Ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace

Not sure if your company is doing all that it can to improve workplace diversity and inclusion?

Organizations that prioritize and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion reap tons of benefits for the business and their employees. 

Inclusive work environments often produce more motivated, productive, and outspoken employees. Additionally, productive employees often go the extra mile for the companies they work for, which can also boost company profits and revenue streams.

Moreover, inclusivity and diversity are common elements that job seekers look for when applying for a job. As a result, an inclusive work environment can attract more applicants.

But the above benefits are only realized once your organization promotes diversity and inclusivity properly.

Here are a few ways organizations can do this:

Mix up your teams

The easiest way to boost inclusivity and diversity in the workplace is to ensure every team and department has a diverse group of employees. 

Diverse teams are often more creative and productive since they consist of people with different skills, backgrounds, experiences, etc.

Be aware of unconscious bias

An organization with diverse employees may experience some internal unconscious bias. As a result, organizations must introduce unconscious bias training.

Unconscious bias encompasses feelings or attitudes that are held subconsciously. Consequently, it’s often hard to spot this kind of bias. As a result, organizations need to train their managers and leaders to recognize this form of bias. This way, the managing team can set clear standards for employees and help employees understand when they are biased towards a particular group or employee. Companies must nip this issue in the bud since prejudice and bias can make employees feel uncomfortable and undervalued.

Develop a strategic training program

Diversity and inclusivity training can help managers and employees understand how cultural differences impact day-to-day operations. For example, team members in a diverse team may have different communication preferences or styles. As a result, managers need to put clear processes in place to avoid miscommunication or missed deadlines due to communication issues.

Organizations should also ensure that their inclusion efforts align with their overarching inclusivity goals and identified challenges. Attendance in these training programs should also be optional as opposed to compulsory. This way, employees can attend and learn about one another out of their own free will. 

Promote pay equity

To promote equal pay, you need to consider whether or not your certain employees are receiving equal pay for similar roles or responsibilities. This way, you can identify which employees are underpaid for dedicating the same amount of time, skills, and knowledge. 

By using HR or people analytics, organizations can pinpoint salary or wage gaps within a particular department or team. Moreover, managers can spot payment gap patterns or trends within a specific minority group – people of color, women, people with disabilities, etc.

Communicate the importance of managing bias

Organizations can help employees understand the importance of managing bias through training and employee resource groups. Employees must know that it’s human to have unconscious biases, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Internal bias training can help employees and managers recognize when they’re stereotyping. This way, every team member can work towards creating an integrated, inclusive work environment. 

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that can help you improve workplace diversity and inclusion effectively while also boosting employee engagement and innovation.

The risk of confusing diversity with inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are two terms that are definitely interconnected but don’t mean the same things. 

A diverse work environment is one where groups of people with different backgrounds, ethnicities, capabilities, genders, and more, integrate and work cohesively. On the other hand, an inclusive work environment ensures that the diverse team feels valued, included, and appreciated in the workplace. 

When companies confuse diversity with inclusion, managers and team leaders could create a work environment that doesn’t genuinely make their diverse workforce feel like they belong. As a result, certain employees might not feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work or even staying with the company in the long run.

This blog post will cover how diversity and inclusion differ and how you can ensure both in the work environment.

Diversity And Inclusion: What’s The Difference, And How Can We Ensure Both?

Diversity is the “what,” and inclusion is the “how.” 

Diversity is about what kind of people make up an organization’s workforce. A diverse workplace should employ people from all walks of life – different age groups, religions, disabilities, sexualities, etc. On the other hand, inclusion is about how a company makes its diverse employees feel. An inclusive workplace is one in which every employee is given equal opportunities. This way, every employee feels valued, appreciated, and understood. 

Organizations often want to boost diversity in the workplace without prioritizing inclusion and the foundation needed to create a diverse workplace. As a result, hiring more women or other minority groups doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things if your company’s culture doesn’t truly embrace diversity and inclusion. This also makes it difficult for companies to achieve a long-term diverse work environment. 

Organizations can ensure diversity and inclusion in the workplace by training their leaders and managers. This way, managers are aware of potential biases and can set clear standards for employees in the workplace. Organizations can also implement diverse interview panels to show potential employees that the company prioritizes diversity and inclusion. 

Moreover, organizations should ensure that women and people of color are being promoted at the same rates and are paid equally for similar jobs and responsibilities. 

Another way to boost inclusion in the office is by introducing employee feedback surveys. This way, managers can uncover how employees feel and discover ways to improve certain business processes. 

