Dumebi Egbuna, CMO and Co-Founder of Chezie, joined us for a conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
It is critical for diverse job-seekers to feel a sense of belonging in their workplace. But how do you know what it’s like to be a woman of color, have a disability, or be gender non-conforming at a certain company? That’s where Chezie comes in.
Chezie is a platform for diverse job-seekers to get the insight and community they need to find careers they love. By gathering stories from underrepresented employees at companies, job-seekers can find out what it's like to be a person of any identity at a prospective company.
We asked Dumebi what diversity and inclusion means to her.
“It’s a lot about your sense of belonging. When you walk into a room or when you walk into the office, do you feel like you belong there? Do you feel like your opinion is heard? Do you feel like your time and your effort is valued? It can also mean representation. So, for me as a Black woman, I’m very used to walking in the room or walking into spaces where I’m the only Black woman or the only Black person. And that can be a really lonely feeling. So if you combine, already feeling like you don’t belong with a lack of representation and not seeing people who look like yourself, that is a company that lacks diversity and inclusion.”
The statistics supporting this lack of diversity and inclusion are staggering.
- 97% of senior leadership teams in the US fail to reflect the demographics of the country’s labor force and population.
- As of 2018, at every stage of the corporate pipeline there are more white men and women than people of color.
- Companies lose about $16 billion each year due to mistreatment of employees and turnover costs.
- In 2020, 61.8% of people without a disability were employed compared to 17.9% of those with a disability.
And that’s just the beginning.
From a business perspective, it’s quite literally better for business to prioritize diverse and inclusive workplaces as they foster employee engagement and satisfaction. Dumebi included:
“From a business standpoint, you are saving money by having diversity and inclusion initiatives in place because you’re not having to deal with turnover, your minority employees are staying longer, you progress them throughout their career cycles and you’re not having to fill those voids whenever they leave.”
And this, too, is backed by stats.
- Ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors.
- Diverse companies are 70% likelier to capture a new market.
- Employees who feel as though their companies are committed to DEI efforts and genuinely feel included are 80% more likely to rank their employer as high performing.
- Companies with higher percentages of racial or gender diversity elicit higher sales revenue, more customers, and above average market share and profitability according to a study published by the American Sociological Review.
Regardless of the business benefits that accompany creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce, Dumebi notes that it’s just “the right thing to do.” And to do it right, you have to center the voices and needs of the employees you’re trying to uplift, empower, and support.
“Before you implement whatever diversity and inclusion initiatives you want to implement, just check in and ask, “Will this be helpful to you?” Because there is no point in implementing these things if they’re not going to be helpful or beneficial… Just try and make your programs as tailored to the audience that you’re trying to serve as possible.”
Blanket DEI initiatives will fall flat. It’s important to meet your employees where they are and be sure to implement programs that will serve each identity represented at your company.
Chezie is on a mission to create the most inclusive workplaces on earth–and that’s a mission we can definitely get behind. At Inclusivv, we are committed to building connection among employees and customers by creating brave spaces for peer-to-peer learning. People just want to feel heard, and it’s clear that companies like Chezie are doing the work to uplift every voice in the workforce. Our purpose at Inclusivv is very similar–ensuring all community members feel heard, engaged, and empowered to co-create a better future.
Watch the full interview with Dumebi here: