Why a D&I Workforce is Essential

Diversity and Inclusion also referred to as D&I, has become the hottest trend in human resources across the country. 

Over the last few years, especially, there has been a much-needed corporate renaissance – companies are recognizing the pivotal role they can play in improving social inequities and empowering individuals in marginalized communities.  

While some of the largest corporations are taking the initiative to become more diverse and inclusive, many more are still on the fence about the concrete benefits of building a diverse and inclusive workforce. 

Fortunately, there is a wealth of new data available that makes a case for D&I, and in this article, we’ll share the core reasons why having a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential for your company’s well-being. 

What is Diversity and Inclusion?

Before diving in, though, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page about what diversity and Inclusion actually mean. 

As the name implies, diversity in the workplace entails having employees from different and unique backgrounds regarding their race, ethnicity, political beliefs, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and/or religion. The more people within a firm from these historically marginalized groups, the more technically diverse the company can be considered. 

On the other hand, Inclusion is entirely different and takes the power of diversity to the next level. Creating an inclusive work environment involves implementing company policies that enable every employee, no matter their background, to feel heard, valued, and treated equitably within the office environment.  

A diverse and inclusive workplace is one where, figuratively speaking, every employee is invited to the company retreat and is asked to participate actively. In action, it’s one where employees of different races and genders have active roles in all key departments and upper management of a company. 

As an employer, the goal is to have both elements present in the company’s culture to achieve the best results. 

Increased Innovation 

One of the most significant benefits of building a diverse and inclusive workforce is the increased level of innovation. 

Business innovation is the key to any company’s success, especially in the ever-changing environment we’re in today, where technology has the power to uproot entire industries. Who can forget how Uber and Lyft upended the taxicab industry. 

Innovation requires people from diverse racial, gender, and educational backgrounds to come together, offer their perspectives on a problem from multiple angles, and freely brainstorm unique solutions. 

All of which can only occur in a diverse and inclusive environment. Innovation is stifled in a company with a dominant, single culture or background. Staff members in marginalized groups often feel too scared to share their thoughts or opinions for fear of backlash or being ignored altogether. 

By building a diverse and inclusive workplace, you create the building blocks of an innovative company where everyone’s ideas on how to grow the company are equally respected and valued. 

Greater Revenue 

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential for today’s businesses because it leads to more significant revenue and higher earnings. 

Because D&I companies experience greater innovation, they can better solve customer problems and, therefore, be better able to generate sales and revenue. 

As reported by Market Watch, companies with diverse and inclusive environments, on average, generate 19% more in revenue than monocultural organizations. 

Furthermore, it was found that companies with the greatest diversity at the highest levels of upper management achieved 35% higher earnings and 2.3 times higher cash flow than their non-D&I competitors. Even companies with greater representation of women at the executive and C-suite level earned 21% greater profits than majority male organizations. 

Diverse companies are simply better equipped to meet the needs of the increasingly diverse group of consumers that are out there today. Companies that choose to build a diverse and inclusive workforce are therefore making a choice to stay competitive and relevant in the eye of their customers. 

Attract Top Talent 

Incorporating diversity and Inclusion into the workplace is also a modern-day must for companies to attract top talent. Right now, the U.S. is experiencing a most unprecedented phenomenon: employees en masse voluntarily quitting their jobs due to a lack of passion and connection to their work. 

The Great Resignation or the Big Quit, as it has also been called, has shown employers that offering great pay and a benefits package is no longer enough to woo new hires. 

Today, your current and prospective employees have greater expectations. They’re evaluating companies based on the work environment, opportunities for meaningful growth, and the management team’s open-mindedness. 

Diverse and inclusive work environments are inherently inspiring, respectful, and supportive of employees; therefore work very well to attract top-tier talent to any firm. 

Higher Employee Retention 

Along similar lines, studies have shown that diverse and inclusive workplaces have lower employee turnover rates than their counterparts. 

Specifically, it was found that companies with formal D&I policies and programs have 5.4 times greater employee retention

Naturally, when employees within a diverse and inclusive company feel that their opinions are heard, that they are respected and seen as equals, and that their work matters, they’re much more likely to feel connected to the brand and stay with the company for more extended periods. 

Given that nearly 48 percent of the newest generation, Gen-Z, belong to marginalized groups, according to a Pew Research Center report, this trend is only likely to increase even further. A more diverse and inclusivity-conscious workforce will gravitate towards diverse and inclusive companies. 

Thereby making it a near imperative for employers to invest now in building a diverse and inclusive workplace. 

D&I Is the Magic Formula

As the workforce and workplace continue to evolve in the post-COVID climate, it has become essential for companies to restructure their value proposition to employees. 

While the compensation, benefits package, and diversity alone were sufficient offerings years ago, times have quickly changed. 

Diversity and Inclusion are now the new magic formula for your company’s success, as they have been shown to foster the most productive, innovative, attractive, and profitable work environments. 

Interested in creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce at your company? The Professional Diversity Network has been helping employers build productive and diverse workforces since 2003. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your unique recruitment needs.

Further Reading