Is DE&I a Business Imperative?



In the past decade, we have made some progress in developing an understanding of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We still have a loooooong way to go, but I am pleased to see some noticeable changes (at least in the rhetoric).


Throughout my career, we have gone from zero discussion around DE&I, through to a phase where CEOs were standing up at town hall meetings discussing DE&I because their HR team told them they should, to now where people talk openly about it being the "right thing to do".


Today I pose two questions to you:

  1. Have we done enough? (not even close), and

  2. What's next for DE&I?

DE&I is a business imperative


Inspired by our wonderful and insightful interview on The Leadership Project Podcast with Martine Kalaw, I pose to you that DE&I is not just the right thing to do, it is a business imperative.


Kalaw is the CEO and Founder of Martine Kalaw Enterprises and the bestselling author of 2 books - The ABCs of Diversity and Illegal Among Us.


Kalaw shared her own inspirational story of being a stateless orphan navigating the choppy waters of immigration law. She has a refreshingly objective view where she has seen bias and inequity from both sides of the equation. Seeing the world from both a perspective of privilege and disadvantage.


She brings great clarity to the discussion around diversity; the differences between equity and equality; what inclusion means and how it feels to be excluded; and she provides wonderful guidance for people that want to be an ally but do not know how. For more details on these topics, please do catch the interview on The Leadership Project podcast on your preferred podcast service.


For today's article, we will explore her assertion that DE&I is a business imperative and the ways DE&I can become a source of competitive advantage.


You may listen to the whole interview with Martine Kalaw as we talk about "Diversity; Equity and Inclusion is a Business Imperative" here:



Attracting and Retaining A Talented Workforce


There is little doubt that all companies are in a constant battle for talented and motivated team members. With the Great Resignation, we are seeing a constant revolving door where people are out searching for a workplace that values them and where they feel that they belong.


We must always remember that the job interview is a 2-way process. Yes, we are interviewing the candidate to see if they will be a "good fit", but they are also sizing us up to see if they will be happy there.


More than ever, people do their research on the companies they will join. They look for signals of the brand and what the brand truly stands for. They look for social proof, searching on social media and sites like Glassdoor for signals of Third Party Trust that the company they are about to join is one where they will feel that they belong.


They are looking for any signs of a toxic culture and testing whether the environment is one based on inclusion.


I am not just talking about people from marginalised groups; I am also talking about their allies. People are becoming increasingly attuned to the work environment they are going to join.


If you want to remain relevant as a company in the future, and if you want to develop a competitive advantage and attract the brightest talent into yo