The research shows that, while the majority of organizations understand the critical importance of improving DEI, many leaders could be doing more to translate DEI ambitions into action. This isn’t just the right thing to do – it also makes good business sense. Data from McKinsey shows that companies with the most diverse workforces are more profitable and have a greater market share than their competitors with the least diverse workforces.
So, how can leaders approach a matter as complex and sensitive as DEI? For Cummins Inc., a multinational manufacturer of generators and power systems, part of the solution lies in increasing communication and understanding between employees. “Over the past couple of years, we have focused on helping our employees understand what diversity, equity, and inclusion means, and we now have a global strategy with clear focus areas to make progress in DEI across our company and in our communities,” explains Todd Hill, Director of Talent Acquisition. “For example, through Cummins’ Black Network, we organized discussion sessions to help our employees understand the reality for black men and women in America. Thousands of employees participated in these open forums.”
“Some organizations may have been uncomfortable having these conversations, but our CEO and leadership team absolutely believe that these topics should be talked about in the workplace. We are working with people impacted by these social issues, and the forums have been very helpful in enabling colleagues to become advocates, allies, and partners.”
Cummins’ commitment to equality isn’t limited to its own workforce. The organization has a global DEI strategy and plan in place and recently launched its Cummins Advocate for Racial Equality (CARE) program, which focuses on justice reform and economic empowerment in the wider community. “One of the workstreams I’m involved in focuses on economic empowerment,” explains Hill. “The program focuses on providing low-income communities with advice and education that can empower them to improve their economic situation – so, how you improve your credit score, financial literacy, managing debt and budgeting.”