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10 Important DEI Trends For The Channel To Keep Top Of Mind

Rick Whiting

For a growing number of solution providers, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives are becoming an important component of their long-range strategies. Here’s a look at 10 key DEI trends that are impacting companies across the channel today.

Employees Want To Be Actively Involved

Business initiatives within organizations traditionally follow a top-down approach with management setting the strategy. While some DEI eff orts have followed a similar path, the real impetus for DEI is coming from employees. “We’re finding that what employees really want is the opportunity to actually lead those [DEI] eff orts themselves,” said Khosla, at Calgary, Alberta-based Benevity, whose software is used to foster employee engagement and inclusiveness through social responsibility.

One approach to addressing employees’ desire to move DEI forward is the creation of employee groups, what some call “employee resource groups” (ERGs) or “affinity groups,” that bring together employees with similar backgrounds or interests— and employees who support them—to provide mutual support and champion change to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace, according to the Great Place to Work website.

Unisys has created nine Associate Impact Groups— voluntary, employee-led groups “that foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with our mission, beliefs and goals,” Ebrahimi said in a written response to CRN questions. “They represent the rich diversity at Unisys.” The Unisys AIGs represent different gender, ability, race and ethnicity communities and include the Unisys Pride AIG, the Women+ Network AIG, the BlackU AIG and the Veteran AIG.

Solution provider CDW, meanwhile, operates what it calls Business Resource Groups, which serve as forums for employees to “make their voices heard, build awareness, celebrate their affinity area, serve their communities, bolster allyship and provide perspective on diversity and inclusion initiatives,” according to the company’s 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance report. BRGs include the Women’s Opportunity Network, the Hispanic Organization for Leadership & Achievement and Black Excellence United.

Khosla said as many as 90 percent of U.S. employers have some kind of ERG or affinity group effort and Benevity data shows a significant “groundswell” of ERG activity over the last year and a half with about one-third of companies reporting growth in ERG communities.

 
Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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