6 Reasons Being Bilingual Makes You an Asset to Your Company 

Do you speak a second language? If so, does your employer know? Your ability to communicate in multiple tongues can benefit them — and result in more money in your pocket.

The world is increasingly diverse and businesses that once plied their trade on street corners now undertake international deals. Savvy people who know how to relate to those from other cultures — and can speak their language — smooth relationships across continents. Here are six reasons being bilingual makes you an asset to your company.


It Helps Them Expand Their Horizons 

Thanks to the internet and other technological advances, the mom-and-pop corner shop has grown wings. One recent survey from USForex reports that 58% of businesses already have international customers. Nearly three-quarters of all companies plan to expand to a global audience.


Bilingual individuals benefit their companies because they understand the demographic profile of new target markets — how these individuals live, work and play. Even in the United States, those of Hispanic heritage account for 50% of the overall growth in new homeowners. As the nation becomes increasingly diverse, companies need fully bilingual individuals who understand not only the basics but the everyday lexicon to avoid misunderstandings.


This cultural awareness grows more vital as companies expand overseas. For example, several cultures consider pointing impolite — arriving at a meeting without a pen to highlight crucial lines in paperwork can lead you to scramble to avoid an unintentional slight. Those with this insight keep a writing instrument or stylus handy to indicate where the other party should sign without using their fingers.


It Encourages Workplace Diversity

The more workplaces embrace diversity, the faster they thrive. This statement isn’t wishful thinking — science supports it. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt University found that each 1% increase in racial diversity increased firm productivity by $729 to $1,590 per employee.

Why does diversity matter? Diverse teams consider multiple perspectives to solve problems. They bring greater creativity, innovation and flexibility to the floor, developing more complex approaches that consider how the same processes impact different individuals.

Diversity in management brings even greater rewards. People relate best to others who are like them in some way. It also inspires others that they, too, can achieve their goals if they work hard and contribute their best efforts. On a practical level, it may decrease bias complaints.


It Enhances Your Communication Skills 

Speaking a second language becomes tougher as an adult because you aren’t just memorizing different words. You’re learning new syntax, ways of stringing thoughts together and implementing a unique way of thinking. Anyone who has ever used a translator that’s produced hilarious results when converting certain phrases knows that it’s not as simple as substituting “perro” for “dog.”

This mental flexibility benefits the bilingual individual and makes them an asset to their company because of their ability to phrase things so that other people can understand them. If they can’t convey a concept to someone in English, trying to do it in another tongue — even if the other person doesn’t speak it — can help them explain it differently.

It Promotes Networking Opportunities 

The famous business leader Lee Iacocca once said, “Business is, after all, nothing more than a bunch of human relationships.” How can you form a trusted partnership with someone who doesn’t speak the same language? You might not be able to — but a staff member fluent in that tongue can.

This ability makes bilingual staff members assets at team networking events. They should be first on the list to attend conferences, where they can smooth understanding between people who might struggle with a language barrier. Such acts of goodwill cast your organization positively, making it more likely that others will want to do business with you.

It Helps Them Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes

Did you know that Pepsi can bring your ancestors back from the dead? That’s the message folks in China received when the soda company launched one of the most embarrassing advertising blunders. “Come alive with Pepsi” got lost in translation — please don’t try pouring pop onto your deceased grandfather’s grave. The world has enough problems without the zombie apocalypse.


Translation tools help — but they have their limits. They’re no substitute for an individual fluent in the native tongue. Think about some everyday words that can have alternate, sometimes racy, meanings in English and you’ll understand how vital it is to avoid potential blunders.

It Puts More Money in Your Pocket 

People conduct business to make money. Being bilingual puts more cash in your company’s coffers — which should equate to a higher salary and better benefits for you. After all, your organization wouldn’t flourish without your contribution, and it’s only fair to receive compensation accordingly.

On average, bilingual workers make up to 20% more per hour  than those who only speak one tongue. That’s a good reason to whip out your college-level Spanish text or invest in a language app to improve your skills.

Being Bilingual Makes You an Asset to Your Company

The business world is an increasingly complex, global place. Leaders must know how to relate to a diverse customer base or risk losing revenue.

Fortunately, being bilingual makes you an asset to your company, helping them achieve more. Your skills can put more money in both your pockets.

About The Author

Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you’ll find herin a yoga class, advocating for body positivity, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, or smashing the patriarchy.