August 28, 2020
No matter how cautious or forward thinking, few organizations had plans in place for simultaneously dealing with a global pandemic, an economic shutdown and political and social unrest.
Our natural instincts lead us to stick with the basics, set aside the nonessential and ride out the storm until conditions improve. But if the status quo does not include an organizational commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), we risk missing this rare opportunity to drive real and lasting change within our organizations and throughout the nation.
There is a cost to prioritizing DEI. Change exacts a price in time, resources and comfort levels, so many organizations “perform” DEI functions instead of doing transformational work. This is notwithstanding research proving diverse organizations make better decisions, fewer blunders and achieve better bottom lines.
DEI is gaining momentum. Organizations are recognizing the value both in terms of corporate culture and ROI. Positions like mine, as chief inclusion and outreach officer, have become critical to leadership in public, private and nonprofit institutions.