While celebrating and reflecting on our first 25 years here at WMFDP | FDP Global, we’re also eager to look forward to what’s on the horizon. It would be a dream come true if our work was no longer necessary, if inclusion and equity were the societal standard and cultures of belonging were the corporate norm.
And yet, we know that the corporate world still remains uncommitted to D&I efforts on a consistent, sustained basis. We have yet to develop a diverse and inclusive work environment on a large scale.
And so we press on. Our facilitators are here to serve you and your leadership through customized diversity and inclusion training opportunities. We work with you to craft an authentic, high-level experience that speaks to your company’s values and your team’s needs. We empower participants to practice brave dialogue, peer intervention and partnership across difference.
The facilitators at WMFDP | FDP Global provide cutting-edge opportunities for Fortune 1000+ companies and their leadership. We prompt provocative conversations on racism, sexism and all other forms of exclusion from the perspective of the insider – traditionally, white men. That is, our facilitators are willing to say what must be said for white men to hear it and engage with it to effect meaningful change in their organizations.
Twenty-five years ago our founders saw the harmful pattern of placing all D&I work on the shoulders of those who are marginalized and on the outside of leadership. They tackled this problem head-on and continue with it today because the problem persists. Our expert facilitators model brave dialogue, peer intervention and genuine partnership to equip leaders to do this work in their organizations.
Ignoring DEI Carries a Significant Cost
Diverse and inclusive workplaces offer businesses tremendous benefits, both tangible and intangible. Genuine corporate inclusivity and diversity create a company that enjoys:
- A larger talent pool for hiring
- Lower turnover
- Higher employee satisfaction and morale
- Greater productivity and creativity
- More effective problem solving and innovation
- More positive public image
The research is clear: Companies can’t afford to postpone doing this vulnerable and challenging DEI work.
- Businesses in the bottom quartile for gender and ethnic diversity are 27% more likely to underperform on profitability.
- In the IT space, three-fourths of companies with diverse decision-makers will exceed their financial goals in 2022.
- Businesses with the highest levels of diversity and inclusion enjoyed more than two times higher cash flow per employee than those with less diversity.
The New Face of the Workforce
Corporations that don’t do the work of cultivating inclusive environments risk being left behind when they can’t recruit and retain high-caliber employees. They risk missing opportunities that require a flexible and diverse workforce. And they risk bypassing incredible humans to add to their teams.
Because the reality is, the workforce of today would have been unrecognizable 25 years ago. This generation of workers is malleable and unconcerned about staying with a company their whole career. Instead, they value having a workplace that aligns with their beliefs and fosters a sense of belonging.
Today’s talent pool is richly diverse in every area:
- Gender Identity
- Educational Journey
- Life Experience
People want a workplace that reflects and cultivates this variety and diversity of backgrounds. In one survey, 83% of employees said that workplace diversity is a consideration when deciding whether to accept a job offer. This same survey found that 70% of employees would consider leaving their job if the company didn’t show that they value diversity and inclusion.
With Gen Z entering adulthood and the workforce, this demand is only likely to rise. They are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in US history, and they will have a significant impact on the face of the modern workplace. They have global mindsets, and they are in the driver’s seat in shaping the corporate makeup in America and around the world.
DEI is as much about creating authentic, diverse workplaces where everyone belongs as it is about surviving as a business in the 21st century. We’re in a global world. Your corporate culture needs to reflect it.
The Great Resignation
A commitment to D&I efforts was important pre-COVID. Now, in the face of the so-called Great Resignation, it’s critical. Millions of employees voluntarily resigned from their positions in 2020 and 2021, leaving employers scrambling to fill these openings. From food service venues to Fortune 500 corporations, many businesses are still struggling to find the workers they need.
As the world transitioned to a widespread work-from-home situation, employees had time to rethink their desires and goals. Flexibility and better benefits moved up high on the list of things they value.
What does that mean for businesses? In short, companies whose compensation and benefits are relics of 20th century policies will lose out to companies able to speak millennial and Gen Z and translate it to salary, benefits and values.
We’ve already seen this in The Great Resignation, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent in what many are now calling The Great Reshuffle. Companies are in a bidding war for new talent, and cultivating an authentic environment of inclusion is an essential component for corporations of all sizes to build and maintain their teams.
As employees become more empowered and teams become more remote and mobile, the shifting and nomadic workforce will also change the shape of politics and power. Companies will need to forecast how a more mobile workforce changes the landscape of the cities and countries they operate in, and question what this means for their company culture. Being tuned into these shifts will be critical for leaders to make equitable decisions that support and include their employees.
Ready to Develop a Diverse and Inclusive Work Environment?
Diversity is on the rise in the US. In the most recent US Census, the number of people identifying as “White alone,” not in combination with another race, dropped by more than 8%. It is reasonable to expect that workplaces are seeing similar shifts.
Languages, shapes, colors, abilities and identities have the opportunity to harmonize in homes, schools and businesses. And the leadership in these communities needs to be equipped to lead across the differences.
So, what does it look like to move forward? What do continued DEI efforts look like in various communities?
As our team has seen and professed for 25 years, progress requires innovation, flexibility and vulnerability. Authentic, effective D&I work demands uncomfortable questions and answers and the freedom to explore those without shame or blame.
Moving away from lists of “shoulds,” we seek to empower leaders with lists of questions and ideas to discuss. Moving away from placing all the work on the shoulders of marginalized groups, we strive to encourage leaders to step into their discomfort as they learn to create inclusive workplaces.
If you’re ready to lean into this brave and challenging work, we invite you to talk with our team about building a customized program for your leadership group. We encourage you to join other courageous leaders and companies who have benefited from our cutting-edge inclusive leadership solutions. Our facilitators—the best in our industry—guide deeply transformative experiences, experiences that impact individuals, organizations, communities and the world at large.