MAY 1, 2023

Why Should We Continue Supporting DEIB?

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) are principles that most people support and strive to embody in their personal and professional lives. However, recently, we have seen a growing opposition to DEIB workplace programs.

There have been several high-profile examples of opposition to DEIB workplace programs in recent years. For instance, in 2020, former President Donald Trump issued an executive order that prohibited federal contractors from conducting racial sensitivity training, claiming that it was divisive and un-American.

Recently we have heard arguments that DEIB programs are exclusionary, discriminatory, or even racist.

Unfortunately, this is a growing trend where DEIB programs are being weaponized, creating an environment where people feel attacked rather than empowered.

These arguments – intended to divide, rather than unify – are rooted in fear of the loss of power, misunderstanding, ignorance, or manipulation.

The real intent of DEIB programs is to raise awareness about discrimination, create inclusive cultures where all employees feel safe to bring their best selves to work and build accountability for bad behavior.

I am here to say that recognizing and confronting underlying power dynamics in the workplace and prioritizing the voices and perspectives of marginalized groups in the DEIB process does not have to be seen as a threat to the dominant culture, but rather as a benefit to workplace productivity.

Some of the benefits of DEIB programs include:

  1. Diverse perspectives drive innovation: When people from different backgrounds and experiences come together, they bring a wider range of perspectives and ideas to the table. This can drive innovation and creativity in the workplace, leading to new products, services, and solutions that can benefit the organization as a whole.
  2. Inclusive cultures attract top talent: Inclusive workplace cultures, where all employees feel valued and supported, can attract top talent from diverse backgrounds. This can increase the organization’s competitiveness and help it to better reflect the diverse communities it serves.
  3. DEIB programs promote employee engagement: DEIB programs that prioritize the voices and perspectives of marginalized groups can help to create a more engaged and motivated workforce. When employees feel like their contributions are valued and that they have a voice in decision-making processes, they are more likely to be committed to their work and to the organization as a whole.
  4. DEIB programs reduce turnover: When employees feel like they don’t belong or that they are not valued, they are more likely to leave the organization. DEIB programs that prioritize inclusion and belonging can help to reduce turnover and retain top talent.
  5. DEIB programs improve customer satisfaction: When organizations reflect the diversity of the communities they serve and prioritize the needs and perspectives of marginalized groups, they are better able to understand and serve their customers. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Changing work cultures is hard, and many people aren’t ready to share power, but power should be earned and used for the greater good.

DEIB is not meant to divide us racially but to promote a sense of belonging where everyone feels included and valued.

By creating an environment where people feel safe to share their experiences and listen to others, we can build a more inclusive workplace that benefits everyone.

If you’re in a workplace where DEIB programs are viewed as a threat, rather than as an opportunity to grow and create a more equitable workplace, reach out. We can help.