I recently read a Business Insider article that explained that being diverse and inclusive is no longer a nice addition to a business, but instead is absolutely necessary for employees and consumers. The article highlighted specific diversity and inclusion trends that are top of mind for company leaders right now, with insights from executives at top U.S. companies. I thought I’d share a few from retail executives interviewed for the article:

  1. Address cultural and behavioral biases. Beatriz Rodriguez, chief diversity officer at The Home Depot, shared that she hopes to see more companies leveraging bias awareness into modeling processes, systems and leaders’ behavior to create more inclusive practices. Last year, many companies provided unconscious biases trainings, but this year companies should take it to the next level.

  2. Focus more on intersectionality. Brian Reaves, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Dell, explained that in 2020 companies need to better acknowledge that the experience of a white woman and a black woman in the workplace can be very different. Therefore, having more targeted initiatives that take the multiple dimensions of diversity into account is crucial.

  3. Create an inclusive environment. Tim Massa, senior vice president and chief people officer at Kroger, said that he believes inclusion is key to employee retention. He feels there needs to be more focus on inclusion, and not just numbers because inclusive behaviors will drive the numbers when done authentically and purposely. Companies can do this by changing policies to give employees a sense of belonging and allowing them to be their authentic selves.

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do you or your company have planned for 2020? We’d love to hear about them!