Has the era of effective diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace arrived? Many businesses seem to think so. According to one survey, nearly 90% of organizations have official DEI strategies, and 79% of DEI leaders say their organizations will be increasing funding for these efforts in 2022. In addition to these key findings, however, a more sobering statistic appears: Only 13% of these leaders report that “senior leaders are proactive and visible in demonstrating their support” of DEI initiatives.
Even with the promise of additional resources directed toward DEI, this frequent lack of buy-in from senior management is a sign for concern. After all, we can listen more. We can make sure our policies apply for workers inside and outside of our offices. But without a forthright commitment to DEI from the top—without leadership demonstrating the importance of this work—these programs become just another background noise in the office for many employees.
Instead, these companies can and must become decidedly diverse. This means going beyond platitudes, feel-good bromides or even the company’s bottom line to focus on being part of the solution on a global scale. Those of us in the staffing and talent industry have a special responsibility to promote DEI as a crucial part of our business. This is the ethos behind Decidedly Diverse, the comprehensive DEI initiative we launched in May at Pride Global.
The word “comprehensive” gets used a lot in the world of DEI, but many companies stick to the first two of our three pillars: Workforce and Workplace. In our industry, however, we believe that we have a responsibility to go further. Our third pillar focuses on the Marketplace; to paraphrase our CEO, Leo Russell, we want to make a positive impact on the entire staffing ecosystem, empowering our competitors and serving our entire community to realize a better working world for everyone.
Much of this work began years ago at Pride Global with the foundation of organizations such as the Diversity Staffing Alliance (DSA) and Pride in Education, and our work today builds on those programs. This also includes forums and events held in partnership with associations and nonprofits, such as a recent panel discussion held with AHRC NYC to highlight the benefits of hiring those with disabilities. Most importantly, we’ve woven the Decidedly Diverse mission into every aspect of our internal and external recruiting and staffing efforts to make sure we and our clients meet our ambitious DEI goals.
At Pride Global, we were lucky to have a running start as DEI became more central to our work. As a minority-owned business for over 35 years, our company has long understood the value of diversity. Today, our leadership is at the forefront of promoting and demonstrating our DEI values inside and outside of the company, and we hope to encourage more of the industry to join us in increasing the visibility of DEI in the staffing and talent industry.