No More Tiptoeing, It’s Time to Get Real About Diversity & Inclusion
By Andrew Appel
The truth? We’re not as diverse as we should be and it’s no secret that this is a challenge throughout our industry. What are we going to do about it? For us, the initial step will be to require a diverse candidate pool for every open position before making hiring decisions.
We firmly believe our employee base should be reflective of the community in which we work and serve, and currently we’re not. If we are committed to being leaders in our industry, inclusiveness within Gregory & Appel is one of our best tools for success and advancement, and having a diverse candidate pool is a vital shift in the direction of accomplishing this goal.
Sure, data exists to support why making diversity a priority is imperative to moving an organization forward. Before we get to that, let’s be clear, being a diverse organization, above all, is the right thing to do. A broad definition of diversity is most valuable when it includes inherent diversity such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation; and acquired diversity, which are traits gained from experiences such as living and working internationally or having had a marginalized group as a main consumer base.
Here are a few facts, based on research, that make the case for diversity and inclusion:
- According to the Harvard Business Review, employees of firms with broad diversity are 45% more likely to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.
- When diverse leadership does not exist, women are 20% less likely than straight men to win endorsement for their ideas; LGBTQs are 21% less likely; and people of color are most affected at 24%.
- The highest-performing companies on both profitability and diversity had more women in roles that generated revenue than in staff roles on their executive teams, based on a study by McKinsey & Company.
The conversation about diversity is a big one. Using a checklist of one woman or person of color on a team and being satisfied that the quota was met isn’t enough. Having individuals who fit into diverse groups for organizational vanity purposes is not how we plan to do things. Everyday inclusion must be fully addressed, including challenging our own personal biases and fostering a culture and environment in which employees of diverse backgrounds are heard and truly supported within Gregory & Appel Insurance.
Diversity as a goal requires intentionality, and achieving this will, at times, be challenging in order to better serve our clients, employees, and community. This is the very beginning of a much larger conversation that we must have to be our best. Let’s get ready to face this head-on to stretch and grow Gregory & Appel as a company. Stay tuned, join in the conversation, ask questions, and know that this isn’t a final solution, it’s a start.