Does Diversity = Inclusion?

Put simply, diversity is not the same as inclusion – there are two distinct processes businesses need to adopt to achieve inclusion and diversity.

However, many companies assume that workplace diversity is achieved once the recruitment team has hired people from varied demographics. As a result, they can check off the diversity box, making their annual report look impressive. But it isn’t that simple.

Organizations also need to adopt systems to counter bias, stereotypes, and prejudice to create a work environment that’s truly diverse and inclusive. Moreover, companies need to invest in employee resource groups, team-based decision-making processes, managerial training, D&I committees, etc. 

Consequently, it’s not enough to just hire people of different ethnicities, religions, genders, and sexualities. Organizations can only reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace once they invest in inclusion. Additionally, companies that invest in inclusion often outpace their competitors since their various employees feel a sense of belonging and psychological safety. This way, every employee feels confident enough to contribute to team meetings, projects, problem-solving processes, and more.

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that allow you to create an inclusive and diverse workplace while simultaneously boosting employee engagement and productivity.

How to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Want to know how to foster diversity and inclusion in the office?

Organizations that invest in diversity and inclusion often have more productive employees who feel accepted, valued, and welcomed. 

Additionally, diverse teams are often more engaged and offer unique problem-solving solutions to decision-making processes.

So if your company already employs a diverse workforce that encompasses a range of religions, backgrounds, ages, and genders, you might feel that you can check the diversity and inclusion box off.

But it’s not that simple. 

There’s always room for improvement when creating an inclusive work environment that genuinely boosts employee engagement and productivity.

In this blog post, we’ll cover improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Confirm executive support

The image of your executive team can impact how your employees and external stakeholders view your company and its culture. As a result, it’s a good idea to have a diverse executive team that includes unique ethnic groups and gender diversity. Additionally, your team should consist of people from different cultural and religious backgrounds. This is crucial since leaders are often role models for employees and set the standards for the workforce.

Additionally, an effective way to boost executive support is by introducing training at the top management level. This way, your executive team understands the importance of diversity and inclusion and treats their employees fairly and equally.

Leverage multiple tools and channels for employee feedback

Inclusive companies can use surveys and other forms of employee feedback to better understand their employees’ concerns and needs. By deploying surveys, you’ll better understand and combat any patterns of discrimination and structures of prejudice in the company.

It’s also a good idea to incorporate anonymous feedback. This way, you can really drill down on more minor, pressing issues in specific departments or areas of work.

Moreover, team leaders and managers can use check-in tools to get personalized feedback from employees. This way, employees know they can voice their opinions and that their managers care. 

Approach with your heart in the right place

If you want to promote diversity and inclusion, you need to approach business processes strategically and compassionately.

One way to do this is by acknowledging cultural holidays. You can do this by asking employees what their plans are for a particular religious or cultural holiday when a team meeting is ending. Additionally, you can set appointments and deadlines while considering special religious and cultural holidays. This way, employees know that you are aware of their needs and that you offer them the flexibility to commit to their cultural and religious needs and work commitments. 

Promote pay equity

Managers and senior staff should evaluate and promote equal opportunities and pay for every employee.

Organizations can evaluate which staff members are being underpaid for similar roles and responsibilities. This also helps diverse companies understand which minority groups are being mistreated. Managers should also identify pay gap patterns across departments and get to the root cause of these issues. This way, diverse employees know that the management team is working towards creating an inclusive and equal work environment and that they are valued. 

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that will help you foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace while boosting employee engagement and productivity.

The top challenges of diversity and inclusion

Interested in the challenges of diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

An inclusive and diverse workplace offers many valuable benefits for every organization. A diverse workplace gives employees a sense of belonging, and it allows companies to solve problems with unique insights and different perspectives. 

Moreover, an inclusive work environment can boost employee engagement as diverse employees feel accepted and valued. This, in turn, also reduces turnover rates and improves productivity.

But bringing a diverse group of people from different backgrounds can also bring about many challenges for organizations.

This blog post will cover some of the main challenges of creating an inclusive workplace.

Communication issues

There can be several reasons for communication issues in diverse teams. For example, language barriers, people who have hearing impairments, or even different communication styles and generational preferences. As a result, it’s crucial to address these issues before they hamper team productivity and business goals. 

An easy and effective way to address some issues is to create clear communication channels and set communication standards. For example, there might be generational differences in communication preferences where the younger staff prefers communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack, while the older team prefers emailing and phone calls. 

