Money talks. Diverse companies see a cash flow that is 2.5 times higher than their non-diverse counterparts. When leadership is diverse, companies can outperform their competitors and experience revenue increases. Committing to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) requires buy-in and, for some organizations,  breaking the status quo. Community leaders Sabah Cambrelen, Ron Arguello, Michelle Campbell, and Shannon Jones shed some light on how to incorporate DEI practices into the hiring process during the latest event in CU Denver’s Multicultural Business Series

Building Trust

The only way to build trust is authenticity, meaning any company wishing to dip its toes into DEI must be prepared to do the work. “You can’t just talk the talk,” emphasizes Jones. Strong relationships with surrounding communities allow businesses to scout potential talent rather than start from scratch when hiring new personnel. 

“We have to change business as usual,”

– Sabah Cambrelen

Organization Renovation

Redesigning the hiring process is one way to help incorporate DEI into a company. “We have to change business as usual,” stressed Cambrelen. Arguello recommends integrating HR throughout the hiring process, which allows for collaborative and forward-thinking between HR and hiring managers and supervisors. Having HR ingrained in the hiring process also allows HR to ensure any potential pressure points are addressed swiftly and efficiently.

All Hands on Deck

“People quit cultures,” said Jones, stressing the enormous impact of company culture on the retention of diverse workers. The panel stressed the importance of companies ensuring new, diverse hires feel a sense of belonging. Integrating HR into every department can help ease the transition and help new employees with problems. Exit surveys were also recommended; knowing why employees leave can provide valuable insight into workplace culture. Employees who feel included in their workplace are three times as likely to feel excited by and commit to work projects, highlighting how important company culture is. 

Glassdoor found that 3 in 4 job seekers say a diverse workplace is important when looking for employment. Generation Z, the largest and most diverse generation, will soon make up the majority of working-age adults in America, meaning the time is now for companies to commit to supporting a diverse and thriving workforce. Arguello asserts, “We need to keep breaking through; we need to keep having more and more diverse people at the table in industry.” 

Committing to DEI takes a lot of work, and attending DEI-centered workshops and panel discussions can help provide guidance and support to companies and individuals. Information about past and future events in the Multicultural Business Series and other CU Denver Business School events can be found online.

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