Why you should double down on DE&I

You may have read about this lately, but the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace seems to be losing traction with businesses, C-suites are removing the positions due to budget constraints, the media has moved onto new topics, and there does seem to be a sense that CEOs have stopped holding themselves, their teams and each other accountable for making it a priority.

When DE&I practices are part of a company’s core foundation and your leadership believes in the power of embedding diversity into all aspects of business, DE&I will never be a passing trend or a singular program that can easily — or willingly — be dismantled. At S3, we hold ourselves to a high standard and drive accountability into every aspect of our business.

In an increasingly global business world, it’s imperative that businesses remain open to understanding different cultures, traditions, languages and local practices to maximize impact and success. As a global company, our team members come from the US, Lithuania, the UK, Latvia, Argentina, Poland and the Philippines, with our consultants working in 27 additional countries. Thus, deeply and consistently engaging in diverse practices, perspectives and systems is the only way we can strategically address customer needs.

The research is in and concludes that more diverse teams — across age, gender, race, experience, nationality, perspectives and more — make better decisions and drive better performance. By encouraging more diverse voices to contribute to decision making, new and unconventional solutions to problems are more likely to emerge. Homogenous teams can fall into groupthink and may not fully mirror or represent the perspectives of a diverse and global customer base. Whereas diverse teams are more likely to identify blind spots since they approach challenges from different perspectives. It brings value to not only customers, but also to the bottom line. Good business is good business, and the best talent is the best talent. Period.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Proving the Diversity Business Case for the Recruitment and Staffing Industry

There are three reasons companies should stay the course or even invest more heavily in DE&I.

It’s not just the right thing to do — it’s good for business. According to a study by McKinsey consultants, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to outperform their respective national industry medians’ financial returns. This is often the result of more inclusive decision making, system changes in recruiting processes and holding leaders accountable.

Serving your customers where they are is a winning strategy. When you understand diverse perspectives, customs and points of view, you are better able to serve and respond to customer demands in an authentic and effective way. By going where your customers need you, you can accelerate growth and deepen customer loyalty. Take S3 for example: Just last year, we entered three new markets. That growth was only possible because our diversity and understanding of its importance prepared us to go where our customers needed us.

It’s great for the recruitment, hiring and retention of the next generation of leaders. Nearly 80% of workers in a recent survey say that they want to work for a company that values DE&I. Workers who expressed satisfaction with company efforts on such initiatives and practices reported being happier in their jobs. That’s great for retention.

While success is never guaranteed in a very competitive sector, building high-performing teams equipped with diverse knowledge, experiences and perspectives is the best advantage you have.

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