article10.07.20234 minutes

Diversity and its benefits on product development

  • Tech
  • People

As Product Manager, Daphnée Brazeau has visibility over entire projects and several teams on a daily basis. She therefore plays a privileged role in observing the best dynamics that allow harmonious and effective collaboration. Among this miracle recipe: diversity in all its forms. Gender, age, experience, language, origin, thoughts, and beliefs. Today, she’s showing us how diversity enriches her every day.

Diversity in IT

Sophie Nicoletti, Talent & Culture Specialist and Head of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, explains that these three themes are "essential to shaping the future of the IT industry: they drive innovation, strengthen business competitiveness and meet the diverse needs of end-users. By investing in these values, the entire field can not only drive progress, but also positive change within society as a whole."

Thinking about the users – all types of users

Understanding users is fundamental to creating a successful product that will keep them coming back. It can be tempting to build a product that solves my own problems but doesn’t consider the end user. In some cases this could lead to a successful product, but in most cases it won’t.

Take Microsoft Clippy. Commonly known for being one of the most hated Microsoft Office assistant suites, Clippy could have been a successful product had it understood its users. In Robinson Meyer’s article: “Even Early Focus Groups Hated Clippy”, Meyer states after spending hundreds of thousands on focus groups, Microsoft engineers were willing to throw out their findings because they did not live up to expectations: “Most women thought the characters were too male and were leering at them”. Ignoring this feedback, Clippy became one of the most unsuccessful features by Microsoft, notably with women.

Want to learn more about designing for users? Check out this article

Being creative in our solutions – digital and human

Diverse teams can look at problems from multiple perspectives, examine new ideas from different angles, allowing them to make better decisions (Forbes). This is especially important when building a product for a wide user base – when a team is made up of collaborators with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints, the final product is much more likely to be created for all types of users. Thanks to their structure, these teams are more innovative, make better decisions, and create more accessible products.

Enhanced Creativity and Innovation

Research shows that diversity has positive impact on innovation. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review, which surveyed over 1,700 companies across eight countries, found that companies with above-average total diversity reported innovation revenues that were 19% higher than their less diverse counterparts. Similarly, a study published in Economic Geography found that businesses led by diverse leadership were more likely to develop and release new products compared to those with homogeneous leadership. This suggests that diverse teams, both in leadership and non-leadership roles, bring a wider range of perspectives, fostering an environment where innovative ideas thrive.

Better Decision Making

Diversity plays a crucial role in driving better business decisions. In an article published by Forbes, researchers found that “compared to individual decision makers, all-male teams made better business decisions 58 percent of the time, while gender diverse teams did so 73 percent of the time, […] and teams overall diversity made better business decisions 87 percent of the time”. Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino argues that diversity in teams leads to less bias, and therefore better business decisions (Forbes).


Accessibility is a hot topic right now. As technology becomes an increasingly integral part of our daily lives, it is crucial for our products to be accessible to all. Diversity presents itself in many ways, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, and more. “When it comes to coding, having a diverse team onboard gives a broader perspective on tasks at hand. This experience may help a business grow and build a technology that will be helpful for a larger group of users.” By being part of diverse team, developers ultimately build products that are more accessible simply because they have a greater sense of awareness of users’ needs.

Creating an environment of discussion and listening

On a personal note, being in the tech world can be tough on women. Globally, women represent on 27.5% of software engineers in 2022. In the US it was 21%. I’ll be celebrating my 2 years at nventive in November. At the start of my career, I was afraid of the tech world and its stereotypes. As I’ve worked with strong women in my time here, I’ve learned to voice my opinions and lead tough projects with confidence. I’ve gained assurance and support from those around me, allowing me to grow into the Product Owner I am today.

To foster an environment that allows teams to innovate, we must create a space where team members feel comfortable voicing their opinions. Teams with diverse cultures, experiences, opinions and contribute to a better understanding of issues and the exploration of unique solutions. Valuing diverse opinions and encouraging people to speak up not only fuels innovation but also creates an inclusive culture where everyone feels respected and valued. Its in this environment that breakthrough ideas are born.

Create a positive circle

At nventive, we believe that creating an equitable work environment, in which every individual benefits from equal opportunities, fosters recognition and enables everyone to achieve their full potential.

An inclusive work environment promotes a sense of belonging and encourages the active participation of all employees. It enhances team collaboration, creativity and innovation, and gives everyone the opportunity to bring their own perspective to the table.

"Valuing diversity and being actively involved in creating an inclusive environment helps attract diverse talent, eager to join a company that values their differences and in which everyone finds their place. The positive circle of diversity, equity and inclusion creates a virtuous dynamic in which organizational benefits grow, attracting more and more talent from diverse backgrounds or who are simply sensitive or interested in these issues," concludes Sophie.