diverse colored hands in a huddle

What is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and is it Good for Your Business?

You may have seen in the business news recently the controversy over Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies. As might be expected, there are differing views on its efficacy. But also political posturing, misunderstanding, and misinformation. And for most business owners and managers, curiosity and confusion.

So we thought it would be valuable for Central New York businesses if we summarize and review what DEI is and what it can do for you. 

First off, we found a good definition from Matt Tenney writing on the Business Leadership Today website, “DEI describes policies and initiatives that support and promote the representation and participation of different groups of individuals regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.”

Sounds good, but is it the right policy for your business? To answer this question, let’s start with some of the reasons a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policy may help you better serve customers and run a leaner, more profitable organization. 

Why A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy May Work for You

A diverse workforce brings together individuals with different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. We’ve found that this leads to increased creativity and innovation, driving the development of new ideas and solutions.

A diverse team is also better equipped to tackle complex problems. Different viewpoints and approaches contribute to more comprehensive analyses and effective problem-solving strategies.

A workforce with different perspectives and lived experiences more easily adapts to a rapidly changing business landscape. A generation ago, change happened very slowly. Today, methods you installed last year can already be obsolete. If you have hired more diverse teams, it’s likely your people can more easily accept critical changes.

But you don’t have to take our word for it.  A report specifically on disability inclusion, for example, found that companies that incorporated disability inclusive practices reported 1.6 times more revenue, 2.6 times more net income, and 2 times more economic profit. 

The Bigger Picture with Anti-Discrimination Laws, Reputation, and Social Responsibility

All companies and nonprofits must follow state and federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations. A well thought out DEI policy helps your company comply and can mitigate your legal risks.

More importantly for positioning in your marketplace, strong DEI policies are often viewed favorably by customers, clients, and the public. Demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusion can enhance your reputation and brand image.

Utica Area Immigration Policies Create Wider Talent Pool

Empower Business Strategies is based in Utica, New York, a city known for its embrace of immigrants from around the world. From Bosnian war refugees in the 1990s to South Asian Karens today, thousands have found new, productive lives here in Utica. 

And this has opened up access to a broader talent pool. A DEI policy is a natural for companies in the Utica area as it can attract and retain this diverse range of skilled individuals. 

Here we easily find the best talent regardless of background. That’s why a well-implemented Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy can lead to a more innovative, productive, and socially responsible business, ultimately contributing to long-term success.

And we can help you create and incorporate DEI in your business. 

For us, this is more than a statement in your employee handbook, it should be your way of doing business. It will make it so much easier for you to create a high-performing team engaged with their work and invested in your company’s success. 

Until next time.

Amina Mekic,
Empower Business Strategies HR Consultant