Recent events in the U.S. have brought greater attention and attuned focus to issues of racial injustice in the United States and around the world. Many organizations responded by committing time and money to furthering racial equity within their ranks and their communities. Though some companies began their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) journey long before these issues became more salient in 2020, many are realizing that they must now initiate, accelerate, or alter their plans to understand and address their employees’ needs.
This is not just the right thing to do from a societal perspective, but also makes good business sense. Research has repeatedly shown that organizations who have diverse workforces outperform those who do not. A recent McKinsey report, for example, suggests that gender-diverse organizations are 21% more likely to outperform their peers, and ethnically diverse organizations are 33% more likely.
Based on conversations with over 20 organizations as well as peer-reviewed academic research and commentary from DEI thought leaders, these are the five most important lessons for organizations at any point on their DEI journey.