Why Diverse Teams Matter?

Hakan Gumus
3 min readMay 25, 2021


Cultural diversity matters when managing a multicultural project. It becomes more important in the current pandemic outbreak, multiregional project teams are challenged with travel restrictions and physical appearance together. Remote working force to project manager improve their virtual collaboration with juggling time-zones and cultures diversity. Moreover, cultural diversity is a good business attitude and has benefits. In organizations that have a culturally diverse work group will in general have better final results in projects (1).

According to the PMI publication of “A Case for Diversity (2020)” (1), 88% of survey attendees said project teams add value when they have team members that are diversified in areas such as gender, age, race, experience, sexual orientation, nationality, and culture. True diversity is matters on the team, of course. And one of the important aspects is the cultural diversity that directly affecting team success.

PMI survey is illustrating diverse team importance “A Case for Diversity (2020)”

I experienced clear benefits in setting a diverse team. Team members seem to be more innovative, flexible and be future-ready. People all over the world could be great teammates, just if you understand a bit about their culture.

Doing the same, expecting a different result ≠Innovation

The expectation from similar backgrounds and homogeneous teams would be better collaboration and efficiency, right? However, it discourages innovative thinking. At this point, Cultural Diversity leads the teams to open the potential of innovation. Individuals with diversified backgrounds can make significant contributions to projects. Team members bring their own unique beliefs and ideas to be the key.

Team Flexibility represents a team’s ability

Flexibility is the ability to respond to environmental changes and in the face of uncertainty. The ability of flexible teams has a higher tolerance to change. My argument is if you are planning to enter new markets such as Emerging Markets, your team should be familiar with pop-up market demands and respond flexibly promptly. In detail, due to the history of Emerging Countries and economies, people confront uncertainty in their daily life and get used to embracing it than other countries. This skill empowers the team collectively with reaction speed. Diverse Teams react fast to project speedbumps. These flexible stakeholders tend to be more open, tolerant of differences.

Ready to Future Work?

With the advent of globalization, project teams and project managers think globally, act locally. Future belongs to Cultural Diverse teams because they are real achievers. Divers Teams’ backgrounds and lifestyles are directly affecting exchanging the quality of ideas together.

“We believe such companies risk tarnishing their license to operate in the long term and will lose out on opportunities to innovate their business models and strengthen their recovery (McKinsey) (2)”.

There is supporting research from McKinsey‘s “Diversity wins: How inclusion matters (2020)” (2). If the companies see setting diverse teams and rules as a luxury, their recovery will not be everlasting. The most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability.

That’s why setting a diverse team and inclusion for multiregional projects are vital for future work. For effective communication, project managers should be aware of the culture, needs of the people in their diverse team and try to understand their culture.



Hakan Gumus

PMP | PSM I | Project Manager | Orienteering Athlete |