Diversity in Teams: Why It’s Just the First Step

In 2009, Simon Sinek gave a TED talk, where, over the course of 18 minutes, he asked business leaders to start with “why.” He would later expand on this idea in a book that inspired an entire movement of purpose-driven leadership.

Sinek’s idea is simple: when businesses start asking what their true purpose is, then act on that purpose, they can create exceptional results. They move past the products and services they offer and connect with a more compelling reason for existing.

If your organization is committed to a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy, it’s useful to step back and think about your own “why.” When you do, you may realize that diversity on your teams is just the first step.

Diversity in Teams

Diversity on its own can be a powerful starting point. Maybe you’ve looked at your customer or client base and realized your organization doesn’t reflect them. Creating a more diverse team can help you understand the needs of your customers.

Or perhaps you’ve learned that companies with diverse teams have a powerful advantage. They’re better able to retain talent and get innovative. One study has shown that businesses with one or more female members on the board saw higher net income and higher returns on equity when compared with companies with all-male boards. Diverse companies see 19% higher revenues when compared with their less-diverse competitors. You want to build a successful team that’s future-proof — that’s able to meet the challenges of tomorrow because they understand each problem from multiple perspectives.

Or maybe you’ve decided to create diverse teams because it’s the right thing to do. You’ve seen injustice and systemic racism, misogyny, and bias and want to help dismantle it.

There’s likely already a “why” behind your desire for diversity. But it’s valuable to hit pause and explore that reason a little further. You don’t want diversity for its own sake. You want diverse teams because you want to make a change. And you won’t get there on diversity alone. You’ll also need inclusion.

Diversity & Inclusion in Teams

Inclusion means creating a workplace where everyone has access to resources, everyone has a voice, and everyone is welcome. It goes a step beyond diversity to make sure your entire team feels like they belong and are valued.

Inclusion can mean creating employee resource groups, offering mentorships and tutoring, and making your workplace accessible for workers with neurodiversity and people living with disabilities. It can mean surveying your team to find out what they need to feel welcome and acting on those suggestions.

Whether you want to address inequality, want to experience the economic benefits of a diverse team, want to better reflect your customers, or have another reason for diversity, you need inclusion. The two work together. With inclusion, you can better retain diverse talent, because everyone feels part of the team. Everyone feels valued. The workplace is welcoming, and people want to work in a positive, nurturing environment.

With inclusion, you also encourage everyone to bring their skills, talents, and abilities to the table. You empower team members to speak up, to share ideas, and to fully take part. You’re not leaving any brilliant ideas on the table, because everyone can show up to work fully.

The Danger of Not Fostering Diversity & Inclusion in Teams

Without inclusion, you may have a diverse group for now, but without taking part equally, you may still only be hearing from a few team members. It’s a serious problem since studies show that some employees still don’t feel comfortable sharing who they are at work. Studies show that 19% of bisexual workers and 50% of gay and lesbian employees have revealed their sexual orientation to coworkers. In one UK study, researchers found that one in four workers living with a disability hid their condition at work. If so many employees feel uncomfortable speaking up, it suggests workplaces aren’t as inclusive as they might think.

If you’ve ever felt out of place at a networking event where everyone knew each other or a party where you arrived alone, consider how that feeling affected your actions. Did you avoid speaking up? Did you want to stay? For many people, the answer is “no.” This is why you need inclusion. You never want members of your team to feel that way.

When you combine diversity and inclusion in teams, you move toward equity—a workplace where everyone has a chance to succeed. Together, equity, inclusion, and diversity in teams aren’t just a DEI strategy. They’re a way of running your business where you start to fulfill your true purpose.

How Can Diversio Help You Create Diversity & Inclusion in Teams?

Diversio is the first AI-powered DEI platform and a leader in DEI solutions for companies, governments, and portfolios. No matter what your industry or business structure is, we don’t just help you build diversity in teams. We start with gathering, analyzing, and benchmarking data to help you build a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization.

As part of that goal, we offer a range of solutions to fit all your needs. The Diversio Dashboard and your Diversio Inclusion Score™ let you see at a glance how diverse your organization is and how you compare to industry benchmarks. You can track progress over time or get details about diversity in specific departments.

The Diversio Recommendation Engine™, with a proprietary database of over 1,200 proven strategies, suggests the next steps you can take to address pain points at your organization. Diversio Academy lets you learn best practices as a team while Diversio Certification gives you a way to show candidates and your community your commitment to measurable, proven change.

Curious? You can take a look at our case studies or read our whitepapers to see how companies have partnered with Diversio to create measurable change. Or schedule a demo today to see what Diversio can do for your organization.

Diversio DEI Expert
Diversio DEI Expert
Diversio's DEI expert shares everything about diversity that you need to know.
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"We needed to slice and dice the data in multiple ways and visualize the data in clear and accessible ways and you know Diversio’s survey and platform ticked all the boxes."
Ekua Quansah
Head of EDI, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Diversio helps companies become 43% more profitable and reduce employee turnover by 23%

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