You can combat this challenge by stipulating when the team should use communication software and when phone calls and emails are needed. 

Additionally, if there are teammates who are struggling to follow discussions in meetings either because the language used is their second language or due to hearing loss issues, team leaders should ask team members to speak slowly and clearly. This way, all the attendees feel comfortable enough to contribute to the meeting.

Discrimination

The more diverse team members you have, the more likely your employees will experience biases, discrimination, and harassment. Consequently, some employees might not feel like they can bring their authentic selves to work since they’re afraid of being judged. Discrimination can hinder creativity, teamwork, and innovation.

Stereotypes and prejudice

It’s not uncommon for team members in diverse teams to experience some form of prejudice and stereotyping. Unfortunately, this can result in groups not communicating effectively or using stereotypes to avoid collaborating with their teammates.

Additionally, some team members may have particular views on a religion, race, culture, or even practice. This can also lead to ineffective team communication, isolation, and disjointedness in teams. 

You can combat this challenge by setting strict guidelines via a Code of Conduct. Additionally, you should mention that discrimination and prejudice will not be tolerated in the workplace during the onboarding and recruitment processes. 

Less trust

Diverse teams should have people from minority groups. However, these employees could feel as though they are mistreated compared to the employees from the major groups. As a result, they may think that senior staff members treat the major groups better. 

Consequently, the people from the minority groups might feel afraid to raise their concerns, work towards promotions, or voice their ideas and opinions, especially when they’re new to the job or in junior positions. This also hinders team creativity, and productivity since some employees in your diverse workforce aren’t giving their all during team meetings and other discussions. 

You can boost trust and transparency in your team by employing leaders who make every team member feel included, accepted, and valued. This way, every employee can trust the company and get a sense of physiological safety. 

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that allow you to create an inclusive and diverse workplace while simultaneously boosting employee engagement and productivity.

The Benefits of Having Diversity and Inclusion in the Office

Companies that prioritize creating a diverse and inclusive workplace can create a work environment that’s more accepting and productive. Additionally, employees in these work environments often feel more motivated to reach company goals, stay committed to the company, and avoid looking for other jobs. 

This blog post will cover six core benefits of prioritizing inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.

Bigger talent pool

Companies with a diverse and inclusive culture often have lower employee turnover rates and higher employee retention rates than others.

Additionally, job seekers often stay with companies that invest in diversity and inclusivity practices, programs, and resources. When your employees feel included and valued, they also perform better and work harder towards company goals. 

In fact, researchers found that 67% of job seekers considered a diverse workforce one of the crucial factors when applying for jobs. As a result, employees consider diversity and inclusivity to be paramount when searching for a job.

Increased employee engagement and trust

There’s no doubt that inclusive workplaces make your workforce feel more valued, understood, and appreciated. As a result, these employees feel more motivated to perform better and instill trust in the company. 

Additionally, employees are often more interested in a company’s culture, team-building activities, and goals when they know their voices and talents matter.

New perspectives and innovation

A diverse workplace encompasses many unique employees from different backgrounds. These diverse employees offer companies innovative ideas, creative solutions, and new insights into business processes. 

In Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce (a study conducted by Forbes researchers), researchers found that diverse employees offer companies unique life experiences and backgrounds and new problem-solving techniques. This way, diverse companies can outpace their competitors. 

Additionally, according to John Bersin’s research, inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to lead innovation in their respective markets. 

Better decision-making

Having a diverse group of employees with different opinions and skills can help companies get a blend of perspectives for every decision-making process. This way, companies can make more informed business decisions.

Moreover, companies that prioritize the opinions of their employees during decision-making often make their diverse workforces feel more valued. This can also boost performance and motivate employees to achieve business goals. 

Improved performance

As we mentioned above, diverse teams are more motivated and productive. As a result, they are more likely to stay committed to the company, work towards company goals, and work cohesively as a team.

Moreover, Gartner found that inclusive work environments can boost team performance by up to 30%.

Another study conducted by Great Place to Work shows that when employees know that they will be treated fairly at work, they are 9.8 times more likely to look forward to work and 6.3 times more likely to have pride in their work. These factors also lead to increased productivity and reduced downtime.

Stronger business results and profits

When employees feel included, appreciated, and valued, they’re more likely to engage in company processes and strive toward personal and business goals. Additionally, highly engaged employees often go the extra mile for the company. This can also lead to higher profits for the company. 

