Dialing Back Your Company’s DEI Efforts? Not So Fast

Political division and anti-woke legislation have many C-suite leaders dialing back company DEI efforts. Here’s why you shouldn’t be so fast to react and reverse course.

Political division and anti-woke legislation have backed many C-suite leaders into a corner related to DEI efforts: forcing them to walk a fine line between accommodating employee expectations and addressing customer needs while still avoiding controversy.

In responding to this strain, many organizations have determined that the best path forward is to avoid social issues, even to the point of abandoning significant past DEI efforts – frustrating leaders, muddying organizational values and undermining existing strategies from HR to Operations. DEI experts have responded by calling by focusing on fairness with greater transparency of internal diversity metrics to show issues, addressing bias in systems, and accountability for DEI training.

All of these are excellent (and necessary) suggestions. An organization needs to meaningfully incorporate all of these requirements into a meaningful business case with a clear return on investment.

This, surprisingly, comes by considering DEI within an emerging market force that asks business leaders to incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations within the overall business strategy. ESG is a framework designed to help business leaders identify, report and ideally strategize potential risks that can impact the long-term profitability of an organization.

According to an interview with Dora Lutz, a thought leader in social impact using the principles of ESG, “diversity, equity and inclusion strategies support ESG efforts by ensuring that organizations create an environment that supports all employees, meets the needs of their diverse customers, and establishes a sustainable ecosystem of communities, suppliers and partners.”

ESG’s momentum is growing.

The 2022 Trust Barometer stated, “Societal leadership is now a core function of business.” Most businesses in the US are already using ESG to evaluate which challenges are most relevant to their overall strategy, evaluate external risks and prioritize long-term investments….

Read the rest of this article on Forbes.com


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