How Utah leaders and businesses are trying to make diversity a top priority

How Utah leaders and businesses are trying to make diversity a top priority

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Creating a work environment where people of all genders, races and backgrounds thrive is a worthy goal for all Utah businesses and leaders. But it's not just the right thing to do — it's also the smart thing to do.

According to the McKinsey & Company Diversity Wins report, ethnically diverse leadership teams are 36% more likely to be profitable. Companies with diverse boards are 43% more likely to experience higher profits. A Boston Consulting Group study also found that companies with more diverse management teams experienced 19% higher revenues due to innovation.

As a business leader, you've likely heard all about the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace and may already have programs in place to foster this kind of environment. But if the topic feels foreign or intimidating to you and you aren't sure where to start, it may help to learn what other local leaders are doing to make diversity a top priority.

Joining the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

Most people would agree that effective change starts with those in charge at the top — namely the CEOs and other C-level leaders. Ancestry.com, BGZ brands, Extra Space Storage, FranklinCovey, SkyWest and Pluralsight are among the local companies who've joined the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. Their CEOs have signed a pledge to have conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion; implement education and training on the topic; share ideas and initiatives with others; and engage boards of directors in their diversity, equity and inclusion strategies.

Taking the ParityPledge

Prioritizing diversity doesn't have to start with drastic action or a massive overhaul of company policy. Sometimes it can be as simple as promising to make one small change in your hiring process. Several Utah tech companies — such as Qaultrics, Domo, Pluralsight and InsideSales — have shown their commitment to making the workplace more diverse and inclusive by taking the ParityPledge. The pledge is simple: For every open VP, C-Suite and Board position, these companies promise to interview and consider at least one qualified woman and one qualified person of color.

There's evidence that even taking this small pledge makes a big difference in promoting greater diversity. For example, Domo reports that the percentage of females on its board of directors has grown from zero to 43% since 2017.

Creating equal opportunity in the workplace

These are just small examples, but there are several ways businesses and leaders can promote greater diversity in the workplace. Recognizing the need for change is a great way to start. To fight systemic racism and unfairness on an individual, business and government level, state leaders recently created the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The compact offers five principles for individuals and businesses to adopt to create equal opportunity in the state. You can review these principles online and add your name to the list of local businesses and leaders who are committed to making Utah a more inclusive, diverse state.

How you can help make Utah's Business Diversity Summit the best yet this year

Talking or reading about diversity and inclusion is one thing. Doing something about it is even better. Here's one way you can shape the conversation about diversity in Utah.

The Salt Lake Chamber and the State of Utah are looking for speakers and presentation proposals for Utah's Business Diversity Summit on Oct. 28. If you have the perfect speaker, panel or presentation topic in mind, be sure to submit your proposal by 5 p.m. on July 8.

Additionally, public, private and nonprofit organizations from Utah will be recognized for their excellence and leadership in equality, diversity, and fairness, in all aspects of business. If you know of an inclusive organization and would like to nominate them for an award, submit their name by July 29.

For more information, visit the Salt Lake Chamber website.

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