Heidrick & Struggles: How Leaders Can Link Diversity, Inclusion, And Accelerated Performance

Given that many companies are finding it hard to make progress on diversity alone, the Vanguard group’s achievements are well worth celebrating and exploring. And their actions suggest a way forward for other leaders seeking to improve D&I overall, inclusion specifically, and business performance, by creating organizations where inclusion and business strategies are intertwined, mutually reinforcing and amplifying the success of both.

When companies build diverse workforces and then get inclusion right, they can gain a crucial competitive edge in today’s volatile, fast-changing environment, in which creative approaches to new challenges and opportunities, and agility, are essential to success.

94% of respondents say their company’s leaders have defined why D&I is strategically important to their organization.

But only 27% say their companies are inclusive “to a large extent” today, and less than a quarter say they’re seeing a large contribution to their business success as a result of D&I efforts.

Other work by Heidrick & Struggles suggests leaders should think about D&I from two perspectives:

  • Where including diverse perspectives will improve strategy, foresight, or innovation.
  • How improving their attraction and retention of diverse individuals will help them stay ahead overall in a highly competitive talent market.

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Krishnan Rajagopalan and Lyndon A. Taylor
Thought leadership category