Diversity: A Key Factor for Successful IT Teams
At first glance, one might think that having a group of like-minded engineers would result in a flawless software development. Nevertheless, much has been said about the benefits of having a diverse team with respect to gender, culture, skills, and educational diversity. As long as it's harmonious and well organized, research suggests that a diverse engineering team outperforms a homogenous one. Let’s take a look as to why a diverse IT team is a good investment.
Diversity greatly impacts workflow, business results, and economic growth at a macro level. Richard Florida, a notable researcher and author, has conducted multiple studies since the early 1990s to demonstrate the two key factors in economic growth: geographic proximity and cultural diversity.
As for tech startups and their teams, having a diverse team has lead to better results and a higher impact. Diversity refers to gender and culture as well as geographical diversity. A study analyzed work done by scientific researchers who were located in different but near-by cities. Their work resulted in more citations in other scientific papers than other local teams.
Research is supported by the practices of companies and startups in the US and Canada. Founders and investors have found that outsourcing both their work and office branches to Latin America, instead of overseas, has resulted in a better long term investment due to factors such as proximity and time zones. A prime example is Guadalajara’s proximity to the US and how many American companies consider the city to be Mexico’s "Silicon Valley" and a hotbed for IT nearshore talent.
Nathaniel Parish Flannery, a well known reporter who writes about Latin American companies and political risk, wrote in his latest contribution to Forbes, “[Mexico is] a major player in the nearshoring sector for tech and business process exporting.” Factors such as the “Triple Play Collaboration,” a union of government, university and private sector efforts to deliver high impact technology services has sparked interest of major American companies and foreign investment.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Guadalajara explains on their website that “FDI Magazine ranked Guadalajara highest among major Mexican cities, and with the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city, after Chicago."
Diversity of culture, gender, skills, educational background, and geography have proven to be key factors for teamwork results. Companies need only look at these resources, and find the right formula for them. For example, US founders and investors may find that, while there is cheaper labor across the globe, time difference and distance are detrimental for their key performance indicators. Mexico offers an excellent geographical alternative to this issue, while offering lower costs and a diverse culture.
At the end of the day, diversifying a team enhances performance and provides opportunities that homogenous teams may miss out on.
About the Author
Carolina Gonzalez is specialized in Global Information Technology Recruiting. She is inspired by knowing that she brings passionate professionals to a fast growing nearshore technology company that will provide them with trending tools and skills to become the best.