The Importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Business

Recent social and political changes have made diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) part of a bigger conversation for businesses of all sizes and in nearly every industry. Today, DEI is more than just doing the right thing. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in addition to respecting human rights and dignity in the workplace, diverse and inclusive businesses typically outperform their competitors in innovation, employee retention, talent recruitment, profit and many other critical business metrics.

Yet despite the importance of DEI, 41% of all managers surveyed say they are just “too busy” to implement any kind of diversity and inclusion initiatives. However, for businesses electing to prioritize their DEI initiatives, the following are key benefits.  

  • A more connected work environment. DEI efforts help employees feel safe and respected, creating a strong sense of community and a feeling of belonging that can lead to more productive employees. Inclusion can be an effective way to improve engagement with employees who are working from home, helping them feel a sense of belonging. Source: Forbes
  • A better representation of the business. Embracing diversity of gender, race, nationality, creed, sexuality, etc., demonstrates to customers and employees what the business stands for and what it believes is important. Source: Forbes
  • Greater innovation. Studies reveal that diversity of thought in a company’s management fuels new product development and generates more opportunities for the business and its employees. Today, nearly 70% of diverse companies are better positioned to capture new markets. Source: McKinsey & Company and What to Become
  • A more committed workforce. Employees who feel more connected on the job typically have a strong commitment to their employer and work harder. As a result, they are more likely to stay with the business for the long-term.
  • Improved risk management. Because DEI initiatives help employees feel safe at work, they are more likely to feel comfortable enough to immediately report ongoing or potential discrimination issues before they develop into claims or litigation issues. Source: Forbes

DEI Risk Mitigation

A business that fails to properly address DEI in the workplace can face potential legal and financial risks. Even with the best DEI program, claims can happen. While you can’t prevent every loss, you can better protect your business’s assets with the right insurance. 

Employment practices liability insurance provides coverage for employers against legal judgments and claims made by their employees alleging wrongful actions. Coverages include a wide range of employment-related issues, such as alleged discrimination, wrongful termination and violations of civil rights. 

A Directors and Officers liability policy provides financial protection for a business’s executive directors and board members in the event an employee initiates a lawsuit against these individuals claiming errors, omissions, negligence and/or breach of duty. It can also include alleged wage-and-hours law violations, age discrimination and wrongful termination.

To learn how employment practices liability and D&O insurance and can help protect your business, contact the experts at Oakwood D&O. We have over 15 years of experience specializing in all aspects of management liability. Get in touch: Email Eli Solomon, CEO, at or call 323-686-7519. You can also follow Oakwood D&O on LinkedIn.