COMPANY CULTURE / SEP. 21, 2016
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Diversity and Inclusion in the DiversityInc Top 50

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Does your company have a diverse workforce? It's a big issue but few companies make it onto the DiversityInc Top 50. Examine the positive aspects here!

Workplace diversity has long been an important issue for corporations. In 1965 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was started to open up workplace opportunities for American women and minorities. Workplace diversity has improved a lot since then, but still more inclusion is needed to create a truly diverse workforce. While numbers of women and minorities in the workforce matter, the corporations that have benefitted the most from diversity programs have been the ones who are truly practising diversity inclusion in the workplace.

Businesses in the DiversityInc Top 50 are examples of organisations that have not only harnessed the strength of a diverse workforce; they make diversity a priority. Founded in 1997 as DiversityInc media by business executive Luke Visconti, the online publication started naming the DiversityInc Top 50 annually in 2001. The top applicants to the list have shown equality in supplier diversity, talent development, recruitment, and advancement.

1. Leading the Way

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The number 12 choice in 2016, Wells Fargo, also employs a top-down strategy to state its commitment to promote “growth through recruitment, leadership development, and identifying and retaining diverse leaders.” Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf leads the Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion Council that meets quarterly to set goals for diversity and plan their implementation. This council also ties into their corporate mentoring programs.

Diversity and inclusion are the right things to do for ourselves, our businesses and communities and the two corporations named above are making it a priority. But what tangible advantages have these diversity leaders experienced as a result of their efforts? Here are some examples of the benefits that come from practising inclusion with a diverse workforce.

2. Attracting the Best Candidates

When a corporation is known for an inclusive environment open and welcoming to all, they have the best talent pool to pick from. The pool is filled not only with a large number of applicants but also the best quality candidates.

3. A Focus on Philanthropy

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While a commitment to diversity and inclusion benefits the corporation, it can also increase corporate philanthropic efforts. For example, the Kaiser Permanente Share grant program aims to help eliminate inequities and disparities in the delivery of health assistance and education in underserved communities.

4. Relevancy

Diversity and inclusion are not only desirable; they are relevant. If a corporation does not have a plan in place to make a diverse and inclusive work culture a reality, they are no longer relevant and will get left behind. Wells Fargo states, “Wells Fargo strives to build a culture where all people are valued and accepted, and individual differences are respected.” They understand that a team of employees from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles will be better equipped to make on-point decisions based on a variety of viewpoints and ideas.

5. Competitive Edge

The bottom line of a corporation is improved when everyone has a place at the table. Creativity to tackle complex problems grows when a variety of individuals have a say in the process. Organisational productivity grows when inclusiveness makes workplace equality a reality.

Kaiser Permanente energises this organisational productivity by giving all of its employees an opportunity to be active in Multicultural Business Resource Groups or Unit Based Teams. The company has a total of 12 groups and more than 3,500 chapters.

6. Reduced Discrimination

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When people interact on a daily basis with a diverse range of co-workers, the familiarity gained from these interactions can go a long way to reducing negative viewpoints and stereotypes about other cultures. Learning about another culture’s struggles and triumphs can help create empathy and bonds between fellow workers. A truly diverse and inclusive workplace is an energetic and intellectually stimulating environment that facilitates camaraderie.

Diversity and inclusion are not just a toleration of people that we consider ‘others’. It is an opportunity for everyone to grow by treating others with respect and fairness. It gives people the chance to enact a positive work culture that benefits all.

True inclusion ensures that all employees have equal access to mentoring, advancement and resources. It also means that senior levels of the company have equal percentages of women and minorities. When everyone holds themselves accountable for diversity and inclusion, each person in the organisation learns how to contribute their best to the company’s improvement and growth.

Does your company have a diverse workforce? Do you think it could be improved if it did? Let us know in the comments section below...

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