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I've been hearing that groups and organisations perform better when their workforce is diverse (for example in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, introvert/extrovert, age, etc...). Are these claims true? How robust is the science backing them?

Here are some articles that make the claim:

While, my personal experience is in agreement with these claims, I'm skeptical of them because they seem to pick one or two measures of success among many where the diverse teams do better.

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    It seems very plausible that a diverse team can more easily attract talent. A team that is 100% 50-year-old men may be unattractive for a brilliant 25-year-old woman. I don't really see why one would doubt that. – gerrit Jun 3 '16 at 9:53
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    Could you define diversity more specifically here? For example, diversity of knowledge or skills has obvious benefits to team performance, making the question a trivial one, but it's not clear whether that is in scope for your question. Two of your three links include such kinds of diversity. I think a more focused question like "Do gender and racial diversity lead to better performance" would be better. – user11522 Jun 3 '16 at 12:43
  • What metric of better performance do you have in mind? There are studies proving that groupthink can be damaging, and uniformity of a group might be a cause of groupthink. – vartec Jun 4 '16 at 0:04
  • Also, IMO it's not about some measurable productivity improvements, but more like avoiding failures, like "U2 on iPhone", decided by group of elderly white men. – vartec Jun 4 '16 at 0:06
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    What type of group? What type of organization? What types of diversity? An NBA basketball team that hires pygmies for the sake of diversity is probably making a mistake. An agency tasked with gathering foreign intelligence had better have a lot of intellectual, linguistic, and even racial diversity. – Readin Jun 4 '16 at 6:09

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