Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) are core values embraced by many organizations today. DEIB allows employees to feel emotionally safe at work so they can express themselves fully at their job site.
While most are familiar with the term “diversity,” many may not understand its distinction from equity and inclusion. In this article we’ll explore this further.
Recent discussions around diversity, equity inclusion and belonging (DEIB) have generated much discussion; yet many do not understand what these terms entail or their interrelation. It’s crucial that all involved understand these terms to prevent miscommunications or misinterpretations during these dialogues. Defining DEIB terms beforehand ensures everyone involved can access an equitable dialogue.
Diversity refers to all characteristics that distinguish people, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability status. Diversity also encompasses differences in values, ideas and beliefs among people. A workplace that embraces this diversity offers equal participation opportunities for employees while eliminating bias discrimination or intolerance – the ideal environment.
Equity refers to the process of providing all people an equal chance to reach their full potential, through creating systems which distribute resources fairly and take into account each person’s specific circumstances. This could involve addressing income, educational attainment, healthcare access, housing security and food inequities among others; ultimately granting all individuals a sense of belonging and appreciation in society.
Inclusion is at the core of every DEIB initiative and serves as its cornerstone. Promoting an environment welcoming to all employees and developing policies to address all forms of bias such as racism, sexism, tokenism, ageism, ableism, nationalism and religious bias are essential parts of inclusive workplace environments – they foster positive experiences regardless of your background or culture.
Diversity and inclusion can bring many advantages to companies in the workplace, including increased productivity, improved employee morale and a broader customer base. But these gains can only be realized if diversity and inclusion is prioritized from day one of business operations; as well as being integrated into culture and daily operations so it results in stronger community bonds.
Diversity, equity and inclusion is a broad term referring to initiatives which aim to ensure equal access, opportunities and advancement for all people regardless of any differences they might possess, including differences such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, disability culture religion. Furthermore it refers to differences in experience and skills. When applied in practice it means providing every member of your team with all the resources necessary for performing their jobs efficiently.
In order to do this, it’s essential that a culture exists which welcomes everyone as an individual – this extends far beyond simply supporting racial or gender diversity but fosters an environment in which every employee feels like they belong and feels comfortable at their workplace.
Many companies emphasize diversity, yet diversity alone may not create an atmosphere of inclusion. If, for instance, you hire women but fail to support or make clear they are valued in the workplace, they may feel left out of inclusion – this may be caused by longstanding gender norms or an absence of leadership roles for female employees – in order to be truly inclusive, these issues must all be taken into consideration and resolved.
To do this effectively, it’s necessary to consider your diversity, equity and inclusion strategies from multiple angles. To do this effectively, this requires looking at policies, processes, employee resource groups and even marketing your products as ways to address diversity issues. Diversity also involves how candidates are recruited for employment as well as how employees are treated once inside your company and whether systems exist that support them effectively – something which should never be underestimated when planning for business success.
Companies often focus on diversity and inclusion first, since diversity can be easily measured and its benefits easily evident. But that is only one part of the equation; to truly promote inclusion through diversity you must ensure all employees feel like they belong – meaning eliminating biases and encouraging employees to bring their authentic selves to work.
By adhering to the five principles of DEI, your organization can become more diverse and inclusive. Implementation can bring increased innovation, strengthened partnerships, and superior performance – according to one Deloitte study, companies who commit strongly to DEI had 46% higher competitive advantage than those who don’t.
Diversity refers to demographics and representation in roles; equity emphasizes creating environments in which all members feel they belong naturally. That’s where belonging comes in – it refers to a feeling of connection and affinity that comes from having inclusive practices, norms, cultures and systems that support equal access for all people.
Belonging is about being able to bring all of yourself to work and being seen as having value; being seen as having importance means contributing your unique perspectives and experiences in ways that bring added benefit for the organization, while feeling safe enough and secure enough to do it without fearing negative repercussions – creating a positive experience linked with beneficial life outcomes.
Being part of an inclusive workplace environment is crucial, but especially so for marginalized groups such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, physical ability age national origin religion socioeconomic background etc. Without that sense of belonging people become disengaged and may perform less efficiently in their jobs.
Companies that foster an environment of belonging for all employees experience higher overall job satisfaction levels, reduced turnover risk and an 167% increase in employer net promoter scores, as well as 3X higher employee engagement scores and lower sick days than non-diversity focused businesses. Furthermore, innovative creativity increases with 41% greater return on investment!
Leaders need to ensure all individuals feel included and empowered to contribute, including eliminating unconscious biases and microaggressions that prevent their full participation. Furthermore, leaders should recognize policies or processes which favor certain groups over others and modify these to ensure equity.
Organizations seeking to foster a sense of belonging within their employees should prioritize creating strong connections across teams and encouraging employees to share their personal stories – this will allow them to understand the impact of different perspectives while appreciating differences. They should also encourage employees to listen attentively when hearing other’s tales of hardship – this will create a more diverse and accommodating working environment where all employees can find success.
While diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI) is vitally important to business, many companies struggle to measure its efforts accurately. Instead of hard metrics like revenue or profit, DEI strategy success is usually measured through subjective measures such as employee satisfaction and engagement – not hard metrics such as revenue or profit. Yet the benefits of an inclusive workplace go well beyond happiness or employee engagement: DEI efforts impact productivity and profitability as well; indeed a McKinsey study discovered that companies with more ethnically and gender diverse workforces actually experienced better financial performance overall.
Although these terms are sometimes confused with one another, each has its own individual definition and purpose. When discussing diversity in the workplace, people are usually referring to characteristics such as race, sex, age, religion and sexual orientation as diversity factors; by contrast, inclusion refers to feeling welcomed and accepted within an organization’s community; it’s essential that employees understand this distinction between them because each concept can have different ramifications for its culture and business operations.
One of the challenges associated with measuring DEI lies in its intangibility. While companies may utilize employee surveys as one method for gauging inclusion levels, these assessments often only give partial insights and can be affected by factors like attrition and tenure. Other companies employ technology to automate candidate sourcing and provide more holistic measurements of their company’s progress toward DEI goals.
An additional challenge lies in selecting which metrics to track. Although gender or racial demographics can provide tangible goals, measuring results of your efforts is also vitally important – for instance if your applicant pool is diverse but your teams aren’t, this could indicate bias during hiring processes.
To overcome these challenges, diversity executives must look beyond traditional methods of measurement and take a more comprehensive approach when considering policies, systems, products and customer bases. Instead of setting rigid quotas such as “let’s hire five women”, diversity executives must think more broadly about culture within the organization itself: recruitment of employees; promotions made and customer base diversity.