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The importance of supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion within an organization.

The importance of supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion within an organization.

In a multicultural society, diversity, equity, and inclusion are of the utmost importance. Companies that are more diverse are more profitable. According to Kellie Wong, in her article Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Benefits and Challenges for Achievers, Deloitte found that companies enjoy 2.3 times more cashflow per employee. Gartner found that in high-diversity environments, team performance improved by 30%. In another study conducted by BCG, they found that companies with diverse management teams had a 19 percent increase in revenue compared to their less diverse counterparts. Despite these benefits, only 40% of employees believe that their employer fosters a diverse environment.

 Wong goes on to define what diversity and inclusion mean. Diversity refers to political beliefs, race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, class, and/or gender identity differences. In the workplace, diversity means your staff consists of individuals who bring new perspectives and backgrounds to the table. Inclusion means that everyone in the diverse mix feels involved, valued, respected, treated fairly, and embedded in your culture. Empowering all employees and recognizing their special talents is part of creating an inclusive company.

Saint Bonaventure University defines equity as fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people. It is an action-based practice that requires organizations to identify and eliminate barriers that have historically prevented the full participation of all groups. Equity influences who has access to career opportunities and how employees feel valued at work.

According to Wong some of the benefits of diversity are:

  • Bigger talent pool
  • Increased employment engagement and trust
  • New perspectives and innovation
  • Better decision-making
  • Improved performance
  • Stronger business results and profits

A Great Place to Work lists some of the benefits of equity and inclusion as:

  • Higher revenue growth
  • Greater readiness to innovate
  • Increased ability to recruit a diverse talent pool
  • 5.4 times higher employee retention.

Robin Pedrelli gives ten suggestions on how employees can support diversity and inclusion. These suggestions are:

  1. Know the diversity goals and vision of your organization and its connection to the overall business objectives.
  2. Participate in employee engagement surveys and respond as openly and honestly as possible.
  3. Actively engage in the diversity effort.
  4. Become culturally competent. Take the time to learn about different cultures, races, religions, and backgrounds represented by your colleagues.
  5. Treat people in a way they wish to be treated rather than the way you wish to be treated.
  6. Drive positive change in the organization.
  7. Welcome ideas that are different from your own, and support fellow teammates. 
  8. Understand the diversity elements you personally bring to the organization.
  9. Commit to continuous improvement. Be willing to learn, accept feedback, and listen to the concerns of those around you. 
  10. Communicate and educate.

By committing to the principles of DEI, not only do companies add to their talent pool by obtaining a broad range of perspectives and unique experiences, but it will appeal to new customers adding to the potential for revenue growth. Even though there can be some challenges such as getting the leadership involved, it is important for your organization’s leadership to embrace DEI and put a program in place to allow for DEI to take hold.

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