Best Practices and Pitfalls of Diversity Initiatives

May 26, 2016 3:30 PM ET

By: Phyllis A. James, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
May 26, 2016

Now, more than ever, Corporate America embraces Diversity and Inclusion (“D&I”) as a business imperative.

A business becomes stronger and more competitive when it leverages the talents of all of its employees – and their different backgrounds and cultures, different ideas and different viewpoints – to create better, innovative ideas, strategies and methods in the delivery of exceptional products and guest services.  It has been documented over and over now that inclusive, diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams in a variety of settings.  The end goal is to foster inclusive, empowered work teams who are not only continuously high-performing but also on the cutting-edge of innovative leadership in their respective disciplines.  That is what gives companies a competitive advantage.

But there are some common pitfalls when it comes to companies’ efforts to implement D&I initiatives. Chief among them is the notion that a company can adopt a D&I initiative for a limited time period, and then be done with it because its workforce has magically become diverse in demographics.

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