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What is DEI, and why should you care?

27th Feb 2023
Brought to you by
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
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Having a robust, proactive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.  

This year, we’re proud to be sponsoring the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award – and the Environmental, Social and Governance Award – in the 2023 AccountingExcellence Pride Awards. (Look out for a deep dive on ESG coming soon!)

Bright is sponsoring the pride category for DEI and ESG at the AE23 awards
AccountingExcellence Awards

What do diversity, equity and inclusion really mean?  

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are defined as a conceptual framework that promotes the fair treatment and full participation of all people. Although the ideas of diversity, equity and inclusion are interconnected and often lumped together, it's important to understand what they mean individually. 

Diversity: Who is represented in your business?

Diversity means the mixture of different people represented in your business. This includes: 

  • Gender diversity – the balance of women, men, and nonbinary people
  • Age diversity – a spread of generations. 
  • Ethnic diversity – different races, nationalities, and religious and cultural backgrounds.
  • Physical ability and neurodiversity – both seen and unseen disabilities. 
  • Sexual orientation – the LGBTQI+ community.

Equity: because equality isn’t enough 

Equity (in this sense) refers to fair treatment of all people – but it doesn’t mean treating everyone the same. That’s the important distinction between equity and equality. Equality only works if everyone is starting from the same place. Equity acknowledges that imbalances exist and works to balance them.

Equity illustration of three people standing on the same height box (equality) vs three people on different height boxes (equity) that allow them to see over a fence.
Bright
 

Inclusion: Genuinely hearing every voice 

Inclusion refers to the personal experience of the people working at your practice. It’s about embracing each and every employee – and making sure they have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions.  

You can achieve diversity, but unless you’re giving value to each person’s point of view, you’re not achieving inclusion… And you’re not unlocking the power of your diverse workforce!

Inclusion is crucial to employee retention – if people don’t feel valued, heard, or empowered they’re more likely to leave. This, of course, applies at every hierarchical level. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a linked set. It means that you have a range of voices, all of whom are enabled to share their best work and be valued for it. And, when you can support input from everybody, your business benefits. 

How does DEI impact business success? 

Innovation and creativity

The most obvious benefit of a diverse workplace is that different minds bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. Diverse backgrounds can also offer different skills, so your company has more strengths in more areas.   

Diversity in the workplace boosts an employer’s brand and presents a company as a more desirable place to work as organisations with diverse workforces are generally more progressive and inclusive of different individual characteristics and perspectives.

LinkedIn, The impact of diversity and Inclusion on business performance 

Attract the best talent

Prospective employees take diversity and inclusion into account when whittling down their job offers. 

Higher staff retention and satisfaction

People are much more likely to stick around when they feel like they belong – when they’re being given fair opportunities based on their unique circumstances, and their voices are being heard.  

More diverse companies, we believe, are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, and all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns.  

 – McKinsey, Why Diversity Matters 

Widen your talent pool

If you look in different places and hire purely based on skills and experience instead of how someone looks, how old they are or where they’re from, you cast your recruitment net wider. 

 

74% of Millennials believe their organization is more innovative when it has a culture of inclusion.

Deloitte Millennial Survey  

Better understand your clients

When your workforce represents the diversity in your community (across the UK, or even the world), you gain the insights you need to better serve – and attract – a wider and more diverse audience. 

Ok, but what about the financial impact?  

In a perfect world, progressing humanity would always carry more weight than making money. But to support people in employment, you must consider the financials too. So, for business owners, accountants and bookkeepers, the financial question is one that must be considered. After all, if doing the right thing is the right thing to do, then you’ll be benefiting in so many ways.

The answer has been tackled by many reputable names – with results proving that companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially: 

We’re on our own diversity, equity and inclusion journey 

At Bright, we’re committed to not only promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion – but building a business that’s led by these pillars. We’ll be sharing insights and updates over the coming months – we might even offer tips for your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award application… So sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know!

 

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