George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020. It’s a date to be acknowledged and remembered for many years to come. Since that day, words like “diversity,” “equity” and “inclusion” have been swirling in our social consciousness, known collectively as DEI.
But why exactly is DEI important? For individuals and for organizations?
Because Future Workforce Employees Will Be More Diverse Than Ever
Early benchmarks show that “post-Millennials” are on track to be the most diverse, best-educated generation yet. Other key indicators:
- Nearly half of post-Millennials are racial or ethnic minorities. One-in-four are Hispanic.
- More post-Millennials are pursuing college.
- Post-Millennials are more likely than Millennials to live with a college-educated parent.
- Post-Millennials are slower to enter the labor force.
As alluded to in our last blogpost, this generation is being shaped by changing immigration patterns.
This is the generation that will be shaping our future. They will expect – if not demand – that their workplaces reflect this greater diversity.
Because Companies Can’t Afford to Lose Women Leaders
Workplaces have been turned upside down with the events of 2020. Many employees are struggling to do their jobs with the stresses aggregating as work and home become blurred. Women are especially affected as the pandemic intensified challenges they already faced.
Senior-level women are significantly more likely than men at the same level to feel burned out, under pressure to work more, and “as though they have to be ‘always on.’” And they are 1.5 times more likely than senior-level men to think about downshifting their role or leaving the workforce because of COVID-19 burnout.
The possibility of losing so many senior-level women is alarming to organizations for several reasons:
- The financial consequences would be significant as profits and share performances are almost 50% greater when women are represented at the top.
- Company culture will suffer as senior-level women are more likely than senior-level men to champion gender and racial equity.
- Workplace women and other diverse communities lose their advocates.
Because You Leave Money Off the Table if You Don’t Embrace DEI
According to McKinsey & Company insights, there is $12 trillion in additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the table if we can find a way to close the gender gap by 2025. And there’s $2 billion in potential revenue if we can expand “financial inclusion efforts” to extend more services to black Americans.
Because Moving DEI Forward Gives You a Competitive Advantage
Here are three primary ways that organizations benefit from developing and supporting DEI programs:
- It helps businesses attract top talent.
- It will help your company grow and innovate.
- Workplace discrimination has moral, ethical and financial consequences.
Embracing DEI has become a new organizational imperative, stirring us to reconsider everything we thought we knew about workplace culture. Start at the top with key leaders and decision-makers. If your organization says you’re committed to elevating and protecting diversity, equity and inclusion, but your leadership team doesn’t reflect that, you will lose credibility, and no one will buy into your mission.
CLARIFICATION ABOUT THE TERM ‘POST-MILLENNIAL’
The generation labeled “post-Millennials” in this report – referred to also as Generation Z, the iGen or Homelanders – includes those born after 1996. Pew Research Center uses the label “post-Millennials” as a placeholder until more consensus emerges as to their name.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Develop a deeper understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion and ensure your business or organization protects and elevates now and for future generations. UW-Green Bay is now enrolling for a Level 2 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Certificate Program, designed for HR professionals, business and government executives and leaders, managers and team leaders, parents and nonprofit and community leaders, who have completed Level 1 or its equivalent. Starting in March for five weeks. Learn more and register.
Ideal. “Why is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Important to Organizational Success?” Somen Mondal. December 3, 2020.
McKinsey & Company. “Women in the Workplace 2020.” September 30, 2020.
Pew Research Center. “Early Benchmarks Show ‘Post-Millennials’ on Track to be the Most Diverse, Educated Generation Yet. November 15, 2018.