The U.S. population, and as a result the nation’s workforce, is becoming increasingly diverse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the white labor force population is projected to decline from 84% in 1994 to 77% in 2024, while the minority working population is projected to increase from 15% to 23%.

Within the modern working world, “diversity and inclusion” is something that is at the forefront of many corporate mission and value statements, and it has been amplified by the unprecedented social justice movements that swept the world in 2020.

Huge priority

It’s also a huge priority with job hunters. Around 78% of employees in the tech industry shared that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are very important to them when considering whether or not to accept a job offer. For Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), this number jumps to 88%.

But what does diversity and inclusion in the workplace really mean? Diversity refers to political beliefs, race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, class and/or gender identity differences. And inclusion means that everyone in the diverse mix feels involved, valued, respected, treated fairly and embedded in the company culture.

Essentially, diversity and inclusion is a conversation about rewriting implicit bias — rooting it out wherever it exists and challenging the idea that different means inferior. The overall goal of diverse and inclusive practices is to build a workforce that reflects the available labor market with all talent groups equally represented, and not excluding anyone because of their differences.

Aside from this being a moral imperative, an inclusive workplace has financial and productivity benefits for all involved. Setting your sights on an employer which is committed to DEI initiatives may well be the way to develop and future proof your career in 2023. And here’s why:

Diversity sparks innovation

Everybody wants to work for an innovative organization — one that’s a leader in its field. Typically, these are companies that can anticipate market trends, industry disruptions and technological change, thrive in the face of this change and empower employees to do the same.

A 2018 study by Harvard Business Review found that companies with above-average total diversity had 19% higher innovation revenues. And it’s not hard to imagine why. A diverse group of people will have an easier time coming up with inventive solutions to problems than a group that all bring a similar set of life experiences to the table.

Organizations which prioritize DEI initiatives will always be more effective and adaptable. True creativity is fostered where different world views and skills collide, and increased creativity, in turn, leads to greater innovation.

Worth noting are inclusive employers on the VentureBeat Job Board like Netflix (with current open roles) which has a business model powered by the concept that better representation on-screen starts with representation in the office. Netflix firmly believes that the company performs better if employees come from different backgrounds, and if an environment of inclusion and belonging is created for them.

Strengthening soft skills

Both in educational and professional environments, cultural diversity benefits everyone. It paves the way to more empathy and compassion, deepened learning and approaches the world from various perspectives.

A culturally-diverse workplace empowers people to develop their soft skills — particularly their curiosity and adaptability. Understanding the true meaning of diversity and inclusion positively affects all workers, regardless of whether or not they themselves are part of minority groups.

Cultural diversity works to embolden individuals with good emotional judgment and teamwork skills to foster a better workplace culture. Check out progressive companies such as Ripple (with great opportunities for software engineer roles in New York and San Francisco) which prioritizes an inclusive collaborative work environment as policy.

Ripple believes that in order for you to do your best work and thrive, the company must provide a space where no matter what race, ethnicity, gender, origin or culture they identify with, every employee is a respected, valued and empowered part of the team.

DEI builds trust

An employer which values diversity and inclusion will actively create a culture that is open and welcoming to all. DEI tools and programs give employees the ability to be themselves at work without fear, creating a sense of belonging that translates into positive outcomes in many areas of the organization.

As a result, employees don’t feel they have to “fake it” to fit in or hide material aspects of who they are, or what is important to them to feel included, allowing them to flourish as their authentic selves. Also, an equitable environment fosters a sense of mutual trust and respect in the workplace.

If you’re looking to work for a company where you will feel respected, understood and valued, look no further than the many job opportunities currently on offer at eClerx. With positions available throughout the U.S. from New York to Salt Lake City to Dallas for starters, eClerx is a global business with a progressive heartbeat.

It’s particularly proud of its inclusive culture diversity — of thoughts and people. eClerx also has a terrific track road with employee engagement, achieved by a commitment to access to resources, continuous training, coaching and mentorships.

If your current employer’s values aren’t aligned with yours, then it’s time to have a good look at alternatives for 2023. Your first stop is the VentureBeat Job Board, where you can browse hundreds of open roles right now.

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