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Many companies nationwide have stated a commitment to diversity, yet that commitment, and how it’s exercised in the workplace, varies. One way to uncover a company’s true understanding of diversity is to visit their website and review their statement on diversity and inclusion. Check to see if the company has a page dedicated to diversity efforts, programs tailored to those efforts, and departments or executives leading those initiatives.
Much of what is (or is not) found there identifies why diversity and inclusion strategies are important for business success. As individuals and as organizations, it’s important to understand that decision-making is best served when there is a diversity of input in the process. That’s where inclusion comes in — because diversity alone is not enough. Once our personal understanding is deepened, we can move forward in our efforts to impact others.
This approach can be effective from the top down as well as the bottom up. If our presidents and CEOs are expanding their understanding alongside individual contributors and middle management, an organization can work toward a healthy and productive environment together.
The United States 2010 Census projected that the U.S. population will be more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060, and current demographic trends suggest the same. As our nation becomes more diverse, businesses and organizations should move in the same direction. Your goal is to reflect the populations you wish to serve.
But why should we pay attention to diversity and inclusion efforts in business? Why should this be a main topic of discussion as businesses are developing strategies in our ever-changing economy? Let’s look at a few reasons:
What questions will you pose in your next staff meeting? How can diversity and inclusion strategies help improve your organization’s culture and performance? If you need help, reach out — I’m excited to do this work with you.
Nikki McGruder is the regional director of Diversity Awareness Partnership – Columbia.