Understanding the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace | Opinion

What if I told you we knew one of the keys to fostering success within the business community across Florida? You’d jump at the opportunity to learn more, right?

Since the launch of the Florida 2030 Blueprint, the Florida Chamber Foundation has been working to uncover just that, and throughout the course of our work, we have uncovered some game-changing insights.

One in particular? Diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environments have a significant impact on the talent organizations are able to attract and are vital to an organizations ability to thrive and innovate.

For example, a recent survey conducted by Glassdoor found that “76 percent of employees and job seekers said a diverse workforce was important when evaluating companies and job offers.” Additionally, when Deloitte studied the importance of diversity in the workplace to millennials, their results were undeniable. Specifically, 83% revealed they felt “empowered and engaged in the workplace when they believe[d] their company fosters an authentically inclusive culture.”

Considering millennials are the largest segment of the workforce, this information is vital to businesses looking to attract top performing talent.

Additionally, there is evidence that shows those companies that place an emphasis on high quality diversity practices significantly outperform their peers in terms of profitability.

McKinsey & Company’s Diversity Wins found that companies in the top quartile, in terms of gender diverse executive teams, were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability compared to companies in the bottom quartile. When you consider ethnic diversity, that figure jumped to 36%.

Understanding the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, and how it is a key to fostering a successful business community throughout Florida, the Florida Chamber Foundation set its sights on ensuring every Floridan had an equal opportunity at earned success.

In fact, in 2016 our President and CEO, Mark Wilson, testified before Congress and uttered those exact words, and in April of 2021, we  launched the Florida Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Project.

The goal of the project? Work with the state’s leading private sector DEI officers to identify and understand the best corporate DEI promising practices and compile them into a freely and widely distributed DEI toolkit to support small to mid-size businesses that may not have the resources to employ full time experts on staff.

Experts from organizations like PNC, Florida Blue, Nemours, and countless others have lent their time and talent to support the creation of this toolkit set to be published in the coming months.

As issues evolve, we will be refreshing the toolkit to help the business community best serve their employees and customers.

At the Florida Chamber Foundation, we believe everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, religion, disability, sexual or gender identity, age, ethnicity, or any other distinguishing characteristic or trait, should have an equal opportunity at earned success. Everyone.

Businesses should continue to do everything they can to promote DEI in the workplace. Together, we can grow Florida, but we must unite the business community for good on this front.

Rather than government mandates and regulation, let’s keep sharing what America’s private sector leadership looks like.

Kyle Baltuch serves as the Senior Vice President for the Florida Chamber Foundations and leads the Florida Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Project. He can be contacted at


This piece was originally published with the Tallahassee Democrat

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