DE&I is a term that everyone hears about but don’t think so much about, unless you are someone who really needs it. DE&I policies are a way for underrepresented groups to have their voices heard and respected because--historically and socioeconomically--they have been the most discriminated against. Therefore, I’ll discuss the importance of feeling represented and some strategies that can be used in the workplace.
To begin with, research revealed by McKinsey & Company shows that inclusion in the workplace matters enormously to employees. Of course, people are happier working where they feel valued. Personally, I've worked in different companies but I’ve always felt more comfortable in those where inclusion, equity, and diversity were fostered. As a low-income woman, this was always essential in my life.
Beyond that, some initiatives are used to promote DE&I in corporate businesses, such as employee resources groups (ERGs). ERGs represent an opportunity for people with the same identities to have moments to have fun and support each other. One example is LinkedIn’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, OutatIn, where employees engage, feel empowered, and elevate the community, fostering and maintaining an inclusive and supportive environment for all.
Furthermore, ERGs alone won’t solve all problems. DE&I policies depend more on changing business systems. For instance, many events, trainings, and workshops that companies promote do not show so many results. According to Joan C. Williams in the TED talk “Why corporate diversity programs fail -- and how small tweaks can have big impact”, there are some tools based on metrics and evidence that could be used and would bring big effects to companies. Additionally, a Harvard Business Review article affirms increasing the number of diverse individuals involved in the strategy process helps develop a core purpose that better reflects a broader group of customers and employees. This is an example of tangible strategies for an organization to succeed.
Finally, this is a little tip of an iceberg about DE&I and is importance. Although there is a long way to go, DE&I policies are proven to improve business performance and to develop our society.