In fact, Harvard Business Review found that diverse companies report 19% higher revenue than businesses that don’t promote diversity and inclusion. 

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that allow you to support your commitment toward inclusive workplaces.

What are diversity and inclusion in the workplace_

What are diversity and inclusion?

Diversity and inclusion in the workspace refer to how a group of unique individuals work together as a cohesive unit. Diverse teams often consist of team members who have different perspectives, needs, and skills. 

Companies that promote diversity and inclusion often outpace competitors since their employees feel valued, motivated, and are eager to succeed.

But diversity and inclusion go beyond programs, headcounts, and workplace policies – it’s about building a transparent work environment where employees can be their authentic selves and trust the company.

This blog post will cover everything you need to know about workplace diversity and inclusion.

What is Diversity and Inclusion?

Put simply, diversity in the workplace refers to a work environment that employees people from different demographics. For example, different races, skills, genders, backgrounds, and interests. 

Additionally, diversity encompasses everything that makes individuals different from one another. As a result, it goes beyond general factors like gender, race, age, and more. 

In other words, diverse work environments reflect the society they operate in.

Companies that prioritize diversity can create more tolerant, accepting, and welcoming onboarding processes and overall work environment.

Although diversity and inclusion are often used interchangeably, inclusion is quite different from diversity.

SHRM defines inclusion as the ability of a work environment to treat its employees fairly, equally, and respectfully. This way, individuals get equal access to resources and opportunities. 

Moreover, inclusion allows marginalized groups to feel equal and accepted in the workplace. For example, marginalized genders, races, and those with any physical or mental disability will be given equal opportunities to succeed in the workplace. 

What is the difference between diversity & inclusion?

Although diversity and inclusion are definitely interconnected, these two terms are far from interchangeable. 

Diversity is about representation and how well different groups of people integrate and are valued in a work environment. This way, people with different genders, races, nationalities, sexual orientations, and identities are present in the work environment.

When it comes to inclusion, companies need to work towards making the work environment inclusive, not only diverse. 

As a result, a company can try its best to “check all the boxes” for diversity by recruiting people based on surface characteristics like gender diversity and ethnicity. But if these employees feel ostracized or “othered” in the work environment, then the workplace isn’t truly inclusive.

Companies can create an inclusive workplace by creating employee resources groups and by hosting information sessions that educate employees and managers about the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Why is diversity & inclusion in the workplace Important?

Here are four benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace:

  • Increases profitability: Statistically, companies that invest in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace are more profitable and experience higher revenue. In fact, a 2015 McKinsey report found that highly diverse organizations were 35% more likely to exceed median earnings in their industry.
  • Improves company culture and image: Companies that prioritize hiring, welcoming, and promoting unique employees from different backgrounds are more likely to create a productive, collaborative, and inclusive workplace. This, in turn, also impacts how employees, investors, and the general public view the company.
  • Retains and attracts talent: Inclusive and diverse workplaces appear more attractive to job seekers. As a result, workplace culture plays a major deciding factor for potential employees. Moreover, BetterUp found that employees with the highest levels of belonging are 34% more likely to stay at their jobs than those with low levels of belonging. 

If you want to improve your company’s workforce diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that allow you to support your commitment toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Contact us today to learn more about what is diversity and inclusion.

centre for diversity and inclusion

Corporate Class Inc. (CCI), industry experts and thought leaders in the leadership training and coaching space, announce the launch of the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) to further move the needle on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

CDI aims to help organizations and leaders be inclusive, free of bias and discrimination, while educating and training individuals through interactive, experiential methods to move towards safe spaces for dialogue and initiate action. Dr.Georgette Zinaty, Executive Vice-President, CCI, will be the Practice Lead for the new division under the CCI brand.

Why Are We Launching the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion?

Around the world, we have been witnessing movements, activism, and unfortunate events underscoring the need for inclusive leadership that supports ensuring marginalized groups get a seat at the decision-making table. From #MeToo to Black Lives Matter, different minority groups have been pushing against systemic fault lines to be heard.

As subject matter experts and long-term advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion, we at Corporate Class Inc. (CCI) want to leverage our skills and expertise to help organizations move beyond strategies on paper to make inclusivity a reality in the workplace. Thus, the idea for the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) was born.

Our mission is to help organizations and leaders build a better way of life for our diverse workforce, and move people from good intentions to the integration of inclusion. We conducted extensive research and drew from our experience and expertise to create a plethora of:

When employees feel respected, their engagement and performance increases, leading to a rise in the overall team performance.

