How Improving DE&I Can Make Organizations More Competitive

DEIDiversityHuman ResourcesDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory
Article Icon News Article
九月 29, 2021
2 read
DEIDiversityHuman ResourcesDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory
Executive Summary
A diverse workforce should be viewed as a strategic business opportunity.

Excerpt from the article originally published in SHRM by Benjamin Wall

Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Art Hopkins was quoted in SHRM on how organizations should frame DE&I.


The bewildering array of activities, initiatives and programs designed to help employers achieve diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace can be focused and prioritized by following a simple model. It was developed 25 years ago by Dave Ulrich, a human resource thought leader and professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, who found that HR professionals can make their employers more competitive by contributing as a:   

  • Strategic partner.
  • Employee champion.
  • Change agent.
  • Administrative expert.

These roles set out the agenda for how HR and people managers should address DE&I challenges as follows:


Strategic Partner

A number of companies make DE&I a strategic objective. Target Corp. sees DE&I as a business function, assigning goals and targets to management, which is key to helping the company understand and respond to its diverse population of customers. Proctor & Gamble (P&G) also sees diversity as a strategic objective as it designs products that reflect diverse customer requirements. For example, P&G hires candidates with disabilities to help develop products accordingly. 

Pfizer follows the strategic reasoning of Target and P&G while adding the third strategic objective of greater productivity in the interaction between diverse employees. Indeed, more than 200 different studies have found that achieving greater diversity in business leads to higher levels of innovation, customer service, employee engagement and long-term growth. 

Nevertheless, "Companies often treat recruiting diverse people as compliance or risk mitigation, rather than a business opportunity," said Art Hopkins, a consultant at executive search and leadership advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

To read the full article, click here.