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July 17, 2020

Q&A: Diversity in the Workplace

Steve Sublett, COO: Employee Benefits Podcast: Diving into Diversity.

Although COVID-19 will remain an ongoing topic of discussion, diversity has been brought to the forefront of people’s minds in light of the many recent highly publicized incidents of inequality and injustice across the U.S. So we decided to sit down with Steve Sublet, Chief Operating Officer of CBIZ Employee Benefits and Leader of the CBIZ Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, to discuss this topic and its role in the workplace.

The following are a few highlights of our Q&A with Steve.

  1. Why should a company make diversity a priority?

First, let’s address the misconception that in order to achieve diversity, you must sacrifice something else. This is simply not the case. The pool of candidates at all levels is large and broad enough that an organization can achieve diversity and employ the best-fit talent.

Diversity is the right thing to do; however, more than doing the right thing, there’s a business case to be made for diversity – financial impact. Many companies only want to hire businesses that make diversity a priority. For example, many Requests for Proposal (RFPs) will ask questions to determine what your business is doing in the area of diversity. I can tell you from personal experience that it has been a deciding factor in many instances. 

Additionally, demographic groups tend to prefer to give their business to those who are engaged in the topic and who employ those from like backgrounds.

  1. How can an employee effectively advocate for diversity if he or she is not in a position of leadership?

Leadership does not come with a title; anyone can show leadership . . . by raising their hand to get involved, asking questions, advocating for change, starting a dialogue, leading by example and holding others accountable.

  1. Diversity is a huge topic and encompasses so much. It’s safe to say some people are overwhelmed by that. In your opinion, what do businesses need to focus on first and foremost?

Do something immediate and tangible! For example, we established a companywide diversity and inclusion task force and shared the details of that with all of our employees. Also, have an initiative that will allow everyone in the company to participate in.

Communication is critical, as is proactively asking for input and feedback from all employees. But, for any of this to succeed, those at the top of the organization must be fully vested and committed.

For more Q&A with Steve on this topic, you can watch the full podcast here: “Diving into Diversity.”

Want to hear more from the CBIZ Employee Benefits team? Subscribe to the Biz Tips Employee Benefits podcast on Apple Podcast to get monthly episodes.

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