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What is DEI and Why is it Important for Your Company?

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nSider (Edition 9)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is the key to a successful and productive workplace. DEI programs focus on involving people of different genders, sexualities, races, age groups, religions, cultures, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientations, backgrounds, expertise, skills, and experiences. The goal of DEI is not just representation and participation of such diverse groups; rather, it focuses on having their voice heard in a business setting, offering fair treatment, and providing all team members with a sense of belonging to a shared vision. 

Equity - Equity is about access and fairness. An organization that provides equitable access to work broadens access for talented people to contribute to their business goals. Equitable companies have a fair structure for promotions, pay, and benefits, which enable and retain great people.

Inclusion - “An inclusive and welcoming working environment is one with a high degree of communication, collaboration, and overall engagement between employees of all backgrounds, circumstances, and perspectives,” says Arthur Ransier, Business Strategy Director at nTech Workforce. 

Diversity - This refers to the presence of differences within a specific work setting. This could refer to the physical, social, and psychological differences between the individuals in that organization. A diverse workplace is one where such social and cultural differences exist. Diversity is the outcome of equity, inclusion, and belonging; diversity is a metric to stay accountable. Companies owe a responsibility to their customers who demand that they build representative teams and reflect the communities where they do business. Diverse organizations are a reflection of equitable access to meaningful work, an inclusive environment that prioritizes the employee experience, employees who believe their work matters, and fairness in growth opportunities.

Companies with robust DEI strategies can tap into their employees’ potential, be more innovative, and have better stakeholder returns. A McKinsey and Human Research Management study found that companies with more diverse teams in terms of gender and ethnic differences are, respectively, 15% and 35% more likely to perform better than their less diverse competitors. Such companies made more profits and brought in more sales revenue and more customers. 

 

The benefits of dei

There are several advantages to DEI in the workplace. Some of them include: 

  1. Hitting financial goals - DEI strategies and efforts are crucial for meeting financial goals. Companies with an equal number of men and women produce 41% more revenue. Similarly, highly inclusive workplaces are 120% more likely to hit their financial goals. 

  2. Representing your customers - A more diverse workplace means representing the world as it looks in terms of differences in race, creed, gender, nationality, sexuality, and so on. Having such a diverse workforce means you have a wealth of ideas from various people. 

  3. Representing company values - Strong core company values demand effective DEI practices. DEI often looks at the greatest opportunity that aligns well with all the business priorities. DEI efforts and initiatives are a part of the company’s values and culture, and therefore, it’s the responsibility of company executives to infuse such DEI strategies. Companies that value DEI are sought after by the best potential employees. A Glassdoor survey found that a diverse workplace is important for 67% of job seekers. 

  4. Employee retention - A diverse workplace environment gives everyone a sense of belonging and inclusion. This helps employees feel more connected with their work. As a result, they work harder and are more committed to the overall values and growth of the company. Employees feel good working for that company and tend to stay longer. Catalyst, a non-profit organization, found that positive experiences of inclusion explain 20% of the team’s interest in staying with the organization. 


The key to successful dei practices

"A successful DEI strategy starts with an organizational commitment to people, corporate responsibility, and long-term value creation; organizations focused on quarter-to-quarter profitability won’t see the forest through the trees,” explains Ransier. It involves continuous and consistent listening to employee resource groups and providing them the budget and support to diagnose challenges. 

The key to a successful DEI strategy is practical implementation and execution. Implementation refers to a set of decisions to make the strategy into a reality, while execution refers to the decisions and activities one undertakes to make the implemented strategy a commercial success. The approach should be tailored and authentic and aimed to serve all the organization members. Also, the company should go beyond numbers and do a cultural assessment of the organization’s perception of inclusion and equity. After that, DEI initiatives and practices must be aligned with the company’s goals to ensure maximum effect. The core is making DEI a part of the company’s heart and blood and re-examining all the existing processes with DEI principles in mind. 

No one solution will work for each organization, and no one solution will be relevant at all times; an organization must continually measure its diversity, identify areas for improvement, listen & observe, test new ideas, and challenge existing practices to build an adaptable & resilient, equitable & inclusive business.

At nTech, we provide innovative and customized staffing solutions that streamline your DEI strategies and manage your diversity challenges. Contact us today to start your journey towards inclusive growth.