Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are not just buzz words. They are a business imperative for businesses who want to succeed.  A study by McKinsey in 2018 showed the connection between diversity and financial performance.  Higher gender diversity companies performed 21 percent better than the national median, and companies with higher racial/ethnic diversity performed 33 percent better.  When the diversity is at the executive level, the ROI is even higher. Rep. Joyce Beatty, chair of the US House Financial Services Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee, said at a congressional hearing in 2019:

“Diversity and inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s good for business and our economy!”

What is diversity, though?  Companies have traditionally thought of diversity as a number to check off a list, but it’s much more than that.  Having a diverse workforce means that you’ve got a broad representation of race, age, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. It also means that your organization includes diverse experiences, including veteran status, overseas experience, academic interests, industry background, and career paths. Research shows that workplace teams that reflect the product or service’s customer are more innovative and successful.

Workplace diversity doesn’t stand alone.  Equity and inclusion are vital components.  A workforce with diverse staff also needs to provide an opportunity for input into business planning and decision making.  Equity may mean creating employee resource groups or a company DEI counsel. Looking diverse and being a truly inclusive and equitable workplace is not the same thing. Voices need to be heard at all levels. Judy Ellis, CEO of ThinkPeoplellc.com, emphasizes the need to build a common language and skills in “DEI” concepts. She helps them understand unconscious bias, microaggressions, allyship, racial equity, and intersectionality when she works with companies.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are ongoing processes, not one-time tasks.  Once you’ve worked towards creating an optimal DEI company culture, you need to keep it going. Dynamic Works can help you educate your staff and hold them accountable with our training tools.  And, of course, you’ll want to ask for regular employee feedback.  You may even want to incentivize your employees to live out D&I principles.

An inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplace is more than just a ‘tagline’ for your businesses. It is a critical component of your infrastructure. Teams simply work better and solve problems faster when there is more cognitive diversity.  You’ll need a dedicated focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure success.