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DEI initiatives are essential, not just the right thing to do

How HR and benefits leaders can encourage greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workplaces.

“No workplace is truly inclusive until all employees have an opportunity to obtain positions in equitable spaces where their voices are not just heard, but listened to.”

Carole Smith Director of Marketing / Executive Advisor Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, Aquent

Recent corporate and political decisions, like the Supreme Court's rollback of affirmative action, have threatened to reverse efforts to protect diversity in higher education and the workplace. Aquent's Director of Marketing and Executive Advisor for the company's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, Carole Smith, authored an article for BenefitsPRO in which she stressed that leaders—especially those in HR and benefits—need to double down on their DEI initiatives and reinvest in these workplace programs. In the article, Smith outlines several steps that HR and benefits leaders can take to combat today's cultural climate and encourage greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workplaces. One step is signaling to untapped populations, through things like marketing images and direct and targeted outreach, that a company is interested in attracting them. HR and benefits managers must also play a part in creating equity within the hiring process by prioritizing pay equity and transparency, and making sure the interview process is inclusive of individuals with differing abilities and backgrounds. Smith points to research that shows more culturally diverse groups excel in developing innovative ideas and solutions that are informed by the diverse perspectives. In addition, investing in DEI programs improves businesses' financial and operational performance. She urges leaders to take actionable steps to ensure companies continue to progress toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world for all.

This article originally appeared on BenefitsPRO.

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