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February commences Black History Month, followed closely by the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th. While DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) always play an important role in the workplace, this month provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on your organization’s DEI efforts and identify areas of improvement. For the last decade, DEI efforts have become increasingly popular among major organizations and its benefits, including financial value, have been widely marketed. While some organizations seriously invest in these efforts, DEI are merely buzzwords for others. However, diversity that is ingrained into a workplace’s people, policies, and procedures can deeply impact a company’s ability to reduce organizational risk.  

For organizations looking to improve their DEI efforts, it’s important to understand what workplace diversity actually means. Workplace diversity includes how individuals identify themselves in addition to how they’re perceived. Diversity touches on race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship status, in addition to many other differences in people. Organizations that commit to hiring a diverse workforce create a larger talent pool which ultimately improves many other aspects of an organization.    

Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace 

Diversity done right can change the landscape of an organization, making it more efficient, a better industry leader, and encourage innovation. In fact, research conducted by Catalyst found that when companies establish inclusive business culture and policies, they are more likely to report an increase in creativity, innovation and openness by 59 percent. Organizations that truly prioritize diversity and inclusion efforts are more likely to see these benefits as a result of their efforts:  

  • Better corporate reputation: If your business doesn’t truly operate around the principles of DEI, your reputation within the industry is at risk. According to a study conducted by Gartner, 74 percent of consumers expect more from brands in how they treat their customers, employees and the environment. Another survey shows that 89 percent of customers would disengage from a brand that breeches their trust.   
  • Widens workforce talent pool: Given our current political environment, more people are attuned to the importance of diversity, especially in the workplace. In fact, now more than ever, younger generations, especially millennials expect to work in an environment where diversity and inclusion are prioritized. Diverse organizations are more successful at recruiting and retaining high quality talent. Even more, organizations that implement HR practices that focus on gender diversity are linked to lower levels of employee turnover.  
  • Strengthens systems and processes: Diversity needs to be included in all aspects of the workplace—especially in policies and procedures that govern it. Organizations need to look through each aspect of their policies through the lens of DEI. This includes looking for bias in the hiring process, employee benefits, and how you choose to recruit and market. By looking intentionally for any bias within an organization’s policies, we are better equipped to identify and solve issues.  

Reducing Risk by Embracing Diversity 

Encouraging workplace diversity is the only way to achieve a sustainable organization equipped with high-quality talent and strong customer loyalty. RiskVersity works with organizations to ensure their employees, including top leadership, have the tools they need to create an inclusive and successful work environment. Let us know when you’re ready to get started.   

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