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Embrace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for a Better Organization

This is the perfect time to reflect on ways to embrace and engage with others that aren’t like us. Today’s blog will identify many simple and not-so-simple ideas based on research gathered from KPMG, Cognizant, and a breakthrough study of sixth-graders from UCLA and the University of Groningen.


The DEI Maturity Curve

KPMG has identified five stages organizations go through before reaching maturity. How long each organization stays in each cycle depends on their level of commitment and measurement system. Here they are, along with actionable examples:





Employees and community members have a basic understanding of this concept

Run workshops that rethink DEI, help participants identify hidden biases, stop bullying and build a stigma-free company


Some activity is happening, but it isn’t measured against objectives

  • Encourage and train more women and individuals of color to be on boards
  • Mirror the diversity of your clients


Structured programs are rolled out

Enable agile working arrangements (different hours/days, work from home, co-working locations)


Leadership is committed and acting with measurements and accountability

  • Set SMART Goals



DEI is embraced and part of the company’s culture

Commit to a continuous feedback loop for improvement


Additional Ideas from Cognizant


  • Set up classes, live and online, that address skill gaps.
    They have pledged to train 12,000 women in digital skills.
    What training are your employees lacking? How can you address those training in the coming year? What will be the outcome?
  • Create outlets for innovation.
    Entrepreneurial ideas are spawned from individuals with different backgrounds and life experiences. Create or participate in an accelerator program.
  • Build a local community presence.
    When people come together for a cause, they develop deeper connections with their co-workers.
  • Address biases head-on.
    Cognizant dispels myths about hiring older workers, working moms and uses technology to tackle hiring biases.


What We Can Learn from Sixth-Graders

In a study of 536 Latino and 396 African American sixth-graders from 66 classrooms in ten American urban areas, it was found that friendships were formed across gender and color. As a result, students felt less lonely, less vulnerable, and safer than in non-diverse classrooms. The study concluded that cross-ethnic friendships partly explained the link between diversity and vulnerability.

According to the teachers and observers, the more diverse the classroom, the more compassionate the classroom.


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