IMPACT

Diversity and Inclusion: Why it Matters

And why D&I should be a priority for business leaders.

09/18/2017 18:33 EDT

Research studies increasingly show that diversity and inclusion (or D&I) can help increase a business’ bottom line, drive innovation, attract more talent and create more opportunities for growth. And so it comes as no surprise that over the past few years, organizations have become more motivated to implement D&I initiatives within their workplaces.

How can we, as leaders, advance D&I within our organizations, but also embed D&I into our respective company cultures?

I believe the true identity of an organization is created by its people – stemming from each person’s behaviors, values and goals. At Cubic, “Creating Excellence Together” is one of our core company values. The key to creating excellence is teamwork, and when we build inclusive teams with a range of backgrounds and experience, we set our employees and organizations on a course for success.

As a global corporation providing solutions and services for the defense and transportation industries, teamwork and collaboration are especially important to our company culture. Diverse ideas generate infinite problem-solving strategies and the ability to solve problems, ultimately leads to “Winning the Customer a goal we strive for each and every day.

In truth, D&I hasn’t always been a top priority for our organization, like many others. But our leadership team became convinced of the value of building a diverse and inclusive workforce and now, D&I is a foundation for our future.

For too long, D&I has been something to which companies have paid lip-service. To be meaningful and bear fruit, it must be a company-wide mission where each employee within the organization knows they are valued and, in return, is held accountable for their contribution to the culture. As leaders, we must focus on D&I in terms of talent acquisition, talent development and employee engagement, while at the same time helping our teams foster inclusion in the workplace. For example, by encouraging employees to form their own resource groups, they will have access to networks for support, mentoring and professional growth.

Create work environments where employees can share their ideas, take considered risks without fear and ultimately, be who they are. Let’s encourage everyone to break down barriers within their organizations because no one has the monopoly on great ideas. Collaborating and engaging through initiatives such as resource groups strengthens team bonds and esprit de corps.

I recently took the pledge with CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion to further advance D&I within the workplace and I encourage fellow leaders to join the mission. By committing to making D&I a business imperative and by striving together to identify better ways to attract, promote and retain diverse employees, we will not only maximize our chances of success in our respective teams, but also create a meaningful benefit for our society.

In this series, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ signatory CEOs share their dedication to acting for workplace diversity and inclusion to make impactful changes that benefit both business and society. Follow along with #CEOAction and learn more at CEOAction.com.