There have been many tragedies since the COVID-19 crisis began, but losing focus—and tightening the purse strings—on DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts shouldn’t be one of them.

We know that maintaining the pressure on these programs is the right thing to do, but I want to share the business perspective with you:

If we look back more than a decade ago to the global financial crisis, we know that companies with more inclusive workplaces fared better. The S&P index declined by more than 35% from 2007 to 2009, but inclusive organizations saw their stocks rise by 14%. Further, more and more research from BCG and elsewhere tells us that companies with more diversity perform better. Surviving this crisis and thriving in the years to come will take diverse, inclusive teams with a range of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives.

While businesses may be feeling extreme pressure to make cuts, DE&I should not be on the chopping block. Instead, we need to keep devoting time, money, and management attention to its progress and make sure it is integrated into the biggest decisions that leaders make. And as the pandemic has forced many companies to rethink how work can get done, it’s the perfect time build DE&I into the new reality of work.

Full article here.