DE&I stands for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
In recent years, organizations across the United States have been making more intentional efforts to ensure a diverse workforce is welcome, encouraged, and supported. They updated policies to promote equity across the board and took steps to create an inclusive environment for employees from every background.
We learned that encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce has many positive effects, including more creative problem solving and better decision-making due to diverse backgrounds, reduced turnover from higher job satisfaction rates, and more motivated employees which can increase productivity. All of these can, in turn, result in higher profitability for organizations as well.
How can you improve DE&I at your organization as we head into 2023?
Here are three trends we’re seeing across the nation. Some are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as we’ve learned new ways to work; Others are driven by legislation, and we’ll discuss how you can get ahead of these changes before they impact you.
1. Remote Work
Ever since 2020 saw a large push to work from home, employers discovered how remote work policies can encourage diversity in the workforce. Remote work allows employers to hire from across the country – and even across the globe. Without the limitations of potential employees’ locations, this gives employers the opportunity to develop teams from diverse backgrounds who can collaborate on creative solutions.
Remote work can also increase feelings of inclusion by as much as 93%, according to Catalyst. In the same study, women with children are also 32% less likely to leave when there are remote work options. This is vital because we lost nearly 2 million women in the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic largely due to childcare responsibilities as stay-at-home orders were in place.
Transparency, particularly pay transparency, is a big way organizations can show their commitment to equity. Previously, openly discussing pay was considered taboo and some companies even had policies in place restricting open discussion of pay. That’s not the case anymore.
Already, 17 states have some form of pay transparency laws, with Colorado taking the hardest stance. But a recent report from Syndio found nearly 2/3 of companies say they’re not prepared for pay transparency. Revisit policies at your organization now, so you’re ready when pay transparency laws come to you.
Employers should also increase public transparency about DE&I actions already underway, and progress that has been made. You might feature your DE&I efforts on your website, social media, job postings, and as part of your onboarding process.
3. Diversity Expansion
In 2023, the definition of diversity will expand. It’s not just about gender, race, and ethnicity. In the same Syndio report, organizations that track six or more diversity groups have better DE&I outcomes, “building diverse teams and developing talent from historically underrepresented communities.”
Beyond gender and race/ethnicity, DE&I includes LGBTQ+ identity, disability, veteran status, age, caregiver status, refugee status, and more. Tracking these at your organization helps you identify blind spots so you can work toward a truly diverse and inclusive workforce.
Where do you stand?
Evaluate your organization’s status. You can work toward solutions for each of these 2023 DE&I initiatives to increase the morale of your employees, decrease turnover, lead to more creative teams, and increase profitability.