I recently attended a conference with technology founders from Silicon Valley, New York, London and other global hubs. I was not surprised to find that the diversity of the crowd resembled that of the UN General Assembly.Having started successful tech companies in healthcare, finance, HR, retail and more – I loved hearing how these entrepreneurs leveraged their unique cultural experiences and global awareness to tackle some of the world’s most challenging issues. Many of these entrepreneurs moved to the U.S. to pursue their business dreams as they knew no such opportunities would be afforded to them in their own countries. Which brings me to the very important – and timely topic – of immigration and how to bring together diverse cultures in the workplace.
According to research by the National Foundation for American Policy, immigrants have founded more than half of US technology startups that are valued at $1bn or more. Similarly, more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants – and these companies employ more than 10 million people around the world. This isn’t new but it seems more relevant than ever before.
Research shows that immigrants are more likely to recognise and develop successful business ideas. They are able to transfer their knowledge across borders and cultures, can examine challenges from a different perspective and can use their diverse experiences to drive creativity.
These characteristics also apply to developing diverse workforces. The benefits of having multiple nationalities at a company are not only about skills – but the cross-cultural understanding, varying perspectives and global networks that comes from diversity in backgrounds and nationalities. This fosters innovation, risk-taking and problem solving – as well as tolerance – in technology companies.
At MOVE Guides, it is our mission to make it easy for employers to move their employees around the world. We’re committed to being the voice for a more open, global and equal world. We believe that the right immigration policies can be the greatest form of economic empowerment for individuals, catalyst for entrepreneurship and are critical to multinational companies meeting their business objectives. This is well evidenced in our own customer base – both for our technology companies and Fortune 500 companies.
Supporting and engaging a diverse workforce is not only the backbone of our business, but also our company culture. At MOVE Guides, we have five core values that we live by every day and one of these values includes “Be the Brand.” Today, MOVE Guides employees represent more than 20 nationalities across our San Francisco, London and Hong Kong offices. In addition, 80% of our team has either worked or lived abroad. We’re living the reality of how diverse cultures create dream teams.
I believe this is key to our success as a global business. We place a specific emphasis on recruiting the most skilled candidates from anywhere in the world, but also in fostering a culture that has many perspectives, constructive debate and a strong growth mindset – all things that are often an outcome of global mobility and diversity.
A multicultural workforce is the tech industry’s core competitive advantage. And companies around the world must continue to welcome people from many nationalities and backgrounds to drive innovation and cross-cultural understanding.
Interested in learning more about MOVE Guides? Contact us today -firstname.lastname@example.org - and learn how we are helping our customers move their employees around the world for any reason, any policy and to any location.
Brynne Kennedy is Founder and CEO of MOVE Guides, which she launched in 2011 while earning her MBA at London Business School. A frequent speaker and author on topics of technology, HR and global mobility, she previously worked at Lehman Brothers and Standard Chartered.