In today’s volatile business climate, especially what is happening in the US with the new administration, it’s important that businesses are proactive on several fronts. For any organization to survive and thrive, they can no longer afford not to embrace diversity and inclusion.

The ideal business climate, companies should be striving for is one that addresses the following:

The current demographics. When a workforce is out of sync with the world around it, progress and innovation are stunted. However, when the workforce reflects the outside world, business owners and managers are better in tune with trends and thus adapt, innovate an prosper.

The power of innovation and creativity. Men and women of all ages, religions, ethnic backgrounds, races, sexual orientation, disabilities, skills and various levels of education work together to bring about a dynamic workforce. This creates a fertile breeding ground for new thoughts, ideas, opinions, and even system and beliefs to improve and grow a business.

The expectations of customers. Based on demographics, changes, where we work, what we do and whom we do it with continues to shift along with who provides the service, what the service is, and how the service is provided. A diverse workforce enables you to stay in tune with changes and adapt quickly.

Broadening horizons and globalization. An ideal workforce is one that view diversity as an opportunity. A diverse workforce has its finger on the pulse of the consumer.

Diverse suppliers: Embracing diversity with your suppliers helps build relationships and, in business, those who have strong partnerships are the ones that survive and thrive.

In the workplace of the 21st century, diversity is all about more than affirmative action. It’s about understanding biases, our own and others. It is also about dialogue, education, training, compassion, and a true effort to change corporate missions, visions and strategies.