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What is Diversity?
Interview Highlights

In today's world, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) are more than just buzzwords – they're essential components of successful organizations.

However, recent studies show that many DEI&B initiatives fall short of expectations.

A recent survey by WebMD Health Services reveals that 62% of people feel that DEI&B programs don't work well. But, research from LinkedIn shows that diverse companies actually have big benefits. Businesses with diverse teams make 2.5 times more money per employee, showing the power of diversity.

To help organizations bridge their gap with DIE&B and implement in the right way, we spoke with Todd Kashdan, a psychology expert, about practical ways to incorporate DIE&B into workplaces.

His insights boil down to the points given below…


Understanding DEI&B:

Each component from DEI&B is important when it comes to creating an inclusive work environment. Starting from Diversity (D), it’s about ensuring an environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and heard.

Equity (E) means making sure everyone has a fair chance, and inclusion (I) is about making everyone feel like they belong and can be themselves. Lastly, belonging (B) is the sense of accepted and valued for who you are.

Todd opines that these components should be understood and kept track of.


The Role of Leadership:

Leaders play a crucial role in driving DEI&B initiatives.

Kashdan emphasizes the need for unwavering commitment from top leadership, as their influence shapes group dynamics and organizational culture significantly.

Leaders must confront their biases and actively promote an environment where diverse voices are amplified and valued. This way, it sets the tone for the entire organization and encourages employees to embrace their differences.


Practical Steps for Organizations:

Do all members feel listened to in your organization?

This point is all about this concern.

In this scenario, Kashdan suggests some ways to get the most out of DEI&B efforts. One way is to make sure everyone's voice is heard, especially those who might not normally speak up. This helps create a more inclusive and cooperative environment.

Another strategy is to welcome different opinions, even if they're not popular. This encourages people to think critically and leads to better decision-making.

By focusing on fairness and keeping communication open, organizations can build a culture that celebrates diversity and encourages new ideas.

Embracing Productive Conflict:

Addressing conflicts constructively is essential for fostering inclusivity.

Kashdan draws parallels between organizational dynamics and sports teams, highlighting the need to demonstrate the tangible benefits of diversity and inclusion.

To get more support for DEI&B efforts, organizations need to explain why they're important and talk about any challenges they might face. It's crucial to have open discussions with everyone involved and make sure everyone understands the benefits of being inclusive.

Cultivating Loyalty and Commitment:

Creating a culture of inclusivity requires building trust and loyalty among team members.

Kashdan suggests acknowledging individual contributions and affirming loyalty to the organization. When employees feel valued and respected, they're more likely to engage in constructive dialogue and innovation.



Todd Kashdan's insights offer a roadmap for organizations looking to strengthen their DEI&B initiatives.

By prioritizing leadership commitment, embracing diversity, and fostering open dialogue, organizations can create a more inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive.

As we continue to navigate the challenges of today's world, let's remember the importance of diversity and inclusion in driving organizational success.

Official Transcript

The release of a recent survey by WebMD Health Services on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging presents a disheartening revelation 62% of respondents find DEI&B programs ineffective.

However, data from LinkedIn sheds light on the significant advantages that diverse organizations enjoy. Companies with diverse teams experience a remarkable 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee.

Inclusive teams exhibit over 35% greater productivity and diverse teams make sound decisions 87% of the time. This lack of efficacy and DEI&B efforts can be attributed to three primary factors. First, the absence of unwavering commitment from top leadership.

Second, many organizations adopt superficial approaches implementing surface level diversity programs that fail to address underlying systemic issues. Lastly, resistance to change is pervasive as DEI&B initiatives challenge established norms and power structures. By acknowledging and addressing these factors. Organizations can work towards creating more inclusive and equitable environments that harness the benefits of diversity.

Joining us today is Todd Kashdan. Todd is among the world's top experts in the psychology of well-being, psychological strengths, mental agility, and social relationships. His research has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including multiple articles in Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes and more. His new book, The Art of Insubordination, is for anyone who wants to see more justice, creativity, and innovation in the world. Todd, thanks for being here.

Todd Kashdan: Yeah, thanks for inviting me.

For those listeners who aren't familiar with the definitions of DEI&B, can you share the disparity among them and how they're measured?

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