Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as your Greatest Asset

April 1, 2022

women in business with an overlay of purple

Research and headlines continue to underscore that a diverse workforce is essential to organizational success. What does that look like, and how can you amplify and recognize its value in your organization? In this half-hour conversation, Chief People Officers Turiya Gray (Jellyvision) and Laura Rodnitzky (3Q Digital) talk about how they think about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), how it comes to life in their companies, and how it directly contributes to successful business outcomes and employee KPIs.

 

Moderated by Packed with Purpose Founder & CEO Leeatt Rothschild, this conversation was recorded as part of the 2022 “Empowered & Inspired: Conversations in Celebration of Women’s History Month” discussion series.

 

Key takeaways: 

  • In today’s corporate world, how we look at DEI has moved far beyond the financial metrics of success. What was once an optional aspect of organizational strategy has become non-negotiable, and it’s become one of the strongest differentiators in how employees, clients, and customers view a company as a whole. (3:03)
  • Embedding DEI into a company’s goals requires executive support and company-wide adoption. Launching Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), compensating leaders of those groups, and listening to community voices for meaningful change bakes inclusion and diversity into everyday operations in an authentic way. (6:30)

  • Many companies can get caught up in the “What’s in it for us?” mentality of DEI initiatives. Business outcomes are important, but HR leaders shouldn’t lose sight of why these initiatives are so critical: it’s simply the right way to treat people. Providing a healthy and safe environment for employees to flourish and thrive is a responsibility companies should be proud to create. (8:06)
  • Especially during times of challenging talent markets, where hiring feels like a slog and time is at an all-time premium, it can be difficult to find the bandwidth to think big-picture. But Turiya reminds us that it’s just as important to remember the “E and the I” of DEI and be willing to look inside current and previous operations to identify blind spots. Even though this can be an uncomfortable process, it’s necessary work to ensure your organization’s progress continues to push forward. (9:50)

    (Laura Rodnitzky explains how 3Q approached this difficult process of company-wide introspection at 13:38)

  • Overindex on courage. HR leaders have access to data and systems that make it easier to see inequities, but it does take quite a bit of bravery to be the person in the room that calls out these discrepancies in operations. To shore up that confidence, Turiya recommends sharing these vulnerabilities and knowledge gaps with other HR colleagues and asking leadership for the tools and resources necessary for them to continue pushing the needle towards meaningful change. (17:40)

 

 

Our Panelist’s tips on talking to leadership about the “how.”

 

  • Go back to the data. HR has access to all the trends and information on the inside, so bringing a specific data point to senior leadership and tying it with an equally specific, tangible action item is an effective way to ensure top-level buy-in. (Turiya, 29:03)

  • Ensure that everyone in your company has a voice, not just those in HR. Opportunities for employees may look different depending on company size and structure, but it’s essential to create the opportunity so that concerns and values can be heard and shared. (Laura, 29:40)