“Diversity: The art of thinking independently together.” – Malcolm Forbes
Workplaces continue to innovate processes to figure out how to promote diversity in the workplace. From winning national awards for their inclusion of women and minorities to providing tailored resource groups, more companies hold diversity particularly near and dear to their mission and values.
Promoting diversity in the workplace should be a company-wide mission that encourages a safer, more inclusive, and superior workplace. Increased inclusivity brings new ideas and diverse perspectives to the workplace. The companies we will mention below view increased diversity in all forms as a professional necessity and an opportunity for cultural and financial growth.
What Does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mean?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) means different things to different people, but according to the Harvard Business Review, it refers to companies embracing more than gender, race, and ethnicity. It should also be applied to include a range of abilities, ages, genders, backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, education levels, disabilities — and even sexual orientation or veteran status. DEI should also encompass how an organization is managed, from decision-making to communications.
Modern companies understand the importance of hiring a team with a range of backgrounds, experiences, and abilities. Businesses that prioritize seeking out diverse candidates for work opportunities in an effort to create more inclusive environments ultimately strengthen their workforce from the inside out.
The Benefits of Workplace Diversity
Diversity can provide a number of benefits for businesses. When employees are exposed to different points of view and cultures, it fuels problem-solving and creative thinking. It can create an environment where everyone is respected and valued, leading to increased motivation and productivity.
Having an inclusive environment also helps organizations attract and retain top talent, as people want to work in places where they feel their unique perspectives are respected and accepted. Additionally, diverse workplaces help companies become better global citizens by leading with empathy and understanding for customers in both domestic markets and abroad.
10 Characteristics of a Company Committed to DEI
A company genuinely committed to DEI manifests this commitment through a diverse range of characteristics. These indicators not only demonstrate a company’s dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, but they also underscore the organization’s recognition that DEI is a competitive advantage. Here are 10 such characteristics:
- Diverse Leadership: A leadership team that represents different genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds is a key indicator of a company’s commitment to DEI. It showcases the recognition of diverse perspectives and experiences as valuable assets that contribute to innovation and holistic decision-making within the organization.
- Inclusive Hiring Practices: DEI-focused companies prioritize inclusive hiring by striving to draw talent from a vast pool of candidates that reflect global diversity. They proactively create recruitment strategies that reach underrepresented groups and implement unbiased selection processes to ensure equal opportunities for all applicants.
- Equal Opportunity: These companies ensure that every employee, irrespective of their background, is given equal opportunity for growth and advancement. They establish transparent performance evaluation systems and provide professional development programs that support the career progression of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Fair Compensation Plans: These companies conduct regular pay equity assessments, address any disparities, and establish equitable compensation structures that reward employees based on their skills, experience, and contributions.
- Continual DEI Training: Regular diversity training programs are organized to educate employees about unconscious bias and promote cultural competency. Such organizations understand the importance of ongoing education and provide resources to foster an inclusive work environment where individual differences are respected and celebrated.
- Open Communication: A culture of open communication, where everyone’s voice is heard and respected, is another significant characteristic of DEI-oriented companies. They establish channels for employees to provide feedback, share perspectives, and contribute to decision-making processes, fostering a sense of belonging and psychological safety.
- Representation: This includes diversity in roles, departments, and decision-making committees. DEI-committed companies recognize the importance of diverse representation at all levels of the organization, ensuring that different perspectives are considered in shaping strategies, policies, and initiatives.
- Flexible Work Policies: These policies accommodate the diverse needs of the workforce, including remote work, flexible hours, and accessibility considerations. DEI-focused companies understand that work-life integration is crucial for employee well-being and productivity, and they provide flexibility to support individuals in managing their personal and professional responsibilities.
- Employee Resource Groups: DEI-committed companies usually have employee resource groups to support minority employees and create safe, inclusive spaces for discussion and connection. These groups provide opportunities for networking, mentorship, and advocacy, fostering a sense of community and empowerment.
