Diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, is a discipline in business policymaking and practices which ensures that people of all backgrounds feel welcome and can contribute effectively to business success. As knowledge about systemic injustice has grown, demand for better DEI has also expanded, to the extent that all organizations should be engaging with DEI to some degree to improve circumstances for marginalized employees and applicants.
Business leaders eager to improve their DEI might enroll in a diversity, equity and inclusion course from a leading university. Then, they might take inspiration from the following real-world DEI programs that have brought their companies outstanding success.
The third largest insurance provider in North America also happens to be consistently rated the best company overall in DEI. Founded in 1937 and boasting 47,000 employees, the company is nonetheless committed to cultivating a sense of belonging within employees of all backgrounds. Better than other companies, Progressive recognizes that maintaining effective DEI is a journey, not a destination. Progressive measures the success of its DEI initiatives in the trust and respect felt by employees, in the creativity and innovation of its programs and in the community developed within the workplace.
VMware, Inc. is a global provider of cloud infrastructure that empowers digital workspaces and generates effective business mobility. One of the oldest and most established cloud companies, VMware was founded in 1998, and its current staff numbers upwards of 37,500. VMware considers DEI to be among the most important priorities for its 2030 agenda, and already, the company boasts outstanding success in its DEI initiatives. In addition to concentrating on hiring employees from marginalized groups, VMware is committed to providing equal pay for equal work.
A consulting firm with an enviable client list, Booz Allen Hamilton provides advice and guidance in the fields of organization, strategy, logistics and information technology. Founded in 1914, Booz is famous for assisting the U.S. in preparations for World War II; today, the firm has more than 27,700 employees. Perhaps more than other organizations, Booz Allen recognizes the knowledge, skill and power that comes from a diverse workforce. The firm is so highly regarded for its DEI that it produces one of the most popular DEI podcasts, called Unstoppable Together.
Cummins is one of the world’s leading engineering and manufacturing firms for diesel and natural gas engines. In operation since 1919, Cummins dominates its industry with a staff of over 58,000. In truth, Cummins has one of the best records for DEI initiatives through history, as their efforts toward racial equity extend back to the Civil Rights era. Today, Cummins institutes many advocacy and review groups to ensure that its DEI policies have the intended results of attracting and retaining top talent, regardless of background.
Interpublic Group, or IPG, is an advertising company and a key member of the “Big Four” marketing agencies in America. Founded as a result of a merger of advertisers in 1930, IPG boasts over 54,000 employees across its subsidiaries. The firm has maintained DEI in its formal mission since 2005, and IPG has received many awards and honors for its effectiveness in DEI — from Bloomberg, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Forbes and more. IPG promotes many employee networks to help workers of different backgrounds find support and success within the organization.
Adobe is well-known thanks to its innovative products like Photoshop, Illustrator, LightRoom and Acrobat which serve as invaluable marketing and media solutions to individual consumers and companies. Though founded only in 1982 and maintaining the smallest workforce on this list with just over 25,000 staff members, Adobe works hard to lead the tech industry with its powerful DEI programs. Adobe’s primary goal is to build empathy for all backgrounds, which should eliminate biases and improve equity that leads to innovation and success.
To some business leaders, DEI might seem like a new concept — but the sooner they adopt and implement DEI in their workplace, the sooner they will enjoy the competitive advantage that comes from progressive policies and practices. The above companies have already demonstrated the power that comes from effective DEI, and companies of all sizes can enjoy similar effects through DEI initiatives launched today.