Future of Work

How do diversity, equity, and inclusion figure in the future of work?

Addressing social and economic inequality will be crucial to sustainable, inclusive growth. And at work, ensuring that employees from all backgrounds can perform and thrive often involves dedicated efforts to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion. One statistic that brings the message home: up to 40 percent of GDP growth in the US economy between 1960 and 2010 can be attributed to an uptick in the participation of women and people of color in the labor force through improved talent allocation.

While studies show that companies that make more efforts at diversity, equity, and inclusion perform better, challenges remain. Job losses during the pandemic disproportionately affected diverse populations, and some women opted out of the workforce given school closures, a lack of childcare options, or other factors.

Different populations will have different needs, and understanding the issues for Black AmericansLatinos in AmericaAsian Americans, and LGBTQ+ and transgender employees (to take just a few examples) can help in crafting plans to make organizations more equitable and inclusive. The concept of intersectionality is also crucial: while many companies focus diversity efforts on broad groups (for example, women), if they fail to consider other identities that people in those groups have, their efforts may fall short of their full potential.

While there’s considerable nuance to any discussion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, organizations broaching the future of work can take three broad actions to keep the issues in view:

  • Make diversity a priority; it’s good business, and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of financial outcomes.
  • Challenge biases to increase equity, especially by questioning assumptions about the knowledge, skills, attributes, and experiences required to succeed.

Improve inclusivity, or the degree to which employees feel embraced and empowered to make meaningful contributions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *