With marketing becoming more diverse, companies must have a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) plan to maximize productivity, innovation, and employee loyalty while still meeting the growing needs of their clients or customers.
In a competitive marketplace, workplace diversity needs to be at the forefront. With a diverse workforce, companies can make more meaningful connections with their audience. With a more culturally diverse workforce, companies can differentiate their organizations by tapping into the wants and needs of minority employees, which also helps them connect to their client base.
When employers recognize the value of a diverse workforce as it relates to their employees and the audience, they stand out from competitors who don’t recognize the importance of a diverse workplace.
In the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, businesses began to reevaluate their company cultures and practices regarding race and inequality in the workforce. This is a positive step in fighting systemic racism as well as lack of inclusion in the workplace. However, women and minorities are still underrepresented in leadership positions.
Black women in the workforce face a double bias. Black females are statistically underrepresented in executive roles, with Black female executives more likely to take on a staff role, despite their qualifications.
According to data from human resources consulting company Mercer, 64% of workers in entry-level positions are white. However, in the top executive ranks, 85% of positions are held by whites, demonstrating the promotion gap that minorities face. As women and minorities continue to under-earn white male colleagues, the push for DEI efforts at the leadership level becomes even more critical.
Inequality is deeply structural in the world of business and will take tremendous ongoing efforts to rectify. Although Gartner research reveals an almost 800% increase in job postings for dedicated diversity recruiters, diversity, equity, and inclusion must start at the senior level. It is through educating senior-level staff about the benefits of developing a diverse workforce and providing opportunities for growth for minorities in support staff roles that we as a nation will see progress in DEI.
Employers should recognize that to be sustainable, DEI in the workforce is an ongoing process. Employers must make a long-term commitment to diversifying their workforce to see lasting change.
To build a more inclusive workforce, companies should include inclusive behaviors in the hiring process and reinforce inclusive behaviors during interactions with employees and clients. This involves understanding the wants and needs of your employees and implementing programs and procedures that provide a more equitable and inclusive workplace.
"Diversity and inclusion (D&I) has never been more of a priority in the workplace than it is today, but the most successful D&I initiatives are sustainable, meaning the strategy is supported by the entire organization, is measurable over time and is embedded into existing processes,” said Lauren Romansky, Gartner Managing Vice President, at Gartner ReimagineHR Conference in Orlando, FL today.
In partnership with United Minds and KRC Research, Weber Shandwick released a 2019 study in which 66% of executives at companies that aligned their business goals with diversity and inclusion goals agree that diversity is an essential driver of company financial performance. If properly implemented, a diverse workplace will generate more income for the company in the form of broader sales and greater productivity. Also, according to a 2018 BCG report., companies with more diverse leadership teams report higher innovation revenue—45% of total revenue versus just 26%. This reiterates the push for DEI initiatives at the leadership level.
As businesses push for a more diverse workplace by making diversity, equity, and inclusion an initiative and a core value of the company, the business will thrive, company morale will increase, and a culture of equity and inclusion will become the norm.
If you are interested in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment, but you’re not sure where to start, Thinkzilla will design and implement internal training programs that are designed to educate senior-level staff about the benefits of developing a diverse workforce. Click here to learn more about Thinkzilla’s workforce diversity recruiting and development programs.