The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

 
 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marie Chinnici-Everitt is Chief Marketing Officer of DTCC and Regional Administrative Manager of DTCC Tampa.

As a host of external dynamics reshape the business landscape across sectors, a diverse workforce will be a key driver of innovation and future success. Companies are responding to these marketplace changes in many ways—one of the most fundamental of which is looking at employees more holistically and embracing a greater variety of backgrounds, perspectives, gender, race and religions. The true spirit of a diverse environment is in understanding and acceptance. 

In an increasingly competitive and fast-moving environment, a company’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts can be a differentiator that helps to build a deeper bond with employees. This creates a more engaged and satisfied workforce that delivers better results.

At our firm, DTCC, we are committed to leveraging the power of D&I to grow our business, compete more aggressively and lead innovation. With over 7,000 employees and contractors in 23 countries around the world, D&I is not something theoretical – it’s essential to our ability to execute on behalf of our clients and the global industry. To underscore this commitment, our President and CEO, Mike Bodson, recently joined more than 150 CEOs in signing the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, the largest CEO-driven business pledge to advance D&I in the workplace.

In fact, the business case for D&I has never been stronger. Multiple studies have concluded that a diverse and inclusive work environment leads to improved business performance. Despite this, researchers from seven universities recently concluded in a report that while D&I increases innovation, promotes higher quality decisions and enhances economic growth, the benefits are often not fully realized.

For instance, while workforce diversity has increased in recent years, you can count on one hand the top leaders of S&P 500 companies who are not white and male. At middle management and more junior levels across many industries, the metrics are improving but still below what they should be, illustrating that more work needs to be done to get to the point where the results match our efforts.

For those companies that are getting it right, the benefits are clear on the bottom line. McKinsey reports:

  • Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians;
  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians;
  • Every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team increases earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) nearly 1% in the US;
  • Every 10% increase in gender diversity on the senior-executive team increases earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) 3.5% in the UK.

The evidence is compelling for change, and as shifting demographics of the U.S. workforce and globalization continue, companies will need to recommit themselves to engaging in more conversations about the importance of D&I and looking for effective ways to execute D&I strategies.

By embracing diversity, embedding it in an inclusive environment, and taking the actions necessary to recognize the full scope of people’s identities, companies will be better positioned to deliver better results to their clients, while enabling employees to fully embrace their “full selves” at work.