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DEI Driving Positive Outcomes

DEI driving positive outcomes: From talent to partnerships to community


As the debate about the aftermath of the 2023 Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action relating to institutions of higher education continues, many opinions have cascaded on both sides affecting attitudes and policies toward diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

While some are more critical of DEI policies in corporate America as wasteful and destroying productive economic investments, others are moving to increase their DEI efforts in support of the diverse workforce groups and their increasing influence and contributions toward organizational success.

We are in a revolutionary era, a time of transition and transformation, in which the purpose of many organizations goes beyond the quest for higher profits or better services to communities. Many organizations are framing their missions in terms of the following values: “What is our value to society? What is our responsibility to its constituents, to its community, to the environment and to its employees?”

What you’ll learn

  • Ways in which DEI can impact and strengthen your organization’s brand
  • The importance of supplier diversity
  • How DEI community outreach and development can benefit your organization

How DEI can help strengthen your brand and build impact

Women Business Collaborative supports environments built on DEI, where all employees can thrive — organizations that positively impact the partners they work with and the communities they serve. By looking at DEI — in recruiting and retaining talent, in building partnerships and in engaging with the community — an organization can strengthen its brand while building success and impact.

Diversity, equity and inclusion must be part of the very fabric of organizations whose values strive to embody a mission, or purpose, that speaks to a concrete human or societal need.

The benefit of this transformation is profound. Organizations that embrace serving the needs of a community, society or the planet, find that stakeholders respond to a mission-driven organization. Employees are motivated. All feel good about supporting an organization that has a positive role in the world. To do good is, in fact, good for the bottom line.

Diversity is a beneficial core value. In its “Delivering through diversity” report, McKinsey found that organizations “in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were… 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. For ethnic and cultural diversity, the … finding was a 35 percent likelihood of outperformance.” Value comes from different ideas and opinions. Diverse teams are consistently proven to be both more creative and innovative.

Organizations that expand their applicant pool and hire a diverse workforce are rewarded with higher levels of employee satisfaction and lower levels of turnover. They are also more successful in recruiting top talent. Diversity inspires greater creativity, more innovation and bolder thinking. A key to building a diverse workforce is recruitment. You can’t find what you are not looking for.

By emphasizing diversity, expanding the recruitment circuit, embracing change and celebrating innovative strategies to gain new and fresh perspectives, organizations will find diverse talent.

Additionally, success breeds success. As your organization’s reputation for attracting top talent grows, it will become more attractive to a diverse workforce. And when that workforce feels appreciated and valued, there is much greater potential for retaining talent.

DEI and supplier diversity

DEI matters also in terms of partnerships and supplier diversity.  The goal of supplier diversity is to promote economic equity and create business opportunities for historically marginalized groups. By intentionally sourcing goods and services from diverse suppliers, organizations can foster economic growth, drive social impact and contribute to the overall development of underrepresented communities.

Supplier diversity goes beyond meeting regulatory requirements or achieving a quota; it is a commitment to fair and inclusive business practices that help level the playing field for diverse suppliers. And it not only benefits the supplier, but also brings advantages to the company, such as access to innovation, increased competitiveness, enhanced brand reputation and improved relationships with stakeholders.

Supplier diversity initiatives typically involve identifying, evaluating and partnering with diverse suppliers and providing them with support, resources and opportunities to succeed. It requires ongoing monitoring, reporting and measurement of supplier diversity metrics to ensure progress and accountability.

Overall, supplier diversity is an integral part of a company’s efforts to be socially responsible, promote diversity and inclusion and create a positive impact in the communities it serves.

“Supplier diversity is an integral part of a company’s efforts to be socially responsible, promote diversity and inclusion, and create a positive impact in the communities it serves.” – Gwen K. Young, CEO, Women Business Collaborative

Additionally, promoting supplier diversity is a powerful way for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility, inclusivity and equality. Intentionally seeking out and supporting diverse suppliers enhances their reputation as purpose-driven entities.  Thus, supplier diversity links to how an organization engages in and with its community.

DEI measures are essential for board members to feel valued and respected in the workplace. Our guide examines who still doesn’t have a seat at the table on volunteer boards in the United States, despite global change, and why it isn’t enough to tick a box. Download the guide now to get the tools you need to enact meaningful DEI measures.

Benefits of DEI outreach and development

When an organization engages in community outreach and development efforts, it has multiple societal and business benefits:

1. It contributes to the well-being and growth of the communities in which the organization operates. By addressing community needs — including the needs of women and girls — organizations can align their purpose with actions that create tangible social benefits, such as improving education, healthcare, infrastructure or environmental sustainability.

2. It helps build meaningful relationships with stakeholders. By actively involving community members in decision-making processes, organizations can ensure that their purpose-driven activities align with the aspirations and needs of the people they serve.

3. It enhances the organization’s brand reputation and builds trust among employees, donors and other stakeholders.

4. It creates sustainable business practices by considering the social and environmental impact of operations. By supporting local economies, promoting inclusive growth and minimizing negative externalities, organizations integrate sustainability into their purpose-driven strategies. This holistic approach ensures that community well-being and environmental stewardship are part of the core fabric of the organization.

5. It contributes to the long-term success and viability of the organization. By fostering a prosperous local community, organizations create an environment that supports their operations and community stakeholders.

DEI is thus critical to success and performance in that it drives engagement, raises the brand and provides a basis for success. DEI allows an organization to build diverse talent at all levels and create a relationship of diverse partners, stakeholders and suppliers. It is critical as diversity within our communities and workforce grows.

Gwen K. Young

Gwen K. Young is Chief Executive Officer of Women Business Collaborative. Gwen is a strategic business executive with international development and gender equality expertise.

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