In the past decade, many companies have strived to break down systematic barriers caused by bias in the workforce. A report from the Federal News Network shows that the Office of Personnel Management currently plans to increase the federal budget for the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility to raise the index score by 6% by 2026. An increase from $4 million in 2022 to $9.2 displays the growing determination to allow for an inclusive workplace (Friedman, 2022). Similarly, a survey report from Deloitte Insights has shown that the percentage of executives who cited inclusion as a top priority has risen by 32% in three years (Bourke, Garr, Wang, 2022).
As more companies seek to create an inclusive workplace culture, there is an underlying division and bias to break for workers of all identities. To Dr. Arin N. Reeves of Nextions, LLC, “promoting equity means welcoming those who have been singled out by historically rooted barriers. Although there are efforts to diversify the population of a company, diversity does not equal an inviting workplace.” An increase of 1% in management increases firm productivity between $700 and nearly $1600 per employee per year (Estrada, 2020). To change culture, a company needs to reevaluate its foundation. Creating approachable conversations around topics like diversity and inclusion allows HR leaders like Michael Moy of Nuveen to take on the role to create these spaces of sharing and allowing understanding among people of different groups. “We also consider inclusion, diversity, and equity in all of our HR processes and procedures as well as key decision making that impacts our associate experience. This means considering how people from different backgrounds and identities may be impacted by the decisions we make about our people. It also means assessing our processes and procedures and taking steps to combat bias in those experiences to ensure we’re not driving further inequity among our people,” Michael Moy and Rachna Velamati share. To create a welcoming workspace, leaders and coworkers have to be held accountable. Creating efficiency in the company is key, but creating a safe space for people of all identities in a workplace to come together and share their ideas is the essential function of Diversity and Inclusion within a workplace.