The benefits of diversity in the workplace are infinite! From increased creativity, collaboration and trust to showing youth what’s possible for their great futures as they enter the workforce.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) principles are designed to promote representation and participation from all the groups that make up an organization or community, but when it comes to creating a thriving society, culture and workplace, they have plenty of benefits beyond ensuring everyone’s voices are heard.
We spoke with three industry leaders — Carlos Muñoz, executive director, Head of Asset Manager Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Engagement in Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley and leader of The Equity Collective; John Ferguson, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at NASCAR; and Shanda Hinton, chief diversity officer at Raytheon Technologies — about the benefits of a diverse workplace and what youth and parents need to know about this important topic.
All three represent national partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, supporting life and workforce readiness for millions of kids and teens each year and with a focus on expanding diversity within their respective fields — from job shadowing to essential skillbuilding to igniting interests in the many paths to a fulfilling career.
In addition to promoting fairness, incorporating DEI into workplace culture can help companies — and their employees — maintain a competitive advantage. Here are some added benefits of DEI in the workplace:
People want to work in a company that reflects their own values. When they feel seen, heard and understood by a company practicing DEI principles, they are more inclined to go the extra mile — building a happier, safer working environment. But that all starts with talking about diversity in the workplace.
When exploring prospective career opportunities, there are a few techniques youth can employ to help identify a company’s commitment to DEI initiatives. As with any prospective career, it’s important to first do the research. Teens should look at the company’s website and social media channels — including Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin — and see what kinds of topics the company promotes. They can also look up the company’s environmental, sustainability or governance reports as well as any press, awards or recognition they’ve received for their efforts.
When interviewing for a job or researching a company’s commitment to DEI, a few sample questions to consider are:
As the next generation enters the workforce, it’s more important than ever for companies to lead by example with impactful programming and diverse leadership. In fact, for Generation Z, the youngest generation entering the workforce, workplace diversity, equity and inclusion aren’t just a preference, they’re a requirement when considering prospective employers.
Youth can start by understanding the DEI initiatives of various organizations they may be involved in — whether that’s their school, community, sports team or local Boys & Girls Club. From there, they should identify a few key areas of DEI that they are passionate about — maybe that’s helping provide a voice to underrepresented members of the community, celebrating the culture of other members of the organization, or working to expand people’s knowledge and understanding of historical injustices — and find opportunities to get involved with them. If those opportunities don’t exist, youth can lead by example and start them within their own communities.
Each day presents an opportunity to act with intention to create a culture of belonging where all, regardless of backgrounds, identities or experiences, feel that their unique, and individual experiences and perspectives are respected, valued and heard.
All kids deserve the right to be themselves, feel a sense of belonging and have access to opportunities that support their great future. Boys & Girls Clubs across the country cultivate a sense of belonging and respect that helps today’s youth understand different cultures and hone critical soft skills like communication adaptability. In fact, 94% of youth say they’re able to work with people who are different from them! Learn how today’s Club kids and teens work together to create inclusive communities and positive change as they prepare for college, careers and life.