Workplaces are a microcosm of our beautifully diverse world. Your employees are the hearts, hands, and minds of your business. They own your organization's tribal knowledge and understand cultural nuances. They've established your social licenses to exist and operate in their communities. They are your competitive advantage.
When you let your employees know that you see them, you hear them, and you value their unique cultural authenticity, you improve their lives. When you afford them equitable opportunities for their continued advancement, you improve your business. When you wield your power to extend those same efforts beyond your business, you effectually improve the world.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is the work of all. America's workplaces must create integrated strategies that engages all their employees--from the cubicle to the boardroom.
Before you determine your organizations' needs, I'll share my foundational understanding of diversity. I define diversity as a quantifiable measurement of all the ways we differ. It refers to characteristics that make us unique like ethnic background, color, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, educational background, and mental and physical abilities. There can be no inclusion without diversity. Diversity is the first step to creating workplace inclusion.
Today’s executives must hold themselves and their organizations accountable to hiring employees from marginalized groups. They must disrupt biases that have too long stood in the way of their employees’ success and upward mobility. And they must build and integrate research-based inclusion strategies that empower their workforce to provide innovative, profitable, and responsible products and services to society.
A few questions to consider: