Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging
The trend of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging, otherwise known as DEIB, refers to four concepts that work jointly to bolster the effectiveness, productivity, dynamics, and creativity of an organization while ensuring individuals have equal opportunities and feel valued. Guided by mutual respect, trust, openness, and honesty, this trend’s focus both encompasses and extends beyond the borders of gender, race, religion, age, different ability, sexual orientation, national origin, and other characteristics protected by law.
One of the most rapidly developing social and business trends in the last two years, DEIB has evolved from Diversity & Inclusion to now also recognize individuals as being a long-term and integral part of the organization. This is the frame in which employment seekers consider potential employers.
Companies shift towards including DEIB as part of corporate culture in order to attract talent and retain employees. Here at DHL we additionally see this trend developing from the individual level to the organizational level, recognizing that companies now choose to interact with and support businesses owned by minority groups and businesses that break stereotypical bounds of how certain industries were once run in the past.
The relatively imminent realization of this trend shows people and companies understand the importance of increasing DEIB awareness. Within logistics and the supply chain – realms that were previously predominantly male – we here at DHL are seeing a movement towards greater inclusivity of women not only in leadership but also in operations. This alters the ways in which team members interact within the workplace. Employee engagement increases as inclusion is realized and, in turn, this increases the need to belong. Ultimately, inclusion and belonging lead to better results.
Belonging in the workplace is a powerful addition to the dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It can be seen on the one hand as “longing to be” and on the other hand as “being for long.” This introduces an affective and sequential dimension, bringing a shift towards psychological safety and real inclusion.
When the individual recognizes the HR department prioritizes DEIB, especially the belonging dimension, they are less likely to leave. A 2021 study found 40% of respondents with a strong sense of belonging rarely think about looking for a job in another company, versus 5% of respondents with a low sense of belonging.
The number of people globally with the title Head of Diversity more than doubled (107% growth) between 2017 and 2022.
Relevance to the Future of Logistics
Diversity in leadership enables greater depth and breadth of experience, perspective, and knowledge, which equips leaders to better relate to employees, customers, and prospective customers. This, in turn, helps the business to grow. In order for companies to retain market position within their sectors, the ability to share experience and relate is what facilitates change and innovation.
Having women in leadership – for example, in predominantly male-dominant industries such as logistics and the supply chain – positively changes the perspective of potential female employees. Similarly, by diversifying leadership roles to enable growth and development for members of minority groups from the perspective of race, sexual orientation, and different ability, companies encourages employees in those groups to bring their skills and talent to the workplace. Seeing diversity in a leadership team acts as a catalyst that empowers and enables the entire team. According to a McKinsey study, 64% of millennials say they will not work for companies that perform poorly on corporate social responsibility; diversity is one of the focus topics of CSR.
In unprecedented times of challenges or uncertainty, leadership teams come together to make collective decisions on the way forward. When that team can leverage diversity in such a situation – the rich kaleidoscope of perspectives, different vantage points, and a diverse range of experiences – the conversations can be more candid and decisions more innovative.
In recent years, there has been a significant rise in companies preferring to trade and do business with diverse companies. Vendor selection and the process of auditing a potential supplier now focus more keenly on social responsibility and enabling minority-owned businesses to thrive.
Companies use supplier diversity programs to unlock new value; for example, to drive vendor competition, enhance brand perception, encourage innovation, positively impact the local economy, and improve the bottom line.
These programs also help promote diversity across each company’s ecosystem. Research suggests industry-leading companies globally are aware of this, as they have committed more than 50 billion USD to partner with minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) in the next decade. Further boosting the economy, MWBEs are 67% more likely to employ minority talent and develop these people into higher positions. Per McKinsey, if spending with certified MWBEs doubled, so 2 trillion USD rather than the current 1 trillion USD, this could generate 280 billion USD in additional income and 4 million jobs for minority populations and women. Corporations have the potential to add value and help boost the global economy by prioritizing MWBE vendor selection, evidenced by the tech giant Google pledging to spend 2.5 billion USD with diverse suppliers in 2022.
Vendor diversity benefits everyone. Companies gain new value and minority-run businesses gain opportunities.
Traditionally, many industries are male dominated at all levels of seniority, including logistics. Today this is changing and often thanks to technology.
For example, by using exoskeletons in a warehouse, people with less physical strength than the average man can now lift heavy objects with relative ease, broadening the pool of potential candidates for that warehouse role. Similarly, robotics that automate operations within a distribution hub can easily be supervised by differently abled people to ensure workflows run smoothly.
The talent pool expands exponentially when a company commits to DEIB – all can be included and all should belong – and technology-enabled innovations inspire positive change across the organization, encouraging more people to apply for work in logistics and the supply chain.
This trend should be ACTIVELY monitored, with imminent developments and applications.
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging go far beyond HR concepts. When successfully embedded in the organization’s core values, they leverage the collective backgrounds and experiences of everyone in the organization and this inspires new ways of thinking and sparks fresh ideas. When DEIB is at forefront of a job applicant’s mind and is a priority item on a business agenda, this is pivotal to the company’s future success.
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- Academy To Innovation HR (2022): Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB): A 2022 Overview
- Forbes (2021): 14 important benefits of a more diverse leadership team
- McKinsey & Company (2022): Expand diversity among your suppliers- and add value to your organization
- ManpowerGroup (2022): Top challenges to implementing workplace diversity and how to overcome them
- Glassdoor (2022): 40+ stats for companies to keep in mind for 2021