Gabrielle Novacek, Jean Lee, Matt Krentz

First, companies need to take a step back and reframe the way they talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion. They must start with a new basic premise: that they will understand the needs of every individual, look for patterns of difference that cut across the whole organization and matter the most in driving positive outcomes, and devise solutions that holistically address those differences. When viewed in this light, it also becomes apparent that DEI programs aren’t just for employees traditionally viewed as minorities. DEI programs are for everyone.

Second, companies must redefine who should be the focus of DEI efforts. Demographic factors (like age, socioeconomic background, and immigrant status), life context (such as caregiver status or being part of a dual-career household), and physical and mental differences (such as physical disability, neurodiversity, chronic illness, mental health challenges, or even different personality or problem-solving styles) can all play important roles in shaping who employees are when they come to work and how they experience the workplace.

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