Stronger Partnerships and Performance through Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
IEC was recently represented in Burn's and McDonnell's inaugural event called 'Empowering Diverse Partnerships'. This event is a demonstration of Burns' continuing commitment to reframe the narrative around business diversity. IEC's President, Nilson Goes, served as a panelist to share comments and insights about leading a diverse business, as well as establishing and nurturing a partnership with a large, multi-national firm.
"There is a lot of conversation about the importance of inclusion, equity and diversity (DE&I) - which is all for the better. I'm equally, if not more, encouraged about HOW this is being framed. Those that truly see the value of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion view it as a viable business strategy....an asset...rather than a chore or box to check." says Nilson Goes.
The data supports this perspective. Diverse groups, communities, and companies outperform their homogenous counterparts by significant margins. "It's no coincidence that the hubs of commerce concentrate to areas of greatest diversity....New York, Chicago, Los Angeles - with a the right approach to DE&I, you can tap into those benefits-
without the traffic" says Nilson. "The understanding that macro concepts are best applied locally is an investment that we are happy to support in whatever way possible."
Burns' investment in these initiatives speaks to their appreciation of a responsibility, and to the business case for DE&I. It's a progressive understanding that it 'takes a village' to fully embrace and execute a DE&I program and culture. To this end, Burns brought in Ralph G. Moore, a renowned leader in business diversity, for a training session for their employees on the importance of DE&I and how to build this into their business strategy and challenge one another to be better partners to small and diverse suppliers.
The concept of DE&I runs a wide spectrum. This includes women, veteran, LBGTQ, disabled, and minority owned businesses. The element of inclusion means engaging more communities to be represented in the business relationships
and sourcing strategies. The concept strikes a different note to different people. As such, it should meet people where they are at. For some, it's a matter of fairness and community representation. For others, it's a matter of a sound business strategy that increases competitiveness, innovation, and performance. For many, it's both. Nilson offers up a different perspective as well, "In a world where the only constant is change, we need to understand that the minority today, may the majority tomorrow - and the vice versa. So, from an element of pure self-preservation it's important to build systems that are inclusive of everyone now".
IEC was proud to be included in the conversation and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to a topic we are passionate about in a community of colleagues and partners.
Feel free to share you comments and perspective around DE&I.