J.E.D.I Work Fosters Long-Term
Growth And Innovation
At every level of business, we see the diversity of ideas and solutions build stronger companies and a more robust economy. This is not a zero-sum game, it is to the benefit of all of us. How? More diverse teams bring greater perspective, generate better ideas, and see around corners that prepare them to address challenges. The business case clear:
- Companies with organizational diversity yield 21% higher financial performance, and 27% higher likelihood of long-term value creation*
- Inclusive organizations enjoy 3X revenue growth **
- Diverse teams are more likely to question assumptions, remain objective, and yield more dynamic innovation **
- Goldman Sachs will no longer IPO companies that have without board diversity***
- 44% jump in average share price for companies with diverse boards vs. 13% with no diversity***
- 60% of companies with VC-backed firms did not have any women board members, no S&P 500 companies are all men***
*McKinsey and Company, Delivering Growth Through Diversity, By Vivian Hunt, Lareina Yee, Sara Prince, and Sundiatu Dixon-Fyle, January 2018
**A Great Place to Work for All by Michael C Bush and the Great Place to Work Research Team, March 2018
***CBS News, No More All-White, All Male Boards, Aimee Picche, January 24, 2020
The natural products industry must embrace a multicultural society to remain relevant
Younger workers expect multicultural and progressive work environments. Millennials (Gen Y-Z), are nearly 30% of the workforce. They prefer the dynamic of multiculturalism. Attracting and retaining a workforce for the future requires a deep dive into our systems and practices in how we do business.
The new statistics project that the nation will become “minority white” in 2045. During that year, whites will comprise 49.7 percent of the population in contrast to 24.6 percent for Hispanics, 13.1 percent for blacks, 7.9 percent for Asians, and 3.8 percent for multiracial populations.
Our Industry Impact
The natural products industry, having long been a leader in driving food and healthy lifestyle trends, is uniquely positioned to lead the types of J.E.D.I efforts that lead to systemic change and that we need to build and sustain a vibrant, regenerative economy.
America is in need of innovative solutions, business practices, and policy agendas that:
- provide equal access to healthy living and quality high-paying jobs and careers,
- inspire our next generation of leaders, and
- Ensure there is a “401K” for America’s future.
We will only continue to drive innovation and growth if we shift traditional, outdated business practices and work to eliminate degenerative legislative policy.
One Step Closer and our partners understand that a holistic focus on people, planet and profit is good business. Each area of focus has its own implications for responsibility, behavior, accountability, and return on investment - together they secure a future that is prosperous for all.
Innovation and the Bottom Line
Years of accredited research from fact tanks, business leadership institutions, and economy statisticians show that diversity (especially ethnic and gender) — within leadership, your board, employees, and customers — actually improves innovation, market share, revenue streams, productivity, employee retention/engagement, and ultimately your profit.
Global warming hurts the most vulnerable communities hardest. Farmers represent 80% and women are 70% of people living in poverty. The health of our planet is tethered to engaging and listening to, while also learning from a diversity of communities engaged in and impacted by sustainable and regenerative natural product production. Incorporating the knowledge and perspectives of diverse communities in business and in public policy contributes to a more robust and powerful movement to address the most pressing environmental crises - up to and including climate change.
Saving Lives and Building Healthier Communities
Socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural barriers prevent people with marginalized identities from accessing healthy products, and in particular, food. Because food is central to social factors including health, education, and livelihoods, the food industry has the power to create true social change. We have a responsibility to make natural products more accessible. We know that healthy and culturally relevant food reduces rates of chronic illness, and has positive outcomes on educational performance, and helps communities thrive.
Holistically Applying J.E.D.I Operationally to Your Business
Using J.E.D.I principles and practices to inform every facet of your business is essential and important. It is also difficult.
Some of the keys strategies that can ensure success include:
- Creating a top level focus and strategy at the CEO/COO/CHRO level
- Assigning a top executive the responsibility for leading and sponsoring the inclusion and diversity program
- Creating behavioral standards, diversity metrics, and holding leaders accountable for results
- Training people at all levels on topics like unconscious bias, similarity bias, structural bias, and self-rater bias
- Integrating diversity and inclusion strategies in recruitment, performance management, leadership assessment, training
- Creating employee networks (D&I champions, Employee Resource Groups, and Communities of Practice) to bring people together
- Holding your company accountable to compete in external award programs to win and compete in this important area
- Creating an internal and externally visible scorecard to measure progress in all areas. Such scorecards include metrics for recruiting, promotion rates, compensation levels, participation in coaching programs, turnover, participation in ERGs, supplier diversity, and much more.
We’re experts at creating and optimizing strategies that stick and that are specifically applicable to organizations operating within the Natural Food Products and CPG Industries. Check out our Pathways to Action programs for more information and to get started building your JEDI action plan!