Why DEI Initiatives Are Vital For Any Workplace & Examples

Let’s look into why DEI matters today, and explore top companies that have strong DEI initiatives. See who’s hiring at BestCompaniesAZ.
DEI Initiatives

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become crucial considerations for organizations of all sizes and industries. DEI initiatives aim to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace and company culture where individuals from diverse backgrounds feel valued, respected, and empowered.

In this article, we will explore why DEI initiatives are essential for any workplace and highlight examples of companies that have embraced these principles, including Axon, Desert Financial Credit Union, KUBRA, Voya Financial, and Workiva.

Let’s delve into why DEI matters and how these companies are leading the way.

Defining DEI Initiatives

DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity refers to the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic status. Equity focuses on ensuring fairness and justice by providing equal opportunities and resources to all individuals. Inclusion involves creating a culture and environment where every individual feels respected, valued, and included, regardless of their differences.

Together, DEI initiatives strive to create a workplace that actively understands, embraces, and celebrates differences while providing an equal opportunity for everyone to succeed.

Why DEI Initiatives Are Important

DEI initiatives are vital for any workplace for several compelling reasons.

First, embracing diversity and creating an inclusive culture fosters innovation and creativity. When individuals with different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds come together, they bring a wide range of ideas and insights, leading to better problem-solving and more innovative solutions. Diverse teams are more likely to challenge the status quo, think outside the box, and drive positive change within the organization.

Second, DEI initiatives contribute to improved employee engagement and retention. When employees feel included, heard, and valued, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. Inclusive workplaces foster a sense of belonging, which leads to higher job satisfaction and productivity.

Third, organizations that prioritize DEI are more likely to attract and retain top talent, as individuals are increasingly seeking workplaces that embrace diversity and provide equal opportunities for growth and advancement.

Key Elements of a Strong DEI Program

A robust DEI program goes beyond mere lip service and requires a comprehensive business strategy. These are some of the key elements that should be incorporated into any DEI initiative:

  1. Leadership Commitment: Strong DEI programs start at the top. Business leaders should set clear expectations, allocate resources, and actively participate in DEI initiatives to create a culture where diversity and inclusion thrive.
  2. Clearly Defined Goals and Metrics: These may include increasing diversity within executive teams, implementing inclusive hiring practices, or fostering an inclusive work environment.
  3. Inclusive Policies and Practices: This may involve creating or updating non-discrimination policies, implementing inclusive recruitment for the hiring process, providing equal opportunities for professional development, and offering flexible work arrangements to accommodate diverse needs.
  4. Diversity Training and Education: Training should go beyond mandatory compliance courses and include sessions on unconscious bias, cultural competence, and inclusive communication. Ongoing education and learning opportunities help employees develop the knowledge and skills necessary to support a diverse and inclusive environment.
  5. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): ERGs provide a platform for employees with shared identities or interests to come together, share experiences, and drive change. These groups offer support, networking opportunities, and a voice for underrepresented employees.
  6. Inclusive Leadership Development: Organizations should invest in leadership development programs emphasizing DEI’s importance. These programs can provide training on inclusive leadership behaviors, mentorship opportunities, and exposure to diverse perspectives to help leaders champion DEI efforts at all levels.
  7. Accountability and Transparency: This includes regularly tracking and reporting on progress, conducting audits to identify areas of improvement, and addressing any barriers or biases that may impede progress.
  8. Collaborations and Partnerships: Collaborations with community organizations, educational institutions, or industry associations can help organizations expand their networks, learn from others, and contribute to broader diversity and inclusion efforts.
  9. Continuous Evaluation and Improvement: Soliciting feedback from employees, conducting climate surveys, and engaging in dialogue with stakeholders help identify areas for improvement and guide future DEI initiatives.

