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The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion: Why Diversity is Good for Business

The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion: Why Diversity is Good for Business

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The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion: Why Diversity is Good for Business

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  1. The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion:Why Diversity is Good for Business Eric Peterson Manager, Diversity & Inclusion Society for Human Resource Management

  2. The Evolution of the Field Compliance Case “Diversity is something we’re forced to do … by law.” Business Case “Diversity is the smart thing to do … for our business.” Values Case “Diversity is the right thing to do … for our people.” Over the last twenty years, the field has evolved considerably …

  3. The Compliance Case for Diversity Diversity in the US began as a legal mandate, and that tradition continues … 1970 1980 1990 2000 1960 1 2,3 4 5 6 7 8 8 1 1961: Creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 2 1964: Passage of the Civil Rights Act (incl. Title VII) 3 1965: Creation of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance 4 1967: Passage of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act 5 1973: Passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 6 1983: Expansion of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 7 1990: Passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act 8 1996, 2007: Failed attempts to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

  4. There are many reasons why an organization might/should focus on Diversity. • Usually, these fall under two broad themes: the Values Case and the Business Case. The Values Case “vs.” The Business Case Values Case Business Case “It’s the right thing to do, and will make our people happier.” “It’s a smart thing to do for business , and will improve our bottom line.” • Both the Values Case and the Business Case are important and necessary; they do not contradict each other, but rather complement each other.

  5. Why is a Business Case Important? After all, why isn’t “doing the right thing” enough? Strategic Diversity Management Plans depend on the commitment of many people in the organization, not the least of which are your CEO or equivalent, and Senior Leadership Team. These leaders are naturally focused on the financial health and well-being of the organization. A strong business case for diversity will clearly show that creating a diverse and inclusive workplace will benefit everyone in the organization, by making the organization stronger, more resilient, and more competitive.

  6. When managed well, diversity is one of the most important assets an organization has in order to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. Effective diversity management = competitive advantage The Business Case for Diversity

  7. Workplace Diversity Defined Visible Diversity Traits Skin color Age Body Type/Size Gender Behaviors Physical Abilities/Qualities Religion Sexual Orientation Ethnicity Level in Organization Military Experience Personality Work Background Culture Values Geographic Location Beliefs Thinking Styles Marital Status Invisible Diversity Traits Smoker/Non smoker Functional Specialty Communication Style Education Parental Status Native born/non native Socio-economic Status

  8. Inclusion is the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; have equal access to opportunities and resources; and can contribute fully toward an organization’s success. Two Definitions of “Inclusion” Inclusion is the capacity to leverage difference.

  9. Accommodations Key Challenges a More Diverse Workforce Brings Potential for Conflict Communication & Language Issues Expectations (salaries, benefits) Increased Turnover Generational Differences More Training

  10. Greater capacity for Risk Cultural Competence Opportunities a more Diverse Workplace Brings Increased Language Skills Technological Competence Global Focus Fresh, new ideas

  11. The Business Case for Diversity (cont’d) Diversity & Inclusion helps the business’s bottom line in the following ways: • Greater adaptability and flexibility in a rapidly changing marketplace • Attracting and retaining the best talent • Reducing costs associated with turnover, absenteeism and low productivity • Return on investment from various initiatives, policies and practices • Gaining and keeping greater/new market share (locally and globally) with an expanded diverse customer base • Increased sales and profits • Mitigate and minimize legal risks Source: Lockwood, N., June 2005, “Workplace Diversity: Leveraging the Power of Difference for Competitive Advantage”, Research Quarterly. Society for Human Resource Management:

  12. 1. Greater flexibility and adaptability Flexibility & Adaptability Customer Service The Changing Workforce

  13. 2. Attracting & Retaining the Best Talent • Which do you believe? • Talent exists independently of variables such as race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, marital/parental status, or socio-economic background, or • Talent is tied to variables such as race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, marital/parental status, or socio-economic background. • If #1, how much talent does your organization currently have access to? • We are facing a global shortage of talent – are you prepared?

  14. 2. Attracting & Retaining the Best Talent (cont’d) Finding talent is seen as the most important management challenge facing business executives in the next 5 years Increasing number of markets served 11% Increasing size of company 19% Greater competitive intensity 22% Finding talent 31% Source: McKinsey & Company

  15. 2. Attracting & Retaining the Best Talent (cont’d) • Building leadership capability starts with creating a culture that makes employees want to stay • Ensuring that all employees have full and equal access to opportunities • Implementing leading-edge talent management programs such as: • Mentoring • Cross-functional development assignments • Job rotations • Special assignments • Career pathing • Skills inventories • Succession planning (55% of employers are already doing succession planning)

  16. 3. Turnover, Absenteeism, Low Productivity In diverse & inclusive work environments, employees are: • More likely to stay with that company • More likely to recommend their company to others • Less likely to have experienced discrimination • Less likely to have missed days at work • More engaged in their work Source: Gallup Organization, “Civil Rights in the Workplace Survey,” 2005

  17. 3. Turnover, Absenteeism, Low Productivity (cont’d) • Each year, more than 2 million people voluntarily leave organizations due to perceived unfairness (cumulative comments/jokes, unfair policies, perceived invisibility) • This trend costs U.S. corporation $64 billion each year • This figure is nearly equivalent to the combined revenues of Google, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, and, and does not include costs associated with litigation or loss of reputation Source: Level Playing Field Institute, “The Corporate Leavers Survey,” 2007,

  18. 4. Return on Investment = HR Outcomes Business Outcomes

  19. 5. Greater/New Market Share Buying Power by Race Billions Source: Jeffrey M. Humphreys, The Multicultural Economy 2007,

  20. 6. Increased Sales and Profits Over a 10-year period, the index of publicly traded companies in DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list outperformed the: • NASDAQ by 28% • Standard & Poor’s 500 by 25% • Dow Jones Industrial Average by 22% Source: – DeGroat, TJ, No Way to Measure Diversity's Value? Mainstream Article Ignores the Hard Facts,

  21. 7. Mitigate and Minimize Legal Risk • Over the past 10 years, major race and gender discrimination lawsuits cost U.S. corporations $2.3 billion in settlements alone. • In FY 2007, there were 17,734 disability discrimination charge filings. • In the same year, there were 2,880 religion-based discrimination charge filings 2.3 Billion? Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;

  22. Questions/Comments