Many years ago, when I included D&I related initiatives in clients’ business transformation plans, these were seen as a bit ‘alternative’, a ‘nice-to-have’ or because of a CEO’s ‘vanity project’.
Not any more.
It is predicted these two groups will make up to 75% of the global workforce in the next 5 - 10 years, so their voices are only going to get louder. Their passion has been supported by recent events such as the #MeTooMovement, #BlackLivesMatter and the mental anguish of the lockdowns.
Add to this, the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals are intended to be achieved by 2030 - in only 9 years time.
Additionally, recent research shows the average age of corporate investors has dropped from 45 to 37, whilst other stakeholders from these age groups such as customers and employees, are also clamouring for change.
So, businesses need to create an #Inclusive culture. Where people can bring their ‘whole self’ to work, to provide a culture of psychological security - where colleagues can express their diverse opinions based on their different experiences, without fear of discrimination, or recrimination.
And the first place to start? Take the time to agree on the organisation’s ‘purpose’, the reason why you do what you do. Find the direction of your company’s moral compass, and if that’s pointing in the same direction as that of the Millennials and Gen Zs, then you will have their support - which will drive #EmployeeEngagement, resulting in increased performance - positively impacting the top and bottom line.
After languishing at the edges of C-Suit priorities for so long, #DiversityAndInclusion is now both mainstream and will increasingly gain more momentum.
Ignore those Millennials and Gen Zs at your peril!