- Community Outreach: These companies often engage in community outreach programs that support underrepresented groups. They collaborate with local organizations, participate in volunteer activities, and invest in initiatives that address social inequalities, aiming to make a positive impact beyond their own organization.
How do these characteristics come together to build a strong DEI program? It starts with a clear DEI mission statement that is communicated throughout the organization. This is followed by concrete goals and actionable strategies to achieve those goals, such as hiring diverse talent, making sure everyone’s voices are heard, and allocating resources for training and education. Ultimately, creating a workplace environment where everyone feels welcome and appreciated requires a deep commitment to fostering and promoting these practices.
Best Companies for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The following organizations recognize that a diverse workforce enriches the corporate culture and performance with a multitude of perspectives, experiences, and skills. They understand that such an environment not only fosters innovation and creativity but also boosts employee morale and productivity.
- Desert Financial
- Dignity Health
- Honor Health
- Northern Trust
- Willscot Mobile Mini
Let’s get to know more about them below!
Achieve’s culture is built with heart, authenticity, and a passion for changing the financial future. This company empowers everyone to come as they are and do meaningful work every day. With six Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and counting — Freedom Riders, Pride, Heroes, Unidos, Aspire (Asian American Pacific Islander), and She Achieves they are committed to providing a place where everyone can feel at home. These ERGs serve as a haven for team members, friends, and advocates, allowing everyone to be seen, heard, and thrive.
ADP believes that fostering an inclusive environment that values diverse perspectives is key to cultivating the best ideas. One of ADP’s successful DEI initiatives is the establishment of 10 voluntary, associate-led Business Resource Groups (BRGs), including Adelante (Hispanic/Latino), Cultivate (Black/African-American), Elevate (Asian), Generations (Multigenerational), Green (Sustainability), Inspire (Innovation), iWIN (International Women’s Inclusion Network), Military Strong (Military), PRIDE (LGBTQ+), and Thrive (Disabilities).
ADP has received recognition as a global Best Place to Work and is a recipient of many prestigious awards for diversity, equity, and inclusion, including a DiversityInc® Top 50 Company, Best CEO and company for women, LGBTQ+, multicultural talent, and more. Learn more about DEI at ADP on their YouTube channel: http://adp.careers/DEI_Videos.
Axon is a technology company based in Scottsdale that’s a public safety leader leading the development of connected devices, including body-worn cameras and evidence management software. best known for its development of body-worn cameras and evidence management software for law enforcement. The company believes in the responsibility to create a more just and inclusive workplace and world through its products, technology, and people.
Axon is committed to building products that promote racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. Axon accomplishes this by making Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, or “JEDI,” part of regular business decisions, processes, products, and actions.
Axon’s strategic JEDI plan includes goals, new investments, and accountability measurements, which will be originated and shaped by the inputs of its employees, leaders, and the communities it serves. Axon’s six global Employee Resource Groups pave the way for engaging employees, while also supporting professional development and a sense of belonging.
Desert Financial Credit Union
Desert Financial has partnered with the Filene Institute to co-sponsor the Center of Excellence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). As a renowned “think-tank” in the credit union movement, the Filene Institute spearheads research and education to shape policies and promote best practices. The Center of Excellence, along with other initiatives, aims to provide cutting-edge insights and foster innovation. This initiative strengthens DFCU’s commitment to DEI by providing employees with access to resources and training.
KUBRA provides customer experience management solutions to some of North America’s largest utility and government entities. KUBRA values diversity and inclusion and has made it a top priority to foster a diverse and welcoming workplace. Over 90% of new hires reported feeling welcome when they joined. KUBRA is committed to recruiting, developing, and promoting a comprehensive workforce while providing unique opportunities and career paths for its people.
