Once again – Corporations are Called to Lead on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Businesses understand that diversity managed well can drive increased profitability

Our fragmented US government can’t really lead for diversity, equity, inclusion and fairness for our society; in fact, a huge swath of political leaders are promoting just the opposite – hate, division, white supremacy, anti-trans actions, denial of racism and sexism, and more.

Our houses of faith really are not providing leadership in this area either. There are far too many so-called churches focused on judging others not like themselves, and propagating the false gospel that the prosperity of white people is God’s blessing upon those following the true path of God (and God’s anointed leader the former president)

So who can fill the gap and promote doing the right things for all people? Who can lead around driving fairness and equity for all in our country? It’s got to be US businesses! US businesses for the most part understand the compelling business case for diversity, equity and inclusion. They understand that a well managed diverse workforce will deliver better results and provide more opportunities and prosperity for all. And most companies employ and serve a wide range of diverse people who all deserve to be affirmed and valued.

But at the same time while more and more companies are getting on the “diversity bandwagon,” there is still the element of corporate greed that works against fairness. Too often companies make financial political contributions to lawmakers who are passing laws to benefit their profitability. But frequently, those same law makers are making laws that harm the very same diverse people the companies employ and serve

So let’s look at some examples:

• Companies that support politicians who oppose common sense gun laws are complicit and must share the blame for the recent mass murders of Black Americans at the grocery store in Buffalo and children at the elementary school in Texas.

• Companies that support politicians who are trying to outlaw the teaching of the honest and realistic history of racism in our country are harming their Black and Brown employees even if they claim to be providing advancement opportunities and skills development for them.

• Companies that support politicians who are passing anti-gay and anti-trans laws are complicit in harming their LGBTQ+ employees and their families, as well as their LGBTQ+ customers. (See my recent blog about Florida and the Disney conundrum.)

About 1,000 registered Black voters waited in line on May 3, 1966 in Birmingham, Ala., to cast ballots in the Democratic primary, the first major southern election after the 1965 Federal Voting Rights Act took effect. Are we now going to go backwards to create roadblocks to voting? Credit…Associated Press

• Companies who support politicians passing voting restrictions targeted primarily at Black voters so that they can hold onto their power, are harming Black communities and democracy as a whole.

• Companies that support politicians who are attempting to totally deprive a woman of choice in regards to her pregnancy in all situations is endangering the health and livelihood of their female employees.

And we should not only focus on companies not supporting politicians who harm diverse communities, but companies should consider supporting politicians who are working to advance equity and fairness for all Americans.

Bottom line, a robust and central part of any organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion commitments has to be influencing public policy in such a way that supports the rights and betterment of all diverse people. And since our other national institutions are failing to provide this leadership, it just may have to be business that steps up pt take the lead in this area.

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Also see my other recent corporate social responsibility blog – “Large Corporations – Acting Like Entitled Bullies with us Entrepreneurs” where I expose the hypocritical behavior of some large companies that claim they are supporting small business and entrepreneurs.