Why Diversity Matters More Than Ever

Why Diversity Matters More Than Ever

Diversity, equity and inclusion is no longer a catchphrase or an innovative initiative businesses can turn to in order to get ahead—DE&I is a cornerstone business imperative. And if your organization isn’t at the leading edge when it comes to celebrating diversity and creating an inclusive environment, you could find yourself on the losing side of the war for talent.


The role of DE&I in business strategy has certainly evolved in recent years. Given the nationwide reckoning on racial justice that picked up steam in the spring of 2020, the corporate consciousness around diversity began to shift. Employers quickly started taking more public stances around the concept of DE&I, and making commitments to advance its focus within the workplace—from formalizing policies on diverse candidate slates to creating new partnerships to diversify the talent pipeline to holding leaders accountable for measurable DE&I progress.


But it’s not just employers that are making moves: They’re largely being driven by the changing expectations around DE&I from their current and prospective employees. According to a recent study by Glassdoor, for instance, more than 75% of employees polled said they want to work for a company with a diverse workforce—and almost half of those from underrepresented groups have left an employer because the atmosphere was not inclusive to all employees. Employees aren’t just looking for organizations that commit to diversity on paper—they want to see real action. A report from Deloitte late last year found that 40% of workers would leave their organization if they felt they couldn’t trust the employer’s investment in DE&I. And more than half of those surveyed wouldn’t recommend that company to others as a good place to work.


Just like with remote work and flexibility, employees today are empowered like never before to lend their talent to organizations that prioritize a genuine commitment to DE&I. After all, this is a candidate and employee’s market—and employers need to be in the position to listen and respond accordingly to what workers want.


Investing in diversity and inclusion isn’t just a recruiting and retention tool—it’s good business, too. Research has shown that a strong focus on DE&I in the workplace can yield expansive benefits for employers. A more diverse workforce fuels innovative ideas that can drive business success, while employees who feel a high degree of inclusion are more engaged, productive and willing to go the extra mile for their employer. In short, the ROI on DE&I is tremendous.

This Black History Month is a prime opportunity to evaluate the role of DE&I in your organization: Is it embedded across your culture? Is it communicated to all candidates and employees consistently? Is it being looked to as a prime driver of business objectives? And as you answer these questions, keep your people front and center—because when the workforce is at the heart of your business strategy, both employers and employees win.