DEI is Easy
We’re hearing it everywhere. People are saying that DEI doesn’t work.
What’s the problem? You ask. They say current leadership wants things to stay the same because the system is working for them. 🤦
When asked why he insisted on marching, knowing he would be beaten and jailed, MLK once replied, “We must look our adversaries in the eyes and force them to face our humanity.” Likewise, the conversation about making DEI work must first be directed toward those who feel that something they once perceived as secure is now threatened.
One MarketHER volunteer who is a minority female on an all-white male leadership team was asked to lead the DEI charge where she works. She was curious why the torch was being passed to her before the previous leader even had a chance to begin. “Word on the street is,” explained her colleague, “DEI isn’t working.” Given that he, too, belongs to a minority group, she expected him to be supportive. “I was surprised,” she admitted, “but I get it; if you have a choice, some simply will not have the courage to take a stand. We all desire to belong, especially with the winning team, as it makes life easier.”
Additionally, there’s the fear of losing one’s job. Or fear of change itself. So, we’re not here to judge. The desired result is to help the white male leadership foster a deeper understanding and empathize with the team’s struggles. Some will lose unfair advantages and may choose only to work where they can still get all the perks. However, some will share our values and strive for fairness. The outcome will be growth for everyone, leading to improved retention. It is truly remarkable how individuals can thrive when provided with equal opportunities and a supportive environment instead of one that opposes their growth.
How DEI Benefits the Company
Embracing DEI will not happen overnight. Yet, when companies do not prioritize DEI, they risk alienating employees and customers who value diversity. Employees will feel excluded, unsupported, and undervalued, decreasing engagement, productivity, and retention. In contrast, a company with a healthy DEI culture benefits from increased employee engagement, innovation, creativity, and better customer satisfaction.
According to a study conducted by McKinsey, companies with diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability. Additionally, companies with gender and ethnically diverse teams have a 25% higher likelihood of achieving above-average financial returns.
However, a company’s responsibility to prioritize DEI extends beyond its bottom line. By choosing to prioritize DEI, some companies are proving that it’s possible for everyone, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion to be a valued and respected team member and feel a sense of belonging.
Easy Adjustments Any Company Can Implement
In the article, 6 Ways To Level The Playing Field, Forbes writer Bianca Miller Cole outlines key components companies can implement to help ensure equal opportunities for all employees, including mentorship. Mentorship can help foster positive relationships within the company. Companies can include mentoring in managerial and departmental KPIs.
In Tara Jaye Frank’s book, The Waymakers, Tara explains how building relationships is the key to equity in the workplace.
“Curiosity breeds familiarity. Familiarity makes way for trust. Trust builds relationships. Relationships open doors of opportunity. The only way we achieve equity is together.” – Author Tara Jaye Frank, The Waymakers
Easy Adjustments Everyone Can Make
Effective communication is a soft skill we are all continuously honing. According to Inc.com, bridging the communication gap between men and women is essential to building better workplace relationships.
We’ll leave you with this, the video below is a light-hearted visual aid that explains how you can jump start your personal journey to embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Find out how The MarketHER Group is Helping
The MarketHER Group supports women marketers’ professional growth and development by offering leadership training and mentorship programs. If you are a CEO, CMO, or HR manager, we encourage you to sponsor a woman marketer or work with us to facilitate a mentorship program in your company. Women are an invaluable asset to any company. By investing in the success of women marketers, companies unlock their full potential and drive long-term employee engagement, innovation, and profitability.