Wondering what it takes to create a high-growth startup?

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Jo Dalton, founder of JD&Co, investor and board advisor, has worked with some of the best talent across the world, creating high-performing teams and businesses, and her top tip for growing your business? - Diverse teams. 

“I think in terms of building amazing teams, the two words that spring to mind immediately are diversity and awareness. Generally, you’ve got to have different types of thinkers in a business, and you want a diverse set of skills. 

“Diversity equals equity,” she said. 

Although innovation and profit are the main engines of growth for any business, the only way they can do this is if they have a team behind them that are knowledgeable, passionate, brave and most importantly, diverse! 

But why is this? 

Bigger and better talent pools 

When it comes to hiring for your startup, every action and decision made is critical, from where you place the job advertisement, to the language used within it, as they determine the people who see and are attracted to the role. 

If you are using certain language that isn’t inclusive of everyone, and job advertisements aren’t accessible for everyone, you could miss out on the opportunity of reaching someone who could help drive huge changes and significant growth to your company. 

Businesses that have a focus on diversity and inclusivity, are opening themselves up to a much larger talent pool than those companies who continue to recruit in the same way they have for the last 30 years. Startups have the opportunity to not only entice great diverse teams by having an inclusive talent attraction strategy, but to grow a truly inclusive working culture too. Employees from all backgrounds, cultures, races, religions and abilities, need to feel safe in their environment and able to bring their unique perspectives forward. 

Bringing together different cultures and backgrounds work together, allows your businesses to have unique perspectives and creativity. This is because there are people with different skill sets, differing opinions, ideas and solutions to problems, allowing for more innovation within the business. 

Increased opportunities 

A diverse range of people within your workplace allows you to have more understanding and capability to deal with different nuances and challenges you may face within the global marketplace. For example, if your business wants to break into the Chinese market, having an employee who can speak Mandarin would be a huge asset. 

If your team is truly diverse it will show for itself, with diverse team members on your social media, and showing up for events, and it will become known that your business is inclusive. If customers and potential partners see this it can open up opportunities for more sales, and growth. If people feel they can relate to the people behind the scenes they are far more likely to listen in, watch, and buy - creating more opportunities for growth. 

“The power of problem-solving that comes from diverse staff bringing many different life learnings and aspects is a superpower! - it has helped us grow extremely fast, globally and will you - just let it !!!” says Christopher Kenna, founder of Brand Advance Group

It’s time to make diversity a priority, so take a step back and look at your business model, all the way from recruitment through to exit and employee structure and ask yourself, what could I do to create a more diverse team…