Are Virtual Teams Good Or Bad For Diversity And Inclusion?

posted on October 2, 2020

September 25, 2020

By Jim Ludema and Amber Johnson, Forbes

When the history books are written on 2020, we’ll remember it as the year of Covid-19 and virtual work, and the year in which many organizations increased their commitment to fighting racism and building inclusive organizations.

It is important for leaders to consider how those two history-shaping events are interacting and influencing each other. We’re all familiar with the disparities and potential solutions surrounding race and healthcare due to the coronavirus pandemic. But what about business? Now that so many knowledge workers are working from home, what does that mean for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? Does it help, or does it hurt?

“The truth is, we don’t yet know,” says DEI expert Dr. Salwa Rahim-Dillard, founder of the consulting firm, Equision. “We do know that diversity representation can be intentionally improved in this environment and in the future. Companies that allow employees to work virtually post-Covid, are likely to be able to hire diverse talent from a wider pool—outside of their geographic area. This alone could help create a more diverse organization, but, the bigger issue is how do you build a genuine culture of inclusion.”

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