Like most things under the new Trump administration, things are changing. After the recent budget release, many are preparing for the worst as massive cuts were proposed to initiatives benefiting small business, the elderly, and diversity. While those in support of American Defense are praising the President, the average citizen is wondering where they fit in.
Many things will have to change going into the next four years, but that may not be a terrible thing. Diversity and Inclusion is at the forefront of change and it is seeing a huge push from the private sector now that the government is looking to focus its priorities elsewhere. This support is a great thing and to be honest long overdue. Sometimes, America is at its best when it is seemingly at its worst, and this may be a perfect opportunity.
There are many reports and studies revealing the necessity of diversity and inclusion. For example “research from the Peterson Institute for International Economics shows that having more female leaders in business can significantly increase profitability. The 2016 study revealed that an organization with 30 percent female leaders could add up to 6 percentage points to its net margin.” Corporations are always looking for an edge on profitability and diversity is simply the next tier of that. The future of diversity and inclusion is now fully in the hands of corporation moving forward.
Over the next four years we will continue to see growth within diversity and inclusion in the private sector but the main issue is how to sustain it. Although corporations mean well with diversity, few have created a successful pipeline for the future. I estimate that this will get better over the next few years (with Trump taking credit of course). While the future looks bright there are a few corporations already doing well in terms of diversity and inclusion. Below are a few examples:
- Slack CEO Stuart Butterfield, who has made diversity and inclusion a top priority as Slack has exponentially grown.
- Ernst & Young Chairman Steve Howe, who believes the firm’s top-down commitment to D&I is key to the firm’s success. Howe has dedicated an enormous time, capital and resources to the cause. Under his leadership, the representation of minorities in EY’s partner/principal rank has nearly tripled since 2000.
- Senior executives at Google are leading numerous initiatives to diversify the company’s executive ranks and pipeline. As one example, Google’s Code Next program cultivates future generations of black and Latino tech leaders, in part by bridging the yawing digital divide between teens of color and their white peers.
- Shutterfly CEO Chris North can picture the future, and it’s profitable, diverse and inclusive: four of Shutterfly’s nine board members are women and Shutterfly’s independent board is similarly diverse.
- Executives at behemoth pension plans CalPERS and CalSTRS have stated that more diverse corporate boards will lead to better-run companies and increase the value of equity portfolios.