Workforce diversity is a valuable asset for any business that seeks a competitive advantage in the global economy. As an example, one of the greatest strengths of Schlumberger is the diversity of...

Workforce diversity is a valuable asset for any business that seeks a competitive advantage in the global economy. As an example, one of the greatest strengths of Schlumberger is the diversity of the workforce, with men and women of many nationalities and backgrounds working together and sharing common objectives. Discuss the advantages of workforce diversity that will help Schlumberger towards competitive advantage.

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shlumberger is a company that presently works in more than 85 countries around the world, providing technological solutions for the oil and gas industry, a far-flung empire.  This means it needs to have knowledge and understanding of many cultures, many languages, and many political and legal climates, as well as of geographical features, including weather and terrain, in many different places, and employees that are on the cutting edge creatively and technologically.  The company clearly understands that workforce diversity addresses all of these needs, and thus it employs people of more than 140 different nationalities. 

With a focus on workforce diversity, the company is able to function productively, efficiently, and intelligently in each country it serves, with workers who have local knowledge of customs, language, politics, laws, and geographical features. Companies that seek to enter a market without this powerful advantage are facing an uphill battle, since they are lacking in local knowledge and expertise. Furthermore, a company that embraces diversity is one that is drawing on a far greater pool of candidates than one which is not, and this implies that the company can choose the best and the brightest from all over the world, rather than restricting itself to a few sources of talent. This also enables the company to have a workforce that represents a multiplicity of perspectives, which is a key element in a problem-solving industry.  The more perspectives that are brought to bear upon a problem, the more likely it is to be solved.