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  • Emerging Ally

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

So it was a nice vacation. Went to London for the first time in years and saw relatives and friends. Really relaxing. Wonderful to reconnect in person after the pandemic. Then I spent time after just staying off social media to help the mental health. No LinkedIn. Dumped the hell scape that is Twitter. No Instagram. A little Facebook - just enough to keep in touch with those friends and family I mentioned. But much less than normal. Really needed that as the stress of work has been over the top this year.

But I come back and … Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! Lots of stuff happens! I am only now just getting caught up with all the idiocy:

  • Supreme Court blows up affirmative action ... But legacy admissions style affirmative action is still OK.

  • Supreme Court follows that ridiculous action with allowing people to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community based on religion - and thus allows legal discrimination.

  • The Governor of Florida attacks major American businesses because they want to be inclusive and attract a wide array of customers - Republicans attacking Mickey Mouse and the Bud Light frogs? - Sounds like the pro-business party is not so pro-business anymore.

  • According to the Florida department of education... slavery was a good thing?!?!! - I can't. I just can't. (head hits hands)

  • And then the Florida Insurance Department says that insurers are woke because they are leaving the state since they can’t make any money - so hurricanes are now woke evidently? ( Read Here )

Given all this, I thought it would be good to remind everyone what businesses already understand: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is good - even great - for business! It positively impacts businesses across a number of different metrics. So DEI is not going away anytime soon. So here are the areas that DEI helps companies excel, with the appropriate peer reviewed research support.

First, diverse companies make more revenue and have higher profits than non-diverse companies. There are countless studies that prove this:

  • “Companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians … when companies commit themselves to diverse leadership, they are more successful” - McKinsey

  • “companies with the most ethnically/ culturally diverse boards worldwide are 43% more likely to experience higher profits” - McKinsey

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

Second, Diverse companies are more innovative, and innovation is the driver of profit:

  • “Diverse teams can develop more innovative ideas. When people from different contexts work together, their unique perspectives often lead to greater creativity” - Harvard Business Review

  • “Companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation” - Boston Consulting Group

It is no surprise that diverse companies are more more innovative and thus more profitable and have higher revenue growth. In my experience when the room is not diverse it sends a signal. Conformity is prized. Hence you don’t want to be different. You are less likely to throw out the crazy idea. The crazy idea is the one that makes billions.

But a room that is demographically diverse promotes the concept of acceptance. It gives the signal that the environment is willing to listen to other perspectives. Diversity indicates that conformity can be challenged. And that is the heartbeat of innovation.

Finally, Diversity and Inclusion is a driver of employee engagement - a key link to company performance:

  • “There is a statistically significant relationship between diversity practices and employee engagement at work, for all employees” - Delloitte

So DEI not only drives positive results on the bottom line, but it also results in increased innovation and higher employee engagement.

So while I try to digest all this idiocy that has occurred … and boy that will take some time! - I hope this helps to remind everyone that DEI is not going away. Is it under attack? Sure. Absolutely! But it always was. It’s just out in the open now. So now you know who you are fighting - instead of guessing half the time.

As always I do hope this helps and I look forward to continuing the conversation.

All the best, Dave

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Regarding diverse teams outperforming the non-diverse teams, could this be confirmation bias because we aren't looking for diverse teams that aren't performing well? I contend that diverse teams that are outperforming others is because they have learned how to embrace the differences in a productive manner and make the extra effort. Regarding innovation, I wholly agree. As I've often said, Diversity is the catalyst for innovation, inclusion is the enabler, and leadership brings it all together with a culture for success!

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