DEI Action Plan: 8 Fundamental Benefits of a Diverse Workplace.
WHAT IS “DEI”?
DEI refers to the systematic practice of fair treatment, recognition and appreciation of diverse populations and underserved communities who have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life. “DEI” is designed to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility throughout America.
“D” is for Diversity—
“Diversity” represents race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, culture, education, disability, socioeconomic status, and religion in America. “Diversity” also includes individuals who belong to “underserved communities” that may face employment barriers based on military background, older age, immigrant status, language and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty, discrimination, or inequality. Individuals may belong to more than one underserved community and face intersecting barriers.
“E” is for Equity—
“Equity” is the systematic impartial treatment of everyone in an organization, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment. “Equity” means individuals have fair access, a quality of opportunity, resources and the same access to information.
“I” is for Inclusion—
“Inclusion” is the process of appreciating employees within an organization. The term “inclusion” means the recognition, appreciation, and use of the talents and skills of employees of all backgrounds.
“Accessibility” means that all people, including people with disabilities, can fully and independently access every outward-facing and internal activity in an organization or electronic space, and the pursuit of best practices.
Why Practice DEI?
Organizations should implement DEI initiatives because the workplace in America is comprised of diverse, and racially and ethnically diverse populations. According to the 2020 Census, people of color represent 43% of the total population, which is up from 34% in 2010. More than two-fifths of Americans now identify as people of color. Also, operational changes, socioeconomic status and lack of participation in the 2020 Census questionnaire amongst non-white groups contributed to a higher risk of an undercount of diverse populations.
2020 Census Facts (Race and Ethnicity):
· The Two or More Races population (also referred to as the Multiracial population) was measured at 9 million people in 2010 and is now 33.8 million people in 2020, a 276% increase.
· The Some Other Race alone (or in combination group) increased 129% or (49.9 million).
· The Black or African American population was measured as the second-largest race alone (or in combination group) at 46.9 million people.
· The next largest racial populations were the Asian alone (or in combination group) measured at 24 million people; the American Indian and Alaska Native alone (or in combination group) measured at 9.7 million, and the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone (or in combination group) measured at 1.6 million people.
· The Hispanic or Latino population, which includes people of any race, was 62.1 million in 2020. The Hispanic or Latino population grew 23%, while the population that was not of Hispanic or Latino origin grew 4.3% since 2010.
Now let’s discuss the benefits of applying diversity, exclusion and inclusion (and accessibility) systems to organizational structures using actionable initiatives:
8 Fundamental Benefits of a Diverse Workplace:
1. Different perspectives
2. Increased creativity and innovation
3. High engagement
4. Higher employee morale
5. Improved problem-solving
6. Psychological safety
7. Increase productivity
8. Better company reputation
4-Step ACTION PLAN on How to Implement DEI Initiatives:
1. Identify strategies to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
2. Lead through policies and practices.
3. Eliminate, where applicable, barriers to equity including: recruitment, hiring, background investigation, promotion, retention, performance evaluations and awards, professional development programs, mentoring programs or sponsorship initiatives, internship, fellowship, and apprenticeship programs, employee resource group and affinity group programs, temporary employee details and assignments, pay and compensation policies, benefits, including health benefits, retirement benefits, and employee services and work‑life programs, disciplinary or adverse actions, reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants with disabilities, workplace policies to prevent gender-based violence (including domestic violence, stalking, and sexual violence), reasonable accommodations for employees who are members of religious minorities, and training, learning, and onboarding programs.
4. Increase transparency and accountability via a data-driven approach.
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