Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Turn talk into action: Becoming a leader in DE&I

Diversity, equity and inclusion by design, not by default

Despite the strength of the business case, very few organizations can say they’re truly inclusive. It’s not that diversity, equity and inclusion is suffering from a lack of attention but it is suffering from a lack of results. Why?

The intent is there. Leaders are making pledges to do better at building more inclusive organizations. The challenge for many is knowing where to start and where to focus.

It’s not enough to just talk about change; we must act to change. We must build inclusive organizations by design, not default. Make decisions based on data and facts, not long-held bias. We need to hire and nurture inclusive leaders who can bring together diverse knowledge, perspectives, and experiences. To unite everyone behind one vision. Then support the right team mindset and behaviors with the right structure and processes to make change happen.

Frequently asked questions for DE&I

What is DE&I?

DE&I - Diversity is the “mix”. It encompasses the full range of human differences and similarities, including physical, cognitive, relational, occupational, societal and value related.

DE&I - Equity is about recognizing that not everyone has equal access to opportunities, career advancement, support and reward. It attempts to redress the balance by treating people differently according to their needs.

DE&I - Inclusion is about making the mix work and unlocking the power of diversity. It can be both behavioral (inclusive mindsets, skillsets and relationships) and structural (equitable and transparent structures and practices).

Why is DE&I so important?

DE&I is important because organizations are facing increasingly complex challenges. Challenges like how to embrace technology in an ethical way, how to transform and innovate at speed, and how to meet customer, employee and investor demands to become more sustainable.

Diversity, equity and inclusion unlocks the power of all your talent, enabling them to work together to solve these complex issues. Research proves time and again that diverse and inclusive teams are more innovative, make better decisions and outperform their peers.

Why do many companies fail at diversity, equity and inclusion efforts?

Companies tend to fail at diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for three main reasons:

  • They act on assumptions
    DE&I is an emotional issue but it’s critical to make DE&I decisions based on data and facts. If you build your programs based purely on assumptions, you end up addressing the symptoms of the issues rather than the root cause. The resulting efforts are not only likely to miss the mark, they may also weaken your case for DE&I activity in the longer term.
  • They take a programmatic approach
    DE&I needs to be approached as a joined-up strategic imperative. When organizations tackle it as a series of discrete DE&I initiatives or programs, we have seen time and again that it simply doesn’t stick. It is only when DE&I is sewn into the fabric of the business that it becomes a true lever for competitive advantage. 
  • They focus exclusively on behavioral change
    Behavior change is an important part of building diversity, equity and inclusion. But without addressing the structural biases within the organization’s underlying policies, processes and practices, changes in behavior will have only limited effect. That’s why companies that focus exclusively on unconscious bias training, or on programs that help underrepresented talent navigate the organization more effectively, rarely meet with success.

To design and build a truly inclusive organization, companies need to develop DE&I strategies that are grounded in talent and business priorities, based on data and analytics and are implemented by inclusive and accountable leaders.

What is the business impact of improving DE&I?

The business impact of improving diversity, equity and inclusion is better performance of teams, individuals and organizations. DE&I organizations are:

  • 70% more likely to capture new markets
  • 36% more likely to outperform on profitability
  • 75% more likely to see ideas become productized and report 19% higher innovation revenue
  • 87% more likely to make better business decisions and see a noticeably positive impact of DE&I on their business performance

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion insights