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How DEI bolsters profitability and performance within teams

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

New stats have revealed the big benefits that come with implementing effective DEI strategies.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is an important consideration for a company as it is a reflection of values.

With more Millennials and Gen Z workers making up the workforce, promoting DEI is crucial as it has become a top consideration for younger workers.


“There’s so much research and reports out there, and the big thing that it’s telling us is that we know a diverse and inclusive workforce improves business performance, which ultimately improves profitability for the organisation,” said Melissa Bowden, senior HR director, APAC and Japan at Workday.

“And of course, employee sentiment and wellbeing. So, it’s financially critically important. An organisation that’s not adapting and really being inclusive is diminishing their competitive advantage if they’re not doing that.”

Studies referenced by Ms Bowden found that organisations that have gender-diverse teams are 25 per cent more likely to experience above-average profitability. Furthermore, companies with ethnic and cultural diversity are 36 per cent more likely to outperform those that do not.

“That’s why so many organisations today have really jumped onto this because of the performance of the organisation profitability, but also the engagement and wellbeing of their workmates or employees,” said Ms Bowden.

In reaction to this, Workday has implemented a DEI policy that aims to promote healthy work culture and employee wellbeing.

Ms Bowden commented: “First and foremost, we have employee belonging councils (EBC). And so, if you think about if an employee belonging council, they provide support, education and also raise awareness to the employee population of an organisation.”

“Some of the ones that even I’m part of, Pride, I’m an ally to our Pride community. Families at Work is another EBC that we have. And of course, Women at Workday … These are communities that are driven by workmates, and they really focus on support, awareness, education, and really raising the profile and providing a community of support to those particular members of that.”

Implementing community-driven schemes may also be a beneficial way to improve the DEI at your organisation. One such initiative is the Family Friendly Workplaces certification.

“Last year, we did a family-friendly workplace certification. For those of you that may not know it, Parents at Work that’s owned and run by Emma Walsh, she’s the CEO, and this is her brainchild. She’s in partnership with UNICEF. And what they’ve done is they’ve created a national work and family standards,” explained Ms Bowden.

“So, [in] a company like Workday, we take all of our practices and policies and strategies, and we were assessed against those six standards. And it was fantastic because it really helped us look at how good are we doing and where we can improve.”

Being innovative and promoting your own values through policy is a great way to help you stay ahead of the curve. By doing this, you’re being proactive rather than reactive. This is the case with Workday’s grandparent leave.

“Yes, there’s parental leave, but let’s think about a demographic that has grandchildren and how do we think about bringing that to our workplace and offering that to our population that are becoming grandparents,” said Ms Bowden.

“Then the other one … is menopause. We’re seeing a growing trend around menopause, and we’ve got a multigenerational workforce at Workday, particularly in Australia. And as a result of that, we’ve been able to provide a lot of education and support.”

Ms Bowden added: “So these are some of the real tactical things that we are doing to really promote and support diversity, but also support inclusion because, as you know, that helps you retain talent.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation with Melissa Bowden on 12 April is below, and the original podcast article can be found here.


Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.