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The Cost of Failing at Diversity & Inclusion: Disengaged Workers Are Contributing to $400-$500 Billion In Lost Revenue

By Darren W Martin Jr.

Chief Executive Officer, Bold Culture

Here’s the truth–everyone nods and agrees on how important it is to address the lack of diversity and inclusion, but ultimately nothing changes.

It’s a seemingly hard, complicated discussion that has become a core topic of the industry, but not a business imperative because there’s a hard time connecting what could be classified as social good to one thing – profitability.

We’ve proven time and time again the inaccuracy of this line of thinking – that diversity is a social good issue – by the more than $4.8 trillion dollars controlled by underrepresented minorities and how that has cost recently “color-blind” corporations billions in revenue or brand value.

By continuing to lead with culturally stale teams who are disengaged and disinterested in the consumers of today, executives are losing out on billions in revenue for their company. Even if your company hasn’t found itself in hot water for offending consumers, you are still failing to capture savings and revenue.

contributing to $450-500 billion a year in losses in productivity.

What this loss in productivity really says about your company culture:

Some workers don’t feel engaged with the mission or the culture or the team members they see every day for 7-10 hours; and with the added pressure of office erasure (being ignored, forgotten),  microaggressions (being subtly disrespected) and anxiety, what could even be a dream job becomes a nightmare. All of these inhibiting factors contribute to the glass ceiling underrepresented groups face in corporations.

We welcome executives to place thought into how silenced and burdened your diverse talent may feel when they bottle up conversations about police brutality or have to silently identify as a member of the LGBT community during the 9-5? Why do some feel weighed down by society? For fear that they’d lose their position because they “didn’t fit the company culture.”

Silence leads to absenteeism and a sense of anxiety and no sense of community leads to dereliction of responsibility. This culture slowly chips away company revenue and potential revenue, in the billions, each year.

As a human, I wonder where are the change agents currently transforming the conversation? Who is fixing this? There is a lot of talk and executives shifting in their seats, but who is really taking action? Without substantial diverse representation in middle and senior levels, we are likely to see very slow growth for most companies.

Many of these companies perpetuate or worsen the problem we are faced with.

Though, there are a few who are waking up and realizing their styles need to change. And to effectively change they are asking for help. This is why we created programs like our diversity report card and equity & inclusion analysis. It allows managers to understand the culture from the perspective of their team members and provides a roadmap to change. If there is no change, the productivity of your team members will continue to plummet, potentially rendering your company culture stale and dead. No one wants that.

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