How the Right DEI Initiatives Can FUEL Your Business

In today’s environment, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have never been so pertinent in the world of business. However, many institutions seem to miss the mark when it comes to creating a space where all aspects of DEI can truly coexist and thrive. When companies do the work to bring on multicultural, diverse talent in a safe working environment, this helps promote higher levels of engagement, productivity, and innovation that ultimately will increase revenue, progressing the company to grow and succeed.

At Gig Wage, we’ve grown our headcount by 4x this year and plan to double again by year-end. We are intentional in pursuing diversity of all kinds in our growth and intend on setting the bar high. This has been our focus in 2021 because it's what our business needed to succeed.

Here are a few specific ways making DEI a priority can improve your business:

1. Modernize and Grow Your Workforce
Organizations that incorporate robust DEI initiatives are stronger and more successful than those that push them aside. By creating long-term support for employees, it demonstrates the organization’s trust in its talent so they can be better engaged, more productive, and generate their best work. Companies that implement actual inclusion strategies often see more innovation and are further likely to hit their financial goals by up to 120% than those that only strive for diversity from an optics perspective or to meet a numerical quota.

Maintaining a diverse workforce is imperative for modern organizations to succeed. As your business continues to expand, you will also need to account for your growing variety of customers and how your product or service fits in with their lifestyle. Industries that struggle to keep up with the progression of society will eventually collapse by not being able to fulfill the current user’s needs. By placing people from different backgrounds and cultures in decision-making roles, it will provide a wider, more radical outlook on the business and even deliver valuable mentorship to future employees.

At Gig Wage, we are BOLD about our DEI goals. We aim to diversify leadership, and non-leadership alike and to incorporate more gender diversity across our teams. Our three main DEI goals for 2021 are as follows:

33% of the leadership team is Black

25% of new hires in 2021 are Black

More than 50% of the team is women

95% of employees at Gig Wage give us an eight or above for inclusiveness, and we are hyper-focused on underrepresented groups and gaps in our current leadership. DEI efforts are incredibly important for retention and when an inclusive culture is incorporated into the framework of any business, the financial benefits are proved to follow.

2. Boost Internal Company Morale and Performance
Embodying DEI initiatives can offer a boost in company morale. Major corporations, such as Mastercard, Johnson & Johnson, and EY have made DEI a priority in the fabric of their companies, and have all experienced a positive shift in their overall performance and employee morale. Commitment to DEI can help attract new employees as well as keep them. Reports have shown that DEI initiatives, when executed correctly, have reduced staff turnover by 50% which promotes a more consistent and cohesive makeup of employees throughout the company, and for 67% of people seeking new employment, they consider diversity as one of their top factors when considering job offers.

While many organizations are investing DEI efforts on their full-time employees, few have considered the issue when it comes to their non-traditional workforce, also referred to as independent contractors or gig workers. Employers in the past haven’t paid much attention to diversity in the gig economy because they view these workers as immediate employment solutions, and not long-term ventures. However, according to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends, 75% of HR departments have reported to expand their support to include workers in the gig economy. As the alternative workforce becomes more and more mainstream it will be important for companies to shift their existing strategies to create an inclusive environment for all their hires and in order to attract independent workers when the business needs it.

In order to ensure our team accurately reflects our commitment to diversity, Gig Wage incorporates a uniform interview process that mitigates bias and explicitly asks for diverse referrals from co-workers when hiring. We aim to work exclusively with recruiters that prioritize diversity and showcase potential employers on an equal playing field. In addition to making our interview process bias-free for all potential employees, Gig Wage commits to posting all position inquiries on diversity-focused job boards. Regardless of the size or experience of a company, prioritizing DEI initiatives can improve positive development and growth by maintaining and attracting top talent employees.

3. Improve Customer Relations
Hiring employees that have new, unconventional skills they can utilize helps your company stand out and be much more attractive to consumers. These days, where your organization stands on socio-economic issues is a large factor in whether or not people are willing to give your their business. 64% of consumers consider purchasing a product or financially supporting a company on the spot after seeing diversity reflected in their advertising. Customer intimacy is a natural byproduct of DEI initiative incorporation, for it allows businesses to truly understand the values and needs of their consumers. At Gig Wage, we view our relationship with our customers as our highest priority, so diversifying the makeup of our company will continue to serve as a way for us to better evolve and connect with our customers. As consumers enter markets that are often over-saturated, they have the ability to pick and choose which businesses they support and invest in. With that being said, consumers have real expectations for companies to adapt to the diverse world we live in, and companies that fail to promote and prioritize true diversity, equity, and inclusion will fall behind their competition.

In a company where DEI initiatives are incorporated, everyone benefits. Here at Gig Wage, 
our mission is to drive economic empowerment for ALL of our stakeholders. Without a firm grasp on the importance and impact of DEI in the workplace, we would not be able to truly accomplish this mission. Companies offer a more relatable and inclusive consumer/customer experience and leadership/non-leadership teams perform better as a result of feeling respected and valued equally among their counterparts. When companies commit to incorporating DEI initiatives, they are committing to growing and developing their company in a way that is beneficial to all counterparts.

Written by

Erin Lee