IMTS Insider

Five Tips to Make Diversity & Inclusion Work

Category: Business May 8, 2019

Major studies show that Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives improve business performance. McKinsey's research shows companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

A 2018 report from PwC and The Manufacturing Institute details some concrete steps that manufacturers can take to make D&I work for them.

  1. Start at the top. D&I efforts should be instituted—and led—by executive leadership. Leaders need to be vocal about the importance of D&I and specific about how they intend to support D&I initiatives.
  2. Take some measurements. What is the current status of your D&I program and policies? Does your company have data available on the success of these efforts? Use this information to set realistic goals (the first may be to track efforts and acquire data).
  3. Empower employees. Employee resource groups (ERGs), are a great way for peers to share their challenges and experiences. They can also serve as D&I resources. These groups can help drive initiatives for attracting and retaining certain constituencies. Many companies have ERGs for women, minorities, and LGBTQ employees.
  4. Do it again. If a D&I initiative has been successful in one part of your organization, try instituting it in another. For instance, if you have had success recruiting and retaining women or minorities at one plant or in one job function, look to expand those efforts to other areas.
  5. Seek out partners. Independent groups are an important resource for manufacturers seeking to promote D&I. Educational institutions, federal and local employment agencies, and professional associations are just a few of the options to consider when looking for partners. For instance, the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers are great places to start.

D&I is no longer just a human resources issue; it is a business imperative. To succeed in the 21st century marketplace, diversified workplaces need to ensure that everyone feels welcome at the table. Use these steps to get started – or expand your current efforts – today.

Share your D&I story with IMTS at The full report, All In: Shaping tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce through diversity and inclusion, is available online and includes a self-assessment checklist.

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