What is DEI? Definition & Examples of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

What is diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are an integral part of modern business. It’s a blanket term used to describe the willingness to offer an inclusive environment filled with diverse people and with equal opportunities. DEI initiatives help bring awareness, train employees and dissolve disparities. Without this critical aspect, businesses leave untold amounts of profits on the table. 

Through diversity, organizations employ people of all backgrounds, from ethnically diverse people to LGBTQ individuals. Corporations practice equity when catering to individuals. Inclusion is the act of bringing everyone together, celebrating what makes them unique, and leveraging the skill they have to benefit the organization. Below we will explore what DEI is and some examples of what it looks like to practice DEI in your organization.

What does workplace diversity look like?

A workplace dedicated to diversity employs people of different ages, races, genders, languages, and cultural backgrounds. When hiring for roles, diverse workplaces work to remove bias among recruiters for more diverse workforces. Plus, diversity allows teams to connect with their customer base, providing services for a broader range of people.

The most successful workplaces employ a diverse leadership team as well. These individuals contribute with rich background experience allowing for “out-of-the-box” solutions. Diversity really complements workplace equity and inclusion, with the trio acting as an unstoppable force for company growth. With CoachDiversity Institute, you can fast-track your professionals into certified diversity coach roles that make lasting impacts on DEI.

What is workplace equity?

Equity is frequently mistaken for equality. Understanding the differences allows underserved individuals to receive the representation they deserve. Social equity is the fairness of policy, aid, and opportunity. Equity in the workplace means providing tools, support, and training for everyone to succeed. Inclusion initiatives take the political perspective out of decision-making, allowing diversity training to be practical.

The critical aspect is catering to those tools, support, and training for the individual, not as a one-size-fits-all approach. An excellent way to show workplace equity is wage clarity. Removing the hidden nature of wages allows employers to catch wage gap issues and conscious and unconscious bias with performance-based compensation. The wage gap is an inequity that contributes to poor socioeconomic status.

What is workplace inclusion?

Ever felt left out at work? With workplace inclusion, these situations happen far less frequently. Inclusion means involving all members of your organization in critical aspects of the company, like decision-making, leadership roles, and even silly office activities. These individuals can be those with disabilities, people of color, or those with veteran status. 

These efforts to include all members of the company increase loyalty, productivity, and overall involvement. According to a study by the International Labor Organization, when high levels of inclusion are in the workplace, marginalized individuals feel more significant value. This feeling of value ultimately leads to greater productivity and overall wellness.

Benefits of DEI in the Workplace

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve bottom lines. Introducing a vibrant DEI training department into your workplace provides benefits to your organization that give you a competitive advantage. While profits are the obvious benefit, they are far from the only one! CoachDiversity Institute works with diverse groups to provide an excellent employee experience.

Improved financial performance.

Behind every business, a decision is a careful financial consideration. Implementing DEI in the workplace isn’t a waste but rather an investment. Employees feel included, respected, and heard and are more productive. With aid from employee resource groups, this productivity translates into financial performance and some other financial benefits like:

  • Retention – retaining diverse talent helps bottom lines. Organizations that retain employees spend less on recruiting efforts, training materials, and benefits enrollments.
  • Customer Connections – diverse work environments help employees engage with a more significant range of customers. This connection builds profits and returning business.
  • Favorable EBIT metrics – A study by Catalyst, a workplace firm, concluded that organizations with diversity, equity and inclusion saw an average of 4% more favorable EBIT metrics than organizations without. 
  • Deep Management Bench – Diverse workplaces see higher employee engagement and more prominent interest in management positions. A deep management bench forms through these DEI initiatives, allowing flexibility during promotions. 

Businesses that have a diverse team can connect with a broader client base, leading to improved customer interactions. These positive interactions translate into customer loyalty and return sales. Plus, your teams feel empowered to go the extra mile leading to connections with guests that weren’t possible without DEI.

Innovation and growth.

Improved financial performance isn’t the only benefit. Innovation and growth are other benefits of DEI directly related to employees having a sense of belonging. Inclusive environments provide an atmosphere for innovation by allowing teams to express themselves and use unique talents to solve complex issues. In fact, studies have shown the most successful companies employ diverse groups. 

Implementing DEI allows senior leadership to see through unconscious bias. In turn, this clarity enables more opportunities for growth within the organization’s ranks. Valuing a different way of thinking, or a different set of background skills, allows a company to stay competitive.

Increased employee engagement.

Employees who don’t feel valued are less likely to engage with leadership or company goals. Unfortunately, that division leads to conflict. Diversity, equity and inclusion create a pathway for employees and leadership to engage in meaningful ways. With an understanding of diverse workforces, leaders hear staff more effectively, allowing a two-way conversation to occur. 

Leaders and team members can use effective communication to achieve common goals. With your company’s newfound engagement, teams uniquely connect with customers and clients, providing more opportunities for growth, profit, and performance.

Powerful decision-making.

Leaders who excel at decision-making move the needle when it comes to company performance. Decision-making skills mark leaders who have the ability to act with impartiality and focus on inclusive cultures. When leaders understand their teams, with the help of DEI, they can engage in powerful decision-making that benefits everyone.

Organizations need ethical leaders. Leaders who are equitable respect the presence of differences. They don’t focus on metrics and instead work on leveling the playing field and make decisions to provide a sense of belonging.

Train your team in DEI with Coach Diversity

DEI initiatives provide countless benefits to your company. Understanding what diversity, equity, and inclusion are and how it helps your business is just the beginning. Diversity, equity, and inclusion celebrate different ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and those with varying physical abilities. 

The most successful companies make implementing DEI programs a priority. Setting up a robust program is easy with the help of CoachDiversity Institute. With a variety of programs from associate diversity coaches to certified professional diversity coaches, programs are backed by the International Coaches Federation (ICF) and provide individuals or organizations the tools to establish DEI programs that get results!