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DEI has become the new key to sustainable success for companies.

This is our article published by HR Magazine in the March 2024 issue.

Many companies embarking on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives may view these projects solely as social responsibility efforts. However, it is crucial to understand that DEI is much more than just a social mission. This is an important issue that requires a strategic approach, needs to be examined in depth, and attracts attention with its benefits. In addition to increasing employee engagement, DEI brings other essential benefits that are often overlooked. When approached from this perspective, DEI initiatives will stand out as comprehensive and strategically important projects that create value for companies.

"DEI is the new key to sustainable success for companies."

Özgür Abanoz - Workplace in Action® Global Program Manager

Key determinants such as the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and European Sustainability Reporting Standards show that DEI offers notable layers within sustainability initiatives.

However, all of these issues include gender equality, accessibility, increasing women's visibility in business life, intergenerational harmony, improved decision-making processes, reduction of prejudices, increased legal compliance, proactive approach to legal non-compliances, and most importantly, healthy lifestyles supported in terms of physical and mental health. It requires comprehensive consideration of various issues, such as providing a working environment.

This broad spectrum of DEI efforts can be achieved through educational support and applied project work targeting behavioural changes.

Combining training and practical work enables companies to achieve more consistent and sustainable results rather than individually planned improvements. Although fundamental human values are known, daily life and habits can cover these values like a smokescreen. Continuous coaching and mentoring support, training to increase academic knowledge, and realistic, practical actions enable companies to achieve the desired permanent solutions.

DEI is essential in many areas, such as increasing the sense of belonging, transforming suppliers, and complying with sustainability goals, career development, and leadership programs. Although these studies are managed from different sources and budgets, they can be managed holistically by centring DEI. Combining topics spread across various functions reduces operational losses and strategic planning difficulties while increasing transparency and accuracy in reporting.

"Workplace in Action® for DEI" aims for a transparent and auditable DEI structure supported by KPIs, designed taking into account companies' needs. This structure directs companies to full compliance with the 2030 Sustainability Goals and EU Standards while providing results in line with strategic goals and fully integrating companies into new production systems.

Preventing domestic violence, solving accessibility problems, increasing women's visibility in business life, and raising creative individuals free of environmental prejudices are among the goals of DEI studies. This approach aims to create a more livable world for all humanity by taking action rather than just saying what needs to be done. These improvements create tangible changes in society, empowering each individual to contribute to society with inner peace when returning from work to home.

The "Workplace in Action for DEI" program aims to take action together with companies to create sustainable and humane structures so that we can take essential steps towards making a real difference. This comprehensive and strategic approach shapes the future of companies and society, bringing us all together to create a better world.

Contributions of DEI Studies to Sustainable Success

Innovation and Creativity: Diverse teams bring rich ideas from different cultural backgrounds, life experiences and areas of expertise. This brings new perspectives to problem-solving processes and encourages creativity. Research shows that diversity directly impacts innovation and creative output. Different ways of thinking enable the company to respond more quickly and effectively to the dynamic needs of the market, supporting innovation in its products and services.

Employee Engagement: A DEI-focused work environment allows employees to feel valued and accepted. Being able to express their own identities and values at work freely increases employees' commitment to the company and job satisfaction. This leads to lower turnover rates and increased employee loyalty in the long run.

Talent Acquisition and Retention: Today's job seekers, especially the new generation of professionals, are turning to companies that hold diversity and inclusion values high. Focusing on DEI has become a key to attracting and retaining talented individuals. This strengthens companies' position in the industry, especially in sectors where rare talents are competitive.

Customer Reflection: A diverse workforce more accurately reflects the needs and expectations of a broad customer base. Employees' diverse perspectives help the company make its products and services relevant to a wider audience, increasing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Decision Making: Incorporating different perspectives into decision-making processes allows for more comprehensive and balanced decisions. This reduces errors and misjudgments while strengthening the company's risk management capacity.

Company Reputation: Commitment to DEI helps the company build a positive image with customers, partners and investors. This increases brand value and is considered a strong indicator of social responsibility awareness.

Risk Management: Diversity and inclusion help prevent groupthink by ensuring opposing views and ideas are considered. This enables more robust risk assessments and the identification of potential problems in advance.

Market Access and Expansion: Diverse teams are critical in developing marketing strategies for different cultural and demographic groups. This allows the company to enter new markets and increase its share in existing markets.

Legal Compliance: Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements related to diversity and equity helps avoid potential legal issues and penalties, protecting the company's reputation and financial health.

Financial Performance: Diversity and inclusion can have a positive impact on economic performance. Research from global organizations shows that companies with high levels of diversity tend to perform better financially. This can be directly attributed to increased innovation, customer satisfaction and brand strength.

DEI studies positively affect companies' internal dynamics, external reputation, and market positioning, creating a critical basis for sustainable success and growth.

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