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Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
10 Min Read

The Value of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion In The Workplace

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Sydney Ly

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In today’s business world, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are often treated as buzzwords that often amount to little more than a mandatory annual training. But the reality is, when you make DEI a priority, every facet of your organization benefits, including the bottom line. 

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule book for rolling out a successful DEI program to your company, you can begin your journey by learning what DEI truly is and understanding the value it can bring to your company.

What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

• Diversity is the presence of differences within a given setting. In the workplace, this generally refers to psychological, physical, and social differences that occur among any and all individuals. A diverse group, community, or organization is one in which a variety of social and cultural characteristics exist.

• Equity ensures everyone has access to the same treatment, opportunities, and advancement. Equity aims to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation of some groups.

Barriers can come in many forms, but a prime example can be found in this study. In it, researchers asked faculty scientists to evaluate a candidate’s application materials, which were randomly assigned either a male or female name. Faculty scientists rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the identical female applicant, and offered a higher starting salary and more career mentoring to the male applicant.

• Inclusion refers to how people with different social identities feel as part of the larger group. Inclusion doesn’t naturally result from diversity, and in reality, you can have a diverse team of talent but that doesn’t mean that everyone feels a sense of belonging, or feels welcome or valued in all work environments.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are mutually reinforcing principles within an organization. A focus on diversity alone is insufficient because an employee’s sense of belonging (inclusion) and experience of fairness (equity) is critically important in ensuring an equitable and inclusive workplace.

The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in organizations

Organizations that don’t implement DEI practices miss out on opportunities to tap into their peoples’ potential. “Diverse teams are more innovative and make better decisions, and diverse companies have better shareholder returns,” according to the study Unrealized Impact. 

Another study conducted by McKinsey & Company in partnership with The Society for Human Research Management (SHRM), evaluated the performance of companies with different levels of workplace diversity. They found that companies that exhibit gender and ethnic diversity are, respectively, 15% and 35% more likely to outperform less diverse peers. The same study found that organizations with more racial and gender diversity bring in more sales revenue, more customers and higher profits.”

Companies that value DEI are stronger than those that don’t

DEI programs are an essential aspect of building engaged and happy employees. Organizations with strong DEI initiatives are more likely to have employees with increased job satisfaction, higher levels of trust, and are more engaged. But it’s not just morale that lifts when DEI programs are made a priority, there are benefits that can be seen at every level of the business. 


Teams are 158% more likely to understand target customers when they have at least one member who represents their target’s gender, race, age, sexual orientation, or culture.


Companies with higher diversity in management earned, on average, 38% more revenue than companies with lower diversity. That could be because diversity of gender, country of origin, career path, and industry background are highly correlated to innovation. 


Organizations in the top 25% when it comes to gender diversity among executive leadership teams are 21% more likely to be profitable and 27% better at creating value.

Simply put, reinforcing robust DEI programs helps every employee to show up each day without fear of being their true selves. This fosters higher degrees of engagement, productivity, and innovation that contribute to increased revenue.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) FAQs/Topics of Concern

Defining Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Cara Pelletier, Senior Director of DEI&B at 15Five, delves into the definitions of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEI&B) and their impact on business performance in this video. Diversity encompasses both visible and invisible characteristics that differentiate individuals, such as race, age, and life experiences. Understanding the nuances of diversity and its impact on cognitive diversity is vital for organizations. Learn more about defining diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Strategies

At the 2nd annual HR Superstars Summit, HR leaders gathered to share winning strategies and best practices in 2022. The event concluded with a panel of experts discussing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) and its significance for HR leaders. To learn more about their insights and practical diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging strategies, join the HR Superstars community and watch the entire summit on demand.

Answers To Your Top 10 Diversity And Inclusion Questions

In this article, Jen Dewar explores key questions surrounding Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and provides answers from a panel of experts. The questions cover a wide range of D&I topics, including getting started with D&I initiatives, gaining leadership buy-in, challenges in implementing D&I programs, diversity task forces, employee resource groups, and the representation of underrepresented populations without tokenism. Delve deeper into these diversity and inclusion questions.

Willie Jackson Discusses Workplace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In this podcast recap, David Hassell, CEO of 15Five, engages in a profound discussion with Willie Jackson, a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) expert. They emphasize the urgent need for businesses to take meaningful action in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. Listen to the full podcast episode to gain deeper insights into workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Why Neurodiversity Should Be Part of Your DEIB Program

Neurodiversity, the natural variation in human brain function, is gaining recognition as a crucial component of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) programs. In a recent webinar hosted by 15Five, neurodivergent panelists discussed their experiences and how employers can support neurodiversity in the workplace. Discover more about embracing neurodiversity in your DEIB program.

