Celebrating and amplifying the backgrounds, cultures, and traditions of those around us is an essential component of learning about the values, religions, politics, languages, and gender representations that help make our world the unique place that it is.
First, It’s Important to Understand the Difference Between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
Although diversity, equity, and inclusion are interconnected, they are three very different concepts:
- Diversity: Diversity goes beyond simply recognizing and understanding someone’s race—it also involves including and honoring those from a broad range of cultures, backgrounds, political affiliations, languages, genders, ages, nationalities, and sexual orientations. This diversity creates a world comprised of people who bring a broad wide range of social, physical, and cultural attributes to society.
- Equity: Equity refers to being fair and just. A diverse world unfortunately doesn’t always mean an equitable world, but amplifying and incorporating the diverse talents, contributions, and ideas of those around us can help make the world a more fair and just place to live.
- Inclusion: Inclusion involves embracing and implementing the diverse ideas, gifts, talents, and contributions of those around us. It’s not enough to simply surround ourselves with diverse individuals. We must also be inclusive of all perspectives—not just the ideas and contributions of a select few.
It is extremely important that diversity, equity, and inclusion are celebrated and implemented by companies and individuals in unison. It can be easy to create a diverse workforce, but companies often forget that being inclusive and equitable are essential aspects of creating an open, engaging, and enjoyable place to work.
Why are Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Important?
There are numerous reasons why it’s so important for companies and individuals to celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion:
1. Learning About Different Cultures Helps Us Understand Ourselves
Recognizing and honoring the similarities and differences of those around us not only makes our world a more equitable and enjoyable place to live, but it also helps us become more aware of the cultures, backgrounds, and traditions that have shaped our personal lives and upbringings.
Understanding our personal heritage and the traditions of our ancestors is an essential component of learning about our family relations, cultural backgrounds, and personal histories. One of the best ways to help understand our personal heritage and ancestry is by learning about and embracing the diverse world around us and learning how these cultures helped shape our own. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are three ways in which we can inform and understand not only our lives, but the lives of those around us.
2. DE&I Helps Companies Recruit a More Diverse Talent Pool
A company comprised of individuals from similar backgrounds, cultures, genders, and sexual orientations will have a much harder time recruiting a diverse workforce. This, in turn, may be off-putting to clients and vendors who associate with the company and will deter diverse talent from applying for positions within the company. Additionally, a company comprised of individuals who stem from similar backgrounds with little diversity makes a company more limited in its thinking and approach to the work they do.
3. DE&I Increases Employee Retention
Companies that don’t value and implement the ideas and contributions of the diverse workforce around them are far more likely to lose employees to other more equitable and inclusive companies. High turnover and a lack of employee retention make a company a less desirable place to work, making it harder to recruit and retain new talent.
According to a study by GreatPlacetoWork.com, research on company culture shows that “when employees trust that they, and their colleagues, will be treated fairly regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or age,” they are:
- 9.8 times more likely to look forward to going to work
- 6.3 times more likely to have pride in their work
- 5.4 times more likely to want to stay a long time at their company
Elevating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce not only helps companies attract diverse talent—it also helps these companies to retain the talent they worked so hard to recruit.
4. Enhances Employee Well-Being
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that flexible work hours and employee well-being are of paramount importance. According to a 2020 CBI/Pertemps Employment Trends Survey, “more than eight in 10 firms (82%) have already increased communication with their employees, while six in 10 respondents (64%) have enhanced flexible work arrangements to ensure a better work-life balance for employees.” The way we live and work has changed quite a bit over the past few years, giving companies new opportunities to celebrate and embrace more equitable and inclusive work arrangements that can benefit a diverse workforce.
5. Diverse Teams Are More Innovative
According to a study by Unrealized Impact, equitable companies that amplify and incorporate the thoughts and ideas of their diverse workforce “are more innovative and make better decisions.”
Additionally, in partnership with the Society for Human Research Management, McKinsey & Company conducted a study that assessed the performance of companies with workplace diversity. Those companies with gender diversity were 15% more likely to outperform their competitors, and those with ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to perform at a higher level than their peer organizations.
Things to Consider:
Here at Draper and Kramer, we are fortunate to work with a diverse group of individuals who elevate one another and create a more inclusive and equitable place to work. We recognize the value of a diverse and inclusive workforce and strive to ensure that opportunities for personal growth and professional advancement are made available to and leveraged by each member of our team.
In addition to our diverse workforce, we also recognize the importance of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all other aspects of our business. We have a shared commitment to supporting underserved communities and causes through our real estate investments and various philanthropic initiatives in the neighborhoods we serve. Read more about our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.