Racial Equity: The Investment You Can’t Afford to Ignore

(Part I)

In today’s rapidly evolving corporate landscape, fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) isn’t just a moral imperative; it’s a strategic necessity. Businesses prioritizing DEI initiatives contribute to a fairer and more just society and reap tangible benefits in innovation, employee engagement, and long-term sustainability.

A businessman feeling down about financial loss because he didn’t invest in DEI initiatives.

So why is it important for leaders to continue (or begin) thinking about DEI? Leadership sets the tone, establishes the vision, and drives the cultural transformation necessary for organizations to embrace diversity and foster an equitable and inclusive environment.

It is also a strategic business decision. Companies prioritizing DEI initiatives are better positioned to thrive in an increasingly diverse and competitive global landscape.

In other words, racial equity is a leadership issue. Investing in DEI is no longer an option but a fundamental driver of success for forward-thinking organizations.

According to LinkedIn, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

DEI initiatives also improve employee engagement, morale, and job satisfaction, which leads to better customer experiences and increased revenue. Companies prioritizing DEI also benefit from improved access to talent, increased innovation, and higher employee retention.

Despite this data, we are beginning to see a trend of companies walking back on their efforts. A new study finds that 20% of tech companies have reduced their DEI teams within the last year.

Alarmingly, we are finding the same trend with companies in the county.

We recognize that this work can be challenging. However, dedicating time and resources to its implementation can lead to transformative outcomes.

Leadership Montgomery (LM) supports leaders and their organizations looking for strategic ways to operationalize this work.

The REAL Inclusion program examines systemic beliefs, practices, and policies that have perpetuated racial inequities and situates that analysis within the context of organizational leadership. During the eight-month program, participants will

  • Begin to understand the historical roots of racism.
  • Learn to normalize conversations in their organizations.
  • Develop an organizational action plan.
  • Identify methods to evaluate success.

While working to develop their strategy, below are just a few of the questions participants can expect to explore:

  • What policies, laws, programs, and practices have disproportionately advantaged some people and disadvantaged others?
  • What underlying causes contribute to specific challenges, and what will it take to address them?
  • How is the vision for equity operationalized in practice?
  • What equity core competencies can we develop to advance equity within our roles?

LM can help organizations approach DEI strategically and meet a company’s unique to help ensure that their initiatives thrive and make a lasting impact.

The next REAL Inclusion cohort begins on November 9th, and registration is open now.

Organizational spots are filling up, so please act fast.