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Diversity Can Be a Driving Force in Business Growth


University of Virginia professor argues that “There is opportunity in disparity”

by Sasha King Posted: October 7, 2013
According to a University of Virginia professor diversity should be used for more than compliance reasons.

Businesses often embrace diversity among their employees, customers and suppliers for compliance reasons, ethical reasons or to help fuel innovation.

Those are all good reasons, but businesses should also look for ways in which an emphasis on diversity can help drive growth, a University of Virginia professor told attendees at a professional gathering last week in Henrico County.

“There is opportunity in disparity,” said Gregory B. Fairchild, an associate professor of business administration at UVa’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

Speaking at medical products supplier Owens & Minor Inc.’s eighth annual health care supplier diversity symposium, Fairchild urged businesses to look for “pockets of opportunities” in finding and solving health disparities among racial and ethnic groups.

The rates of diabetes, cancer and heart disease are higher in the minority population, for instance, and breast cancer mortality is higher among black women than white women, he said.



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