Based on survey results, over 90% of KUBRA employees agree that they are treated fairly, regardless of race, age, gender, or sexual orientation. KUBRA’s diversity and inclusion best practices enable the social and economic development of communities through partnerships, research, volunteerism, and corporate citizenship. Through its commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion, KUBRA was named one of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies in 2023.
HonorHealth’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is driven by a cultural declaration to go beyond in all that it does, as experienced through its ICARE values of innovation, collaboration, accountability, respect, and empathy. The company strives to advance these values to provide the best experiences for its people, patients, and the communities it serves.
HonorHealth values diversity in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make their team members, physicians, volunteers, patients, families, and community unique. Their promise to their patients is to provide patient-centered and equitable care, taking into account unique perspectives.
Northern Trust is a founding member of Nicsa’s Diversity Project in the United States and a member of the Diversity Project in the United Kingdom. The Diversity Project is an industry-wide initiative that aims to bring about tangible change for member firms and the global asset management industry as a whole. Its core mission is to foster a diverse and inclusive asset management sector that possesses the necessary talent to deliver optimal outcomes for clients, mirror the fabric of society, and ensure long-term business sustainability.
Vanguard has established goals to enhance the representation of women and people of color at all levels of leadership, reflecting the increasing gender and racial diversity of their organization. They are committed to promoting overall inclusivity for their team and will continue to focus on attracting, advancing, and retaining underrepresented talent.
Vanguard’s Crew Resource Groups (CRGs) play a vital role in supporting their efforts to globally attract, onboard, engage, and retain a diverse talent base. The CRGs collaborate with the HR department to provide leadership development, serve as ambassadors for prospective talent, facilitate cultural and heritage learning opportunities, encourage discussions on current events, and engage in community service initiatives.
At Voya Financial, diversity is defined as “the differences that we are born with and those we acquire throughout our lives.” Inclusion “is the act of understanding and valuing differences and purposefully bringing them together.”
An equal-opportunity employer, Voya is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. This governs all decisions related to employment, including selection, development, and compensation. It also includes an employee’s request for reasonable accommodation. We believe that all employees must be treated fairly, with respect, and in a manner free from discrimination and harassment.
Willscot Mobile Mini
At Willscot Mobile Mini, employees are encouraged to celebrate their different cultures, backgrounds, and ideas with the help of the Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Council. This cross-functional internal team oversees the organization’s I&D efforts and meets annually with the Inclusiveness Resource Team (IRT) Chairs and Executive Sponsors to discuss I&D achievements and opportunities.
IRTs are voluntary employee-led groups that promote a diverse and inclusive workplace aligned with the organization’s values and strategy. They provide employees with exposure, development, and opportunities to contribute to the organization and their local communities.
Currently, there are five IRTs: Women of WSMM, Veterans United, Hispanos, BOLD, and PRISM. Learn more about WillScot Mobile Mini’s I&D efforts here: https://esg.willscotmobilemini.com/Social/Inclusion-and-Diversity/
Workiva’s Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs) are crucial in fostering a positive and inclusive work environment. These groups contribute to Workiva’s commitment to inclusivity by creating a sense of community. The BERGs include individuals with shared life experiences or characteristics, and also allies.
By amplifying marginalized voices and providing valuable insights into both internal and external business activities, BERGs support business initiatives and drive Workiva’s growth. Their dedication to creating a diverse workplace makes Workiva an exceptional place to work for all.
BestCompaniesAZ Supports The Top Diversity Programs
These remarkable organizations are at the forefront of creating diverse and inclusive workplaces, fostering an environment where every employee can succeed professionally and personally. Through internal affinity groups, they actively promote inclusion and implement advanced strategies for diversity promotion. Their commitment to building a positive culture not only enhances employee retention rates but also boosts overall morale.
BestCompaniesAZ salutes all of the organizations that understand the power of inclusion and strive for excellence in diversity practices. We encourage everyone to use the resources provided by these companies and to take a stand against racism, prejudice, and intolerance. Together we can create an environment of inclusion that allows everyone to reach their full potential!