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Diversity and Inclusion is Good for Business

Diversity Equity and Inclusion is often accused of just being a feel good initiative. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am often asked to “justify” Diversity Equity and Inclusion. To prove that Diversity Equity and Inclusion makes sense for business.

Well I don’t have to… others have done that for me…

Diversity Equity and Inclusion has been proven in a host of studies by multiple organizations: McKinsey, Deloitte, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, etc. They have researched this countless times over the years and every time come to the same conclusion.

In study after study Diversity Equity and Inclusion has been found to be highly correlated with higher revenues, higher profit margins and higher employee engagement.

Let me repeat that for those in the back…

Diversity Equity and Inclusion IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS!!!!!

Diverse and Inclusive companies are more profitable. Companies with increased gender diversity are “25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability” according to a 2020 study by McKinsey

That same study also showed that companies with increased ethnic diversity are “36 percent more likely to have above-average profitability”.

According to Forbes “EBIT margins for companies with diverse management teams were nearly 10% higher than for companies with below-average management diversity.”

Harvard Business Review showed that Diverse and Inclusive companies “are 45% likelier to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.”

Even further Harvard Business review’s research “found that indeed there was a statistically significant relationship between diversity and innovation outcomes in all countries examined. Furthermore, the more dimensions of diversity were represented, the stronger the relationship was” and “the most-diverse enterprises were also the most innovative”.

A Deloitte study on employee engagement showed that employee engagement and Diversity and Inclusion are highly correlated. With employees who work in a highly diverse and inclusive culture are 2.01 times as likely to be engaged.

That Deloitte study also showed “When employees think their organization is committed to, and supportive of diversity and they feel included, employees report better business performance in terms of ability to innovate, (83% uplift) responsiveness to changing customer needs (31% uplift) and team collaboration (42% uplift).”

In short Diversity Equity and Inclusion is not just good for business, it is necessary to be a successful organization. Companies that do not attract diverse talent and create an inclusive workplace will be behind those that recognize and advance Diversity Equity and Inclusion as the strategic initiative that it is.

As allies you will get challenged on Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Please do your own research but I hope this gives you a starting point for answering those challenges.

As always I hope this helps. I look forward to continuing the conversation. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

All the best,

Dave Terné

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Nov 14, 2022

I think added emphasis is needed on "AND inclusion". I've often seen folks jump to the conclusion more diverse organizations out-perform those lacking diversity. However, what they fail to mention is those teams work on inclusion to embrace diversity. Without this other part, diversity brings tension and friction and that hurts the organization. Just look at our Congress with diversity of political parties. They lack the effort of inclusion and we see what's happening there. Diversity without inclusion is a recipe for disaster for an organization and inclusion takes a conscious effort.

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