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Good Business Sense

Making diversity, equity, and inclusion a “lived value” and integral part of business success

In the past few years, prompted by social justice movements and the pandemic, most notably, organizations have made diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) a priority. By developing policies, communicating them at least once a year, creating Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and investing money and resources, companies are striving to create cultures which can attract and retain diverse talent.
The 2022 Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index continues to show steady growth in the number of US employers that are committed to implementing LGBTQ+-inclusive policies and practices with 1,271 companies actively participating in the survey.

However, when looking at the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Accelerating Acceptance 2022 Report, which explores the general acceptance level of LGBTQ+ adults in America, the results are less encouraging.

7 in 10 individuals report having experienced discrimination personally—an increase of 25% from 2020 levels. BIPOC LGBTQ people are also +91% more likely to experience discrimination based on their race or ethnicity.

More broadly, the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs Wade has reminded us all of the fragility, and potential revocability, of human rights. Some large corporations responded to the ruling by extending provisions for support to folks who might need to access abortion care — ushering in, perhaps, a new era where individuals’ ability to exercise their rights might be tied in new ways to their employer’s desire and capacity for this additional support.

How are corporations responding to the evolving needs of their teams? What makes DEI initiatives successful whilst others fail at great cost to all involved?

Al Ramsay, VP and Head of 2SLGBTQ+ & Black Customer Segments at TD Bank Group, shares his insights on close to two decades of championing diversity and inclusion as a lived value and an integral part of business success.

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Isabelle Swiderski founded her design-for-impact agency Seven25 in 2007 to help values-driven organizations leverage the power of design. Marrying an MBA and MA in Design, Isabelle facilitates systems change and social justice and innovation work in partnership with NGOs, universities, governments, entrepreneurs, and ecosystem builders globally.

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