Our CDI offerings aim to help organizations and leaders achieve this phenomenon by being free of bias and discrimination, right from recruiting and training to empowering their employees.

What Does the Future of Leadership Look Like?

The blog from our Executive Vice President, Dr. Georgette Zinaty, Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is No Longer Nice to Have – It’s a Must Have, delved into the current state of leadership and the increasingly discriminatory effect the pandemic has had on women and marginalized groups. In terms of job loss and greater marginalization, the most affected by the pandemic are women and BIPOC communities, to the extent that we have seen a regression in the progress made for equity.

Research and recent data point to an increase in organizational performance when there is true diversity and inclusion within organizations, particularly at the senior levels.

Indeed, inclusive organizations gain the competitive advantage of being able to attract the best talent, with diverse skill sets and perspectives, who will contribute to the employer’s goals with their insights and knowledge. This competitive advantage increases when employees feel a sense of belonging and are invested in their own professional growth and that of their employer.

Therefore, inclusive leadership is a must. Not just from a social perspective, but also from an economic outlook. Organizations and individual leaders must buckle up and focus on reducing inequity and creating more inclusive environments where diverse individuals feel valued, respected and secure.

How Does CDI Plan to Build Better Leaders?

Many organizations today are making efforts to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive in their culture. However, having a DEI plan or committee is a start but not enough to address systemic changes that are often needed.

We at CDI can help align policies and practices across business functions and verticals to integrate DEI strategies and leverage qualitative and quantitative methods to determine policy gaps, identify a baseline and critical areas for measurement, along with supporting the setting of metrics and goals to measure performance.

Below we highlight some of the steps CDI aims to work with clients on.

For results, we work with you to identify, assess and create measurable action points to ensure the short and long-term sustainability of D&I strategies in the workplace and generate tangible outcomes. The results allow organizations to elevate the quality of life for employees and be a true employer of choice.

Through our assessments, consulting, training and surveys, we go beyond the usual data and dimensions generally tracked by organizations, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. We work closely with clients to understand their requirements for hiring, employee retention and engagement, promoting employees, supply chain and vendors, among other things, to determine how we can help them develop a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture.

We work on the what, the how, the why and the when. Today, great organizations must have DEI strategies for a strong talent pipeline and as part of their larger ESG strategy; and they lead by example. Let us help you raise the bar and be the best example in your sector.

CDI is a resource for organizations and leaders who aim toward making D&I strategies easily accessible and implementable for their teams, their business and individual leaders alike.

We want to create a new generation of leaders who take the effort to create sustainable change, not just from a competitive advantage perspective but also to create a more equitable social order.

We want to further move the needle on diversity and inclusion through effective strategy, policy-making, and training, so we can have a brighter and more inclusive future.

Here’s more about our new division, the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI).

When organizations set goals and aspirations related to diversity, equity and inclusion we see this reflected in their mission and vision statements.

These goals are quite often ambitious.  To their credit, many organizations may very well have good intentions in terms of their diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, however, the challenges in achieving their outcomes often rests in the organization’s abilities to identify the what and the how.

What do you truly want to accomplish and how will you do that effectively?

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion —The WHAT:

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) it will take 100 years for the gender gap to close and for there to be gender equality.

Recent research validates that the gender gap is alive and well, with the pay gap equally existent.  To give context to the slow pace of change, in 1999, the number of female CEOs of fortune 500 companies was 2%, today that number is 6.6% or 33 women, despite more women in the workforce than ever, and women holding higher levels of education than their male counterparts.

Women, women of colour and Latina women have been the hardest hit by COVID 19 and exiting the workforce at alarming rates.

Why?

In some cases, COVID-19 has increased the burden women have always had of balancing work and life, and compounded with the stay-at-home restrictions it can be difficult, overwhelming and challenging to raise a family and work from home. In other cases, women in service industries or Pink Ghettos – industries dominated by women, were closed indefinitely due to COVID-19, ensuring these most vulnerable women exited the workforce.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion —The HOW:

We must begin to seriously ask, as leaders and as organizations:

  • How are we supporting this important segment of our population and workforce?
  • How will we ensure they have the tools and skills to re-enter the workforce stronger and better than pre-COVID 19?

Some key statistics, according to an RBC report, amid the pressures of the pandemic: 

  • Men are picking up jobs at thrice the rate that women are leaving the workforce
  • 20,000+ women left the workforce between Feb-Oct, 2020
  • 68,000 men joined the workforce during this same time

The report stated that the pandemic and the demands of raising a family are most likely to blame for women exiting from the workforce.

