Making the Case for DEI in the Workplace
What You Will Learn:
- Why it is as important as ever to continue making the case for DEI in the workplace in today’s competitive environment
- How DEI work directly connects to business results, and how to use this information in your case for DEI work
- Why more racially diverse companies and teams tend to outperform companies that are more racially homogenous
- Why gender diversity in a company’s leadership team has a direct result in the value of the organization
- Why the increasing diversity of the labor pool highlights a growing need for a work environment that attracts that diverse talent
- Why it is important to tie your case to actual data from your own organization and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (or lack thereof)
- Why DEI work has an impact on talent retention and can help you dramatically lower your turnover and its associated costs
- Why cultural competence has a powerful and positive impact on an organization’s bottom line, and why developing your organization’s cultural competence offers a competitive advantage
- Why cultural competence is a vital skill that can help you in many common business scenarios and challenges
Making the Case for DEI
It can sometimes feel overwhelming when making the case for DEI in the workplace. It can feel a bit like swimming upstream, especially if your organization doesn’t truly understand the benefits they could be reaping from a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment…or the price they’re paying for not putting in the effort to create one.
However, it has never been more important to keep making the case for DEI than it is today. The labor pool is growing increasingly diverse, and creating a work environment that attracts that diverse talent is a crucial competitive advantage.
Why DEI Work Matters to Your Bottom Line
It isn’t just about the moral benefits of a healthier and more equitable organizational culture, though that is a powerful positive side to DEI work. It’s also about the direct productivity and financial benefits of doing the work. A frequently-cited McKinzie & Company study found that the top 25% of racially and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform the median. On the flip side, the least diverse companies tend to lag behind their competition. Likewise, those in the top 25% of gender diverse companies were 15% more likely to outperform the median on financial returns.
The effect is just as impressive when we’re looking at the diversity of leadership teams. Research from the University of Maryland found that gender diversity in business leadership correlated with a staggering $42 million increase in the value of S&P 500 firms. In his book The Diversity Bonus, Princeton University researcher Scott Page found that diversity in organizational leadership teams enhances problem-solving due to a greater variety of perspectives. The Harvard Business Review published a report showing that homogeneity stifles innovation.
With so much published research demonstrating the profound impact of Diversity on an organization’s success at all levels, making the case for DEI in the workplace is vital for giving your organization these powerful competitive advantages. The data proves beyond a doubt that the “do-nothing” strategy has a real, tangible cost on your organization’s effectiveness, profitability, and overall success.
Where to Start in Making the Case for DEI
It can feel like a daunting task, but making the case can be made easier by connecting it to your organization’s real data and to the impact DEI work can directly make on the business needs of your company. You need to understand where your organization is now, so that you know what areas need to be worked on and what positive benefits you’ll be able to achieve going forward.
It all starts with data as a foundation you can build upon. Getting buy-in from your organization’s leadership team can be made much easier if you can show exactly how DEI work stands to strengthen your organization, even beyond the moral case for a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive workplace. The effort is certain to pay off in the end.
At deepSEE Consulting, we offer a number of resources you may find helpful as you collect and collate your data. Please feel free to visit our website and explore the many tools found in our resource library at www.deepseeconsulting.com/resources.
About Sara Taylor
Sara Taylor earned a master’s degree in Diversity and Organizational Development from the University of Minnesota. She served as a leadership and diversity specialist at the University of Minnesota for five years and as director of diversity and inclusion for Ramsey County, Minnesota for three years.
Sara is the founder and president of deepSEE Consulting and has worked with companies as large as Coca-Cola, General Mills, 3M Company, AARP, and numerous others. She has a new book, “Filter Shift: How Effective People See the World,” that explores how our unconscious is actually making choices and decisions for us, all without our knowing — and how to change that.
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