Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Initiatives

What do your current DE&I initiatives look like? Most companies would agree that cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace is the right thing to do, but they often fall short on execution.

Here’s our guide on how you can start improving your organization’s DE&I efforts (and why you should).

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: What’s the Difference?

First, it’s important to know the difference between diversity, equity, and inclusion. These three terms are often used interchangeably but, in reality, they have distinct definitions. Diversity refers to the make-up of a group while inclusion refers to how well the perspectives and presence of each person are valued.

Too often, businesses mistakenly assume inclusion is a natural consequence of diversity, but a truly inclusive company doesn’t simply have a diverse workforce. It actively develops, empowers, and trusts a diversity of people.

Not to be confused with equality, equity doesn’t mean treating everyone the same way. An equitable company recognizes individual circumstances, and then allocates the resources and support tools that each individual needs to reach the same outcome.

The DE&I Difference

Simply put, DE&I matters because everyone deserves to work for an organization that makes them feel safe, respected, and valued. Beyond simply being the right thing to do, implementing DE&I initiatives has competitive advantages, too.

More growth & innovation: According to Harvard Business Review, diverse companies are 70% more likely to report that they captured new market opportunities. They’re also 45% more likely to report year-over-year market share growth.

Higher employee engagement: 83% of millennials report feeling actively engaged when their workplace fosters an inclusive culture. That number drops significantly, as just 60% of millennials feel engaged, when their organization does not foster an inclusive culture.

Better bottom line: A study by MicKinsey & Company found that companies with the most diverse teams were 33% more likely to outperform competitors on profitability.

As many companies have already proven, creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace is one of the biggest keys to business success. Professional services firm, Accenture is a clear example of the power of DE&I. Now holding the top spot on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, Accenture was the first company of its kind to publish comprehensive data on its U.S. workforce. Today, the Fortune Global 500 company employs over 600,000 people and serves clients across 120 countries, all while continuing to prioritize DE&I initiatives.

Start Improving Your DE&I Strategy With These Top Tips

Align DE&I goals with business goals

For true change to happen, you need to look at your DE&I strategy as a business strategy, not just an HR initiative. Your appointed DE&I leaders should have a seat at the C-Suite table, where everyone works together to define DE&I targets according to your overall business goals.

Set your KPIs

Hold your company accountable by defining and measuring your diversity, inclusion, and equity KPIs. When setting talent acquisition goals, for example, you might establish quotas for hiring from underrepresented groups.

Rethink your hiring process

Are you using gender-coded language in your job descriptions? How accessible is your career site? Inclusive hiring plays a major role in fostering an inclusive workplace, so invest time into reviewing each stage of your recruitment process from a DE&I perspective.

Listen to and act on employee feedback

To create an inclusive culture, you need to show your employees that you value their voices. Whether through a survey, employee resource group, or some other means, take the time to collect employee feedback—and then actually implement it.

Make ongoing improvements

DE&I efforts will (and should) always be a work in progress. Just like you’d do with any other quality improvement initiative, you should evaluate and update your DE&I strategy on a regular basis.

Need Help With Your Business’s DE&I Journey?

If you’re ready to cultivate a happier workplace and grow your business, we’re here to help make it happen with holistic talent acquisition and management strategies. Connect with us today to learn how our approach enables your DE&I, talent and overarching business needs.