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Will Work from Home Enhance DEI Initiatives?


Diversity, equity, and inclusion endeavors in the workplace, also known as DEI, are of key importance, especially today. With the pandemic, work from home or hybrid working, and global social justice campaigns; business and strategy leaders are focusing on implementing changes to support and drive the movement.

But what is DEI?

Diversity refers to the representation of a range of traits and experiences within a company’s workforce. The characteristics included are, gender, race, physical ability, religion, age, and socioeconomic status, among others.

Even if a company’s workforce is diverse, employees may still feel undervalued.

Inclusion refers to how people feel as part of a company’s workforce; if they feel safe, respected, accepted, encouraged, and valued.

Combined, can these two components drive better business outcomes?

According to this Harvard Business Review study conducted in 2018, companies with higher-than-average diversity had 19% higher innovation revenues. The findings showed that the most diverse companies are also the most innovative, enabling them to market a greater range of products to customers. HBR calculated each company’s diversity across six major factors: migration, industry, career path, gender, education, and age.

On May 10, Chicago-based Professional Diversity Network held the Minneapolis Diversity Virtual Career Fair, enabling job candidates from anywhere around the world to easily connect with employers that are committed to diversity and are seeking to hire diverse candidates through this virtual environment for jobs that can be done remotely or on-site.

The event was designed to provide the opportunity for job candidates to view and apply for an array of positions from top leading companies. Participants learned and interacted with businesses about jobs that are available, their company culture, and why diversity in the workplace is so valuable to them. Then, potential candidates spoke live with employers or recruiters and were interviewed through chat and audio conferencing.

“Initiatives like the Virtual Career Fair are exactly the kind of creative ideas we need to further the success of organizations by assembling talented teams with different backgrounds and experiences, a practice proven to be effective in building high-performance cultures,” said Bita Milanian, SVP Global Marketing at Ribbon Communications, who has been active in advocating for workplace diversity for decades. “Navigating through the pandemic, we have learned valuable lessons, and have become more enlightened in the tech industry, and it is heartwarming to see those lessons evolve into actions like these.”

This event gave job candidates the chance to showcase their skills and talents based on their knowledge and experience, simply by registering for the event and uploading their resumes. Employers that are interested are then able to reach out and send interview invites before the event while candidates are free to source hundreds of jobs available and apply in real-time.

Some of the companies participating in the event this year included Verizon, Wells Fargo, Xcel Energy, ACR Homes, Allianz, American Academy of Neurology, Cambrex, Microsoft, and Tennant Company, to name a few.

“Highly successful companies, like the ones who participated in the event this week, have proven that when we cultivate talent and embrace diversity at the same time, teams become more inspired, loyal, and productive,” Milanian said. “We’ve seen this work at Ribbon Communications, through our robust DEI and sustainability programs. Organizations across all private and public sectors stand to benefit in attracting, retaining, and motivating team members when they step up and commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion with tangible, actionable programs that can be measured and matured into a future where there will be no success without a commitment to providing opportunities to all those who wish to contribute, excel and make their own difference in the world.”

DEI, hiring, and other related topics are top of mind for business leaders today as they navigate new workplace and workforce environments,  and are part of the many business strategies in focus at ITEXPO 2022 and Future of Work Expo 2022, both taking place June 21-24, 2022 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  ITEXPO and Future of Work Expo are part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW experience, bringing buyers, sellers, and partners together to discuss the latest in the business tech space. 

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Erik Linask
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