- By Alison O'Neal
What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?
- Diversity in the Workplace: “Diversity in the Workplace” is centered around how diverse the composition of your workforce is. This covers many different employee characteristics such as race, culture, sexuality, gender, and work experience. All of these attributes combined create a diversified workforce offering different employee and leadership views and perspectives on business operations.
- Equity in the Workforce: “Equity in the Workforce” is the realization that each employee, leader, executive brings a unique and equally valuable perspective and experience to the table.
- Inclusion in the Workplace: “Inclusion in the Workplace” means that each employee, leader or executive feel as though they have a place within the organization that is valued. Inclusion means that employees feel as though they have a voice that is heard, they are not excluded, and they find common ground in the organizational mission and values.=
Advancing your DE&I Strategy—Where to Begin?
Organizations are routinely challenged with balancing numerous priorities and it can be difficult to know which initiatives will provide the most benefit. As you deploy strategies to attract, retain, and engage strong talent, here at PRADCO we urge you to prioritize methods to build an inclusive culture where all people can shine. Certain initiatives provide the benefit of helping all employees and also have the ability to deliver better results.
Why Focus on DE&I?
One such area that PRADCO is focused on helping our clients with is regarding strategies to support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I.) By being intentional and purposeful about assembling a diverse workforce and promoting equity, organizations can use their influence to fight systemic oppression, foster progress, and create a stronger work culture for long-term employee engagement. Investing in the experience of underrepresented populations is the right thing to do, and although it should not be the sole driving force behind organizations’ efforts in the DE&I space, there is a competitive advantage to be found.
DE&I as a Competitive Advantage
Demand for experienced employees is outpacing supply, and by 2025 it is projected that Millennials and members of Generation Z will compose over 75% of the global workforce.
The attitudes, desires, and expectations of the workforce will continue to evolve as Gen Z enters the professional workplace and Millennials continue to advance into higher-level leadership roles. According to recent reports from Gallup, McKinsey, and The Washington Post, younger employees:
- Are more diverse than ever—Millennial and Gen Z employees are more racially diverse in the U.S. (compared to prior generations) and are more than twice as likely to identify as a member of the LGBTQ community
- Want to feel connected to an organization’s mission and will search for confirmation that potential employers hire a diverse workforce, promote pathways for people of color to advance internally, and support social justice initiatives
- Overwhelmingly support initiatives designed to promote psychological safety and the emotional well-being of all employees, particularly those from underrepresented populations
When thinking of your strategic priorities over the next five to ten years, how will these workforce shifts impact your organization? By investing in meaningful DE&I strategies and being authentic with your vision of the future, your organization can spark followership from the next generation of workers. People will want to work for you, great employees will want to stay, and you’ll help all employees flourish—which is a valuable competitive advantage!
Where to Start?
The first strategic step to any cultural change initiative is to understand the current state of affairs within your organization. While data can easily be gathered about the current demographic composition and pay rates from your HRIS, it is often difficult to capture information regarding employees’ satisfaction, attitudes, and ideas to promote a more diverse, more equitable, and more inclusive environment.
To gather this baseline data, PRADCO created a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion survey for our clients that is best used to capture the current state of your organizational policies and environment related to DE&I. Employees answer ten questions rating their perception of organizational practices and are prompted to share open-ended responses about initiatives that are working well to support DE&I, barriers that inhibit the success of a diverse workforce, and actions the organization could take to better support DE&I.
Experienced PRADCO consultants analyze and interpret the results to deliver an actionable report to your organization that you can use as a starting point to kick off additional DE&I initiatives. The report includes key survey findings, themes observed in the open-ended feedback, and recommended next steps that are tailored to your organization. This tool is designed to help you spark authentic conversations about DE&I to bring about meaningful organizational change as you navigate the opportunities and challenges of 2021 and beyond. Take the first step toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization today by understanding what your organization is doing well and what else can be done to create a positive working environment for all employees.
Contact PRADCO today to hear more about this offering and request a sample report.
Alison O’Neal is a Management Consultant at PRADCO, a proud Millennial, and a partner to our clients looking to assemble and engage their high-performing workforce.