WHY DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IS IMPORTANT
Why Diversity and Inclusion is Important Now More Than EverMay 25th, 2020 became a pivotal day in our collective history with the killing of George Floyd. Issues of racism and institutional systemic bias have a long history in many countries including Canada.
Mr. George Floyd’s untimely death and how it occurred reverberated around the world and re-ignited the much needed difficult conversations that needed to occur within communities, societies, organizations and institutions in order to move towards making significant change.
It has been said change is the only constant, however, it is also at times, difficult to do. Today, the Black Lives Matter movement that began 7 years ago is now global, vocal, leveraging of social media platforms and reminding us all of the work that needs to be done in order to achieve not just equality or equity but justice.
Closing the Gender GapIn addition to racial justice, the gender gap is also a prevalent issue that the World Economic Forum argues will take 99.5 years to close. Statistics Canada found that:
- In 2017, 63.5 percent of SMEs were majority owned by men and 15.6 percent of SMEs were majority owned by women
- 20.9 percent of SMEs were equally owned by men and women
- Just over 40 percent of SMEs were majority owned by members of the same family
- 12.2 percent by visible minorities, 1.4 percent by Aboriginal persons and 0.5 percent by person(s) with a disability.
- This data is equally applicable in the USA.
Why is this Data Relevant?
More women in the workforce
With greater women in the workforce (certainly pre-COVID) and with a greater focus on diversity, equity and inclusion as well as commitment to increase Canada’s immigration numbers, simply requires an understanding of diversity and inclusion benefits, and the development of more inclusive organizations.
Supporting DEI in the workplace
Changing organizational culture stems from raising awareness, developing tools and assessments to address and support diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and organizational culture.
Inclusive leadership starting from the top
Changing organizational culture requires a new kind of leadership; one that recognizes why diversity and inclusion is important, and one that is inclusive and starts from within and requires humility, vulnerability, courage and accountability.
Leading with "stragility"
DEI also requires leaders to understand and lead with Stragility – the ability to be strategic and agile in the face of constant change.
“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Diversity and Inclusion Benefits: DEI Data Worth Measuring and Why It’s a Win-WinOrganizations need to be inclusive not just in their workforce but also in their mindsets and organizational culture. The challenge is often how to get organizations to:
- Recognize the need
- Identify what needs to be done
- Set realistic expectations on how to do it
- Identify the right partner/consultancy to help them achieve their DEI goals (because you will need an external arms length perspective).