[Social Impact 101] Creating a Culture of Belonging: Lessons from Fortune 500 Companies that Get Diversity Right

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging have become buzzwords in the business world, but many companies struggle to create an environment that truly embraces and supports diversity. However, there are some Fortune 500 companies that have managed to get it right. These companies have established a culture of belonging that attracts and retains diverse talent, which ultimately leads to better business outcomes. In this article, we will explore some lessons from these companies and how they can be applied to any organization looking to create a culture of belonging.


Lesson 1: Embrace Diversity at All Levels


The companies that get diversity right understand that it is not just about hiring a diverse workforce, but also about promoting diversity at all levels of the organization. This means that diversity should be reflected in leadership positions, board members, and decision-making processes. By doing so, companies can ensure that different perspectives are taken into account when making important decisions. In addition, it sends a message to all employees that diversity is valued and respected.


Lesson 2: Foster Inclusion Through Employee Resource Groups


Employee resource groups (ERGs) are a powerful tool for fostering inclusion and a sense of belonging. These groups provide a space for employees who share a common background, identity, or interest to come together and support each other. ERGs can also be a valuable resource for the company, as they can help identify opportunities to improve the employee experience and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.


Lesson 3: Train Employees on Unconscious Bias


Unconscious bias can be a significant barrier to creating a culture of belonging. It is important to recognize that everyone has biases, and these biases can impact decision-making and relationships with colleagues. Companies that get diversity right invest in unconscious bias training for all employees. This training helps employees become aware of their biases and learn strategies to mitigate them. By doing so, employees can work more effectively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and create a more inclusive workplace.


Lesson 4: Establish Clear Diversity Goals and Metrics


It is difficult to improve what you do not measure. Companies that get diversity right establish clear diversity goals and metrics and track progress over time. These goals and metrics should be tied to business outcomes, such as increased innovation, better decision-making, and improved financial performance. By setting clear goals and tracking progress, companies can hold themselves accountable and make data-driven decisions to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.


Lesson 5: Celebrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging


Finally, companies that get diversity right celebrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. This means recognizing the achievements of employees from diverse backgrounds, promoting cultural events and holidays, and creating a culture of openness and acceptance. Celebrating diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging sends a powerful message to all employees that their differences are valued and respected.


Creating a culture of belonging takes time and effort, but the rewards are significant. By embracing diversity at all levels, fostering inclusion through employee resource groups, training employees on unconscious bias, establishing clear diversity goals and metrics, and celebrating diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, companies can create a workplace where all employees feel valued, respected, and supported. This, in turn, leads to better business outcomes, as diverse teams are more innovative, better decision-makers, and better equipped to meet the needs of a diverse customer base.


How to create a culture of belonging 


Deed is a workplace giving and volunteering platform that puts people first, because user experience shouldn’t stand between you and doing good. We help CSR and DEIB teams alike to centralize all their programming, from emergency fundraisers to fun volunteering events, and engage diverse employee resource groups, with the data and insights they need to drive engagement. Ready to demo our all-good-in-one platform?



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