shown that diverse teams are more innovative. Investigators of a study published in the journal Financial Management studied the performance of 3,000 publicly traded companies between the years 2000 and 2014 across nine measure of diversity (Published online Dec. 18, 2017;doi:10.1111/fima.12205). They excluded Silicon Valley companies to avoid unfairly influencing the results. Companies that fulfilled all nine positive diversity requirements had on average two extra products in any given year and were more resilient in terms of innovation during the 2008 financial crisis.
Business has long known that a diverse workforce not only means greater innovation, but also tends to attract and retain more diverse talent. The authors talk about a “halo effect” in which diverse companies are not only more attractive to women and minorities but also to people who are in the majority but want to work for more “enlightened” or “progressive” companies.
This all brings us to our current issue of ENTtoday. I was fortunate to see and hear Dana Thompson, MD, deliver the Joseph H. Ogura Lecture at this year’s Annual Meeting of the Triological Society. Hands down, it was the most profound and impactful talk I have ever seen delivered at a national otolaryngology meeting. It gave me goosebumps, nearly brought me to tears, and has motivated me to try and be a better person. In her address, Dr. Thompson talked about the implicit and explicit bias she has experienced and overcome in her career. Reading about this will remind us all of how we are a better specialty with leaders like Dana as role models and colleagues.