On the contrary, men are benefiting from growth in the fields of technology, science, and engineering — fields they already dominate in to begin with.

So, should women and leaders accept this fate or should they revisit their DEI goals and vision and double down on an important resource — women?

According to Harvard Business Review, women have been better leaders, prior to and during the pandemic:

The report concluded that:

“Perhaps the most valuable part of the data we’re collecting throughout the crisis is hearing from thousands of direct reports about what they value and need from leaders now. Based on our data they want leaders who are able to pivot and learn new skills; who emphasize employee development even when times are tough; who display honesty and integrity; and who are sensitive and understanding of the stress, anxiety, and frustration that people are feeling. Our analysis shows that these are traits that are more often being displayed by women.”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion —WHAT’s Next:

Continuous investment in developing this important talent pool with proven successful programs and diversity, equity and inclusion training that empower women and develop their confidence and skills is not a nice-to-have, but a must have today.

At Corporate Class Inc., our Live Online Women in Leadership Masterclass is a two-day program that is simply transformational.

Why?

Because the program is unique in tackling some of the biggest challenges’ women face — bias, the imposter syndrome, the confidence gap, work-life balance and more.

The program is interactive and highly experiential, allowing each participant to dig deep into who they are, what they want their brand to be, how they make a first (and many other) impressions and teaches them the tools and skills to be confident, compassionate and to lead with executive presence and focus.

Why should organizations invest in a diversity, equity and inclusion program for women?

Given that women remain scarce in the C-suite and in the workforce, and that number has diminished due to race, culture and ethnicity – organizations who want to be global leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion must invest in the development of the most critical talent in their organizations and society.

Women are shaped by unique experiences and intersecting identities, so it is important to recognize and address the divergent challenges and barriers they face in a safe space to share stories, experiences and learn from one other. Women experience a journey of self-discovery and reflection, resulting in strengthened performance and confidence.

Real growth. Real change. Real development. Real Return on Investment.

Ready to step into your power with confidence?

Discover CCI’s Live Online Women in Leadership Masterclass for individuals or corporations.

“Diversity is counting the numbers, inclusion is making the numbers count.”

Take a pause and think about that for a minute. This is one of my favourite quotes and it comes from Harvard Professor Borys Groysberg.

Let’s be honest. Many organizations have embraced the ideas of diversity and inclusion in the workplace at some level and have D&I polices in place, along with employee resource groups. Some companies have even created new roles such as directors or officers who have oversight of D&I for the organization.

  • But what does diversity and inclusion really look like in an organization?
  • Who do these roles report to and where does the ultimate authority rest for making changes?
  • Are they just counting numbers or do the numbers really count?

McKinsey has published a number of reports on this topic. Most recently they found that,

“…the business case remains robust but also that the relationship between diversity on executive teams and the likelihood of financial out performance has strengthened over time. These findings emerge from our largest data set so far, encompassing 15 countries and more than 1,000 large companies.” Therefore, expanding the diversity of an organization may be linked to enhanced bottom lines and ROI.  Is this a result of causation or correlation? McKinsey found that, “Our 2019 analysis finds that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile”.

This is not surprising given how global the world has become, immigration patterns and greater access to education. Simply a diverse talent pool exists – no question. Thus, any excellent organization that is looking to support and expand its offerings in the diverse and international marketplace needs to reflect, at the highest level of the organization, its consumer base and global outlook.

While the dial is moving slowly on diversity, inclusion remains a challenge for many organizations.

When assessing for inclusion through ‘social listening’, McKinsey found that organizations were failing.

As a D&I strategist, this is not surprising.  Organizations often lump diversity with inclusion but they are not the same.

So, how do organizations create more inclusive environments?

Let’s be clear – this requires commitment – and work – from all levels of leadership starting from the top. And (not but) the rewards are significant in organizational performance and in terms of perception.

Ensuring the leadership team is diverse, particularly in key roles within the organization, is important, ensuring accountability, transparency and openness in hiring processes and key decisions is also critical to inclusion. Addressing bias when it occurs and using opportunities as teaching moments to affect change is important all the while taking a multipronged approach to inclusion practices.  Organizations should tap into experts – external and internal to the organization – to help navigate this.

If diversity is counting the numbers and inclusion is making the numbers count, then embracing, supporting and celebrating our differences is perhaps what successful integration looks like.