Without Inclusion, Diversity Won’t Cut It

Pixar’s Purl brings it home like nothing else. Watching a ball of pink yarn — a new hire — try to fit in with a bunch of white guys at a firm called “B.R.O. Capital” is both humorous and cringe-worthy. But the message hits its mark: It’s not enough just to hire diverse people. Companies must also work to ensure everyone is included.

“Wide demographics alone won’t make a difference to an organization’s bottom line unless the people within those demographics feel authentically welcomed,” according to a post by Gallup.

Recently, the subject of inclusion also came up while I was researching a story on diversity-owned staffing suppliers for the May/June 2019 issue of Staffing Industry Review. Molly Brennan, founding partner at Koya Leadership Partners, a Newburyport, Massachusetts-based retained search firm, stressed the importance of inclusion, among others.

“It’s one thing to recruit a diverse team, but I think the attention that we have put on also becoming a truly inclusive culture — where that diversity of background, experience perspective, lived experience, professional experience is not just welcome but is truly valued — is the other side of the coin,” Brennan told me.” Without inclusion, diversity is not going to “push the needle,” she said. You need both in order to be a successful organization.

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And the fact is diversity and inclusion help a firm’s bottom line. The benefits are stressed across the board by both big and small firms. No surprise that keeping diversity — and inclusion — in mind is particularly important in the staffing industry.

In addition, the use of diversity staffing suppliers is growing in importance for staffing client companies as well. Though often overlooked, many of these enterprises can use their contingent labor programs when looking to increase their overall diversity spend.

SIA research found that 65% of large companies that use staffing have a diversity supplier program in place and 22% said they plan to have such a program in place within two years. In addition to my feature article, the May/June 2019 issue of Staffing Industry Review will include SIA’s 2019 List of Diversity Staffing Firms, which number 157. Look for your issue to arrive in late May.

Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson
Craig Johnson is senior editorial director at Staffing Industry Analysts. He can be reached at cjohnson (at) staffingindustry (dot) com.

Craig Johnson

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