In past years we have been experiencing increased coverage on inequity, division, and most recently, a disproportionate effect of the pandemic impacting minorities. Recently, racism has been a topic of discussion since the recent George Floyd protests against police brutality that began in Minneapolis in May 2020.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a topic high on the agenda for economists, corporations, and academic administrators, to name a few. A year ago, economists met at the American Economic Association in San Diego, and the lack of diversity was addressed at a session. Public relations professionals have established a National Diversity and Inclusion Committee to discuss the challenges faced by people of color in the industry.
On September 30, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 979, a measure that requires publicly held corporations to achieve diversity on their boards of directors by January 2023.
In an article published in Bloomberg Businessweek, Dana Peterson, who was a Citigroup global economist, found $16 trillion as the cost of racial bias. She further calculated that “6.1 million jobs a year and $13 trillion in business revenue could have been generated over the last two decades if Black entrepreneurs had fair and equitable access to credit.”
According to an article published in Times of San Diego, “Diverse workplaces are more profitable. A 2015 study by McKinsey & Company showed a “diversity dividend.” Companies in the top quarter for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to financially outperform the national industry median. And when senior management is racially and ethnically diverse, the diversity dividend is even more pronounced.” In addition, focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mitigates a legal and business risk to the company.
While the challenges are not new in our history, the lack of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion persists. How do we sustain Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? We change the narrative. Through education of the financial costs to companies, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion should become a business strategy for financial profitability.
Dana Peterson speaking at a conference in Washington on Nov. 19, 2019.
PHOTOGRAPHER: YURI GRIPAS