Why Diversity & Inclusion?

by Alexis James on July 15, 2019

in Diversity & Inclusion,Leadership

Making Her Point

You don’t have to read this blog post to know that diversity and inclusion is becoming more and more of a focus in the business community and an increasingly common topic on many executive agendas, board meetings and employee performance and accountability documents.

Why should companies be working to create more diversity within and outside of their organization? Not only because it’s the right thing to do; it also makes business sense and creates a competitive advantage. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity outperform their competitors by 15%, and those in the top quartile for ethnic diversity outperform their competitors by 35%. If you want to create a diverse strategy that results in a diverse solution or product, you need a diverse team and diverse leadership.

So, how can you reach those targets, create more diverse products and outperform your competitors?

Executive Buy-In

Executive buy-in is a necessity. A shift in outcomes cannot reach fruition without leadership at the top levels. Executive buy-in should focus on highlighting the business benefits of having diverse teams and inclusive environments.

When employees “think their organization is committed to and supportive of diversity, and they feel included,” their ability to innovate increases by 83%. As a leader, your role should be focused on running your organization at the highest level possible; that can only be done with empowered employees. Beyond signing off on the work, executive leaders must engage in and experience the process as well.

Addressing the Culture

Executive leadership is the first step, but it is not the only step. In addition to leadership buy-in, companies must create a culture where employees can bring their whole selves to work and employees can excel internally. Doing so will increase retention and employee buy-in.

The culture must support and assess a sense of belonging. Industry leaders focused on developing organizations that are able to create work cultures where people of all races, genders, sexuality, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, etc. can thrive and realistically see themselves as leaders within the field are positioning their organizations for increased success. To foster this culture, companies need to nurture ally-ship at every level in the organization.

Cascade is currently expanding our diversity and inclusion catalog of services and trainings. Our trainings are backed by research and best practices. Regardless of where you are at in your diversity and inclusion journey, we can offer on-site training, strategic planning and document review. Stay tuned for our public training offerings.

To learn more about diversity, equity, inclusion and ally-ship, reach out to our Director of Training and Organization Development, Alexis James.

Footnotes:
Deloitte, 2013. Waiter, is that inclusion in my soup? A new recipe to improve business performance, pg4.

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