I think we can all agree that promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a good idea. We’re collectively stronger when we work and learn together, and everyone is given the same opportunity to succeed.
But, as the article below lays out, perhaps the “business case” for diversity and inclusion isn’t the argument we should be making — or at least not the main argument. By tying D&I goals to corporate metrics, we run the risk of “making people feel ‘othered’ and devalued.” Employees are smart, and if they feel that they were hired simply to check a box or reach a goal, it’s easy to see how they could feel ostracized.
We need to go deeper, or as the author says, take “principled action.” Falling back on the business case “will only ever lead to incremental change.” Instead, companies should embrace diversity and inclusion from a moral standpoint because it is, simply, the right thing to do. This means looking more holistically at all aspects of a business and transforming inequitable systems. It goes well beyond just hiring more diverse employees and calling it a day.
There’s a role for mobility here. Consider your current program and think about how it does – or does not – encourage and support employees from all backgrounds. Saying you relocated more women year over year, for example, is a good start, but what’s more important is whether your policies and benefits truly met their needs. Did they feel cared for and listened to throughout the process, or did they need to make a bunch of potentially uncomfortable exception requests?
This is where the rubber meets the road. An inclusive mobility program doesn’t simply move a lot of employees from diverse backgrounds – it meets those employees where they are and offers them a positive experience.
Corporate leaders would be better served if they stopped trying to justify diversity with profit margins and stock charts—a mentality that can ultimately hurt the very groups these policies are meant to help (more on that in a moment)—and instead embrace diversity because it is the right thing to do.