Companies’ commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) is becoming an increasingly important factor in prospective employees deciding where to work. For example, a recent McKinsey study found almost 80% of workers said a company’s dedication to DEIB is important to them. Companies that fail to make DEIB a priority will encounter difficulties hiring employees from all walks of life.

And yet, not enough companies are taking DEIB seriously. A recent study of 560 HR leaders found that fewer than one in three companies made DEIB a measurable priority in the past 12 months. And the future is no brighter: 38% of companies plan to make DEIB a measurable priority over the next 12 months, bottom on the list of priorities.

DEIB: A Successful Company’s Superpower

A McKinsey study found executive teams in the top quartile of diversity outperformed in profitability those in the bottom quartile by 25%. Another study published in the Harvard Business Review found companies that create adequate space to hear and champion diverse voices are 45% likelier to report a growing market share and 70% likelier to report they captured a new market.

With evidence that prioritizing DEIB opens companies up to a wider pool of potential employees and can impact the bottom line, it is abundantly clear a majority of companies are making a big mistake by failing to devote resources and attention to improving their standing.

The reality is that all companies, even those with robust DEIB strategies and resources, will continually need to evolve their efforts. Like other major corporate initiatives, there is no end date to DEIB initiatives; they’re ongoing and ever changing. But many companies have not even begun to scratch the surface.

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How Lack of DEIB Focus Plays Out While Hiring

One of GoodTime’s first customers was a Silicon Valley unicorn that lost female-identifying engineers at an unhealthy rate and failed to hire female-identifying replacements, furthering gender inequality in its workforce.

The hiring team had a healthy pipeline of female-identifying engineers, but few accepted offers. The main issue they uncovered was that these candidates mostly interviewed with male-identifying engineers, creating a perception that they would be joining a predominately male team.

DEIB Requires a Comprehensive Effort

Companies that have acknowledged the importance of DEIB and are looking to make it a big priority in the next few years must appreciate that it will take commitment and transparency. Success will not happen overnight.

In the next part of this series, I’ll discuss seven important things to consider as you focus on fostering DEIB in your business.

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