15Five’s Ongoing Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At 15Five, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are not just buzzwords but fundamental commitments. Discover how 15Five is embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion through their annual report and comprehensive DEI initiatives.

Centering Wellness and Re-Envisioning the Commitment to DEIB in 2023

DEIB is an ever changing and evolving sector of HR and Leadership as a whole, so how will it look different in 2023? Join 15Five and PowerToFly’s DEIB experts as they explore this question and discuss how you can lead your organization to greater levels of equity and inclusion while still supporting your own wellbeing as a people leader.

How To Create A Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Culture

15Five is dedicated to aiding organizations in fostering a culture of inclusivity, equity, and diversity. To support HR leaders in these efforts, we’ve introduced the DEI Foundations survey template within their Engagement+ platform. This template offers a science-backed approach to measure diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as an integral part of an organization’s strategy. Learn more about creating a sustainable culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion as a core organizational strategy.

Authentically Supporting Differences in the Workplace

Creating a diverse workplace is commendable, but true inclusion and equity require a more profound effort, involving executives, HR, managers, and employees. This webinar delves into nurturing a culture of psychological safety and belonging by supporting differences authentically in the workplace

Set Goals for Greater Disability Inclusion and Accessibility

NDEAM serves as a platform to recognize the contributions of workers with disabilities and emphasize the significance of inclusive employment practices. As disability advocacy continues to gain momentum, companies are realizing the importance of fostering a culture of disability inclusion, acknowledging that this underrepresented group is likely already part of their workforce. Learn how to set goals for greater disability inclusion and accessibility.

6 Things We Learned From Lily Zheng About the Unique Role of HR in DEIB

Lily Zheng, a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Strategist and Consultant, shared valuable insights during a discussion about the role of HR in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) at the Thrive by 15Five event in Austin, Texas. Zheng offered several key takeaways for HR professionals. Zheng’s insights provide a holistic perspective on the crucial role HR plays in DEIB initiatives.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace Examples

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are essential elements of a thriving workplace, focusing on creating an environment where every individual feels valued and included. This article offers practical examples of implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Equity in the Workplace

Equity is a crucial component of a robust Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy in the workplace, ensuring an environment of fairness and justice for all employees. While equity and equality are often used interchangeably, equity focuses on recognizing that individuals have unique needs and require different levels of support to thrive. Learn more about equity in the workplace.

How to Promote Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace is a key focus for organizations aiming to create more engaging and inclusive environments. While DEI initiatives are increasingly recognized for their benefits, it’s important to go beyond superficial diversity and actively work to mitigate biases that affect hiring, establish wage transparency, and ensure workplace safety and inclusivity. Learn how to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Principles of Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Understanding the six guiding principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is crucial for both seasoned DEI professionals and newcomers to the HR field. Learn how to prioritize these principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

How to Write a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement

To effectively communicate their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, businesses should craft a well-thought-out DEI statement. This statement serves as a powerful message about a company’s commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse workforce, aligning with its values and mission. Learn how to write a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement.

Combating Microaggression at Work

Handling microaggressions in the workplace is a critical aspect of creating an inclusive and respectful environment. These subtle, often unintentional forms of discrimination impact employee satisfaction and engagement. Microaggressions manifest in various ways, from microassaults to microinsults and microinvalidations, with the potential to create hostile work environments. Learn more about combating microaggression at work.

Conducting a Workplace DEI Assessment Surveys

Conducting a successful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) survey in the workplace is a pivotal step in understanding the current state of DEI within the organization and making data-driven decisions to enhance inclusivity. Learn how to conduct a workplace DEI assessment survey.

How to Create a Sense of Belonging in the Workplace

Fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace is essential for employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall company success. A strong sense of belonging is linked to significant benefits, including improved job performance, reduced turnover risk, and fewer sick days. Learn how to create a sense of belonging in the workplace.

Employee Experience and Culture leader at 15Five, Sydney Ly

Sydney Ly oversees Employee Experience and Culture at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, OKR tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360° reviews. Sydney lives in San Francisco with her cat, Four Fanged Fred, and is always looking for the best middle of nowhere place to escape to.