“If you don’t intentionally include, you’ll unintentionally exclude.”
At a Mosaic-sponsored workshop for Tulsa HR professionals last fall, nationally recognized inclusivity expert Joe Gerstandt made this potent observation. Companies must act willfully and intentionally to enjoy the benefits of a more diverse, inclusive workplace. To ensure organizational-wide participation and buy-in, that intent must begin in the executive office.
Tulsa is fortunate to have a number of senior executives personally committed to championing inclusivity. Of the 182 companies that participated in Mosaic’s annual Inclusive Workplace Cultures survey, 125 “strongly agree” that their CEO supports and values their organization’s diversity and inclusion work. These companies recognize that diverse and inclusive workforces offer more than just compliance, but an asset to leverage for growth and prosperity.
Research demonstrates the broad return on investment from a company’s “intentional inclusion.” International consulting firm McKinsey & Company’s “Diversity Matters” report documents that gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to outperform their peers; that rate jumps to 35 percent for ethnically-diverse companies. A similar study by Deloitte Australia found that inclusive teams outperform their peers by 80 percent in team-based assessments, with employees that feel included reporting increased performance in innovation, collaboration and responsiveness to customer requests.
Effective diversity and inclusion strategies aren’t just shortcuts to recruiting millennials. They provide organizations with competitive advantages across divisions – including but not limited to talent development – that improve bottom-line results.
The business case for diversity and inclusion starts at the top. When executive leadership embraces intentional corporate efforts to create more inclusive workplaces, the entire organization benefits.