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Diversity & Inclusion: The Business Case

Competitive Edge: Inclusion and Diversity

We'll be publishing a series of Inclusion and Diversity blog posts throughout the year. This is the first post in that series, co-authored by our own Cheya Dunlap, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer and Bria Griffith, Director, Inclusion and Diversity.

As organizations continue to expand globally and demographics shift in the U.S., customer and shareholder expectations are changing. Most companies sell to an increasingly diverse customer base.

Likewise, the global workforce comes from different backgrounds and has different skillsets, interests, and expectations.  Mapping their experiences, perspectives and networks to better mirror customers leads to better business outcomes.

Fast Company
reported, “Higher representation of women in C-suite level positions results in 34% greater returns to shareholders.” A study by McKinsey showed that, “Racial and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians and gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their national industry median.” And according to Deloitte,”83% of millennials are more actively engaged when they believe they’re in an inclusive culture.”

It’s clear that Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) strategies benefit the bottom line of any organization. This provides a great opportunity for Honeywell to leverage the unique qualities a diverse workforce brings to the table — new networks and different perspectives and ideas — to better compete and win in the marketplace. At Honeywell,  I&D provides a  competitive advantage by stimulating innovation and increasing problem-solving capabilities.

Developing a business strategy that promotes, supports, and fully leverages I&D can be challenging. Allocating the appropriate resources, bringing in the necessary expertise and making I&D the way we do business is key to starting off on the right path.

Most people have a general understanding of I&D, however may not  know what it means in the context of the workplace and how to create and drive a culture of I&D in a systemic and sustainable way. Increasing and improving awareness around I&D supports the ability of every team member to become a powerful advocate and put action behind I&D statements and policies. Research has shown that when individuals learn about others’ experiences in the world and their cultural practices, the more successful they will be in the work environment. Employees that embrace I&D are more involved, more enthusiastic about their work, and more focused on collaboration, internally and externally.

Creating an inclusive workplace culture is about all of us. It relates to the big things and the little things that occur day in and day out. Leaders in the most competitive organizations today know that having a diverse workforce is critical to long-term success and profitability. We all have an opportunity right now to embrace I&D as a competitive advantage, examine our own unconscious biases and proactively look for ways to bring different voices to our teams and into our decisions. We look forward to sharing ways to do that in upcoming blog posts.