Have you been thinking about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) lately? Forbes magazine’s Human Resources Council has.
In late October, it published an article headlined “Inclusive Recruiting: Five Frequently Asked Questions” which began with this sentence: The call for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in the workplace is loud and growing louder by the day.
Although that may sound like hyperbole, Forbes isn’t the only one talking about DEIB. In June, Glassdoor’s blog featured a post that defined each part of DEIB. Those definitions were summed up, including this concise quote: "Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard."
The Forbes HRC also published blog post at that time saying the workplace mindset needed to be rewired to make DEIB a part of everyday life. The lead sentence? “Diversity and inclusion is the most sought-after business imperative today.”
The new focus on DEIB may seem strange considering that the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For decades, though, it was considered “enough” to have a certain percentage of diverse workers at any given company. But not only were these numbers often not met, diversity was rarely acted upon as a top initiative.
That attitude has slowly evolved to where most businesses realize that being diverse isn’t about looking at metrics and ensuring a certain percentage of people are employed – it's treating everyone with an equal amount of respect and care when it comes to their expertise and opinion, regardless of looks, race, sexual orientation, or gender.
Cultivating diversity requires a professional culture where all employees can feel comfortable and well-positioned to enact their best work. It demands more of leadership than just hiring stand-out employees. It also means providing them the tools and the professional climate they need to thrive.
As Amanda L. Bonilla, co-founder and lead education developer with Inclusion Consultant Network, explained, "Diversity means difference. Different social identities, different ways of problem-solving and different styles of communication."
Harnessing diversity is good for business, she noted. "Having diversity on a team means companies can benefit from the multitude of ways their diverse members approach their work and, in turn, relate to diverse clientele" Bonilla said.
That’s where the powerful combination of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) comes into play. The benefits of a diverse workforce are undeniable: Businesses with a higher than average diversity had 19% higher innovation revenues, according to a Harvard Business Review study. The numbers speak for themselves.
We’ve found that to be the case at LRS. Not only is our commitment to equal opportunity employment consistent with the company’s mission and values, but it’s simply good business. Hiring and promoting the most qualified employees makes LRS a more successful company. If we don’t hire or promote the most qualified individuals, we’re weakening LRS.
What’s your view of DEIB? How do you maintain a focus on diversity in your organization? Let us know!