Companies With Leading DEI Initiatives

Several companies have made DEI a cornerstone of their organizational culture and have been recognized for their exemplary initiatives and meaningful progress. Here are some BestCompaniesAZ partners that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion:

Axon

At Axon, our JEDI Philosophy is at the core of everything we do, extending its impact to our Customers, Global Community, and Employees alike. As a global leader in connected public safety technologies, we recognize the power of diversity and inclusion in fostering a stronger and more innovative workforce. Our Customers, representing various walks of life united in their mission to serve and/or protect, deserve to see themselves reflected in the experiences they have with our products and services. Similarly, our Global Community mirrors the rich diversity of our world, and we are dedicated to promoting equity by amplifying the voices and support of underrepresented and underserved communities, aligning with our moonshot goal of reducing deaths by bullets in law enforcement and the public in ten years. We firmly believe in the transformative potential of diverse backgrounds and cultures coming together within our organization, enabling us to build a more united and inclusive environment that truly reflects the diverse communities we serve, ultimately driving the creation of more innovative products.

Desert Financial Credit Union

Desert Financial Credit Union is deeply committed to cultivating a workplace that embraces inclusivity and equality. To achieve this, the organization has implemented several initiatives. Firstly, DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) has been established, dedicated to promoting a diverse and inclusive environment. Secondly, an employee-driven mentorship program has been launched, enabling staff members to support and guide one another. Moreover, the creation of a Diversity Scholarship Program demonstrates Desert Financials’ commitment to providing educational opportunities for underrepresented individuals.

Desert Financial also fosters employee engagement through the establishment of three Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): the Mental Wellness Advocates ERG, the Professional Development ERG, and the Multicultural ERG. These ERGs not only provide a platform for employees to connect and collaborate with like-minded colleagues who share similar interests and backgrounds but also serve as avenues for advocating for causes that are important to them.

KUBRA

KUBRA is a technology company specializing in customer experience management solutions. It fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace where every employee feels valued and respected. KUBRA promotes Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to help employees connect, support each other and contribute to the organization’s DEI goals. Based on survey results, 94% employees at KUBRA believe that they are treated fairly regardless of their race, age, gender, or sexual orientation. KUBRA’s best practices for diversity and inclusion promote social and economic progress in communities through partnerships, research, volunteerism, and corporate citizenship.

Voya Financial

Voya Financial is a leading health, wealth, and investment company that provides products, solutions, and technologies that help Americans become well-planned, well-invested, and well-protected. The company is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)  and demonstrates that commitment through leadership development programs for underrepresented groups, DEI training, philanthropic outreach, and more. Voya believes that a focus on DEI at every level of the organization leads to better performance, increased innovation, an enhanced ability to address customer needs, higher employee engagement, and stronger communities.

WillScot Mobile Mini

WillScot Mobile Mini is the undisputed leader in providing innovative flexible workspace and portable storage solutions, serving diverse markets across all sectors of the economy. Inclusion and diversity are core to our business. Our five inclusive resource teams (IRTs) are voluntary, employee-led groups fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace aligned with our values and strategy. Each of our IRTs hosts regular events and fundraisers to educate our teams and create a greater understanding of our employees’ unique experiences. 

The company also has its Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Council which is a collaborative team composed of representatives from various functions, responsible for governing and overseeing the organization’s Inclusion & Diversity initiatives.

Workiva

Workiva, a cloud-based productivity platform, believes in the power of diversity to drive innovation. Seven Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs) led by employees help foster a diverse workplace by creating a community for employees with shared life experiences or characteristics, amplifying marginalized voices to be a great place to work for all, and providing perspective and insight into external/internal business activities – helping to support business initiatives and drive Workiva’s growth.  Workiva also provides unconscious bias training to all employees and is always assessing and improving hiring practices to ensure equal opportunities for all candidates.

Finding Jobs at Companies with Strong DEI Programs

If you’re looking for opportunities to work in organizations that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, BestCompaniesAZ can be your guide. BestCompaniesAZ partners with top companies in Arizona and beyond, highlighting organizations that have demonstrated exceptional DEI initiatives.

Visit BestCompaniesAZ to find jobs at companies with strong DEI programs and be part of the movement toward a more inclusive future.

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