As consumer awareness of the ethical and environmental implications of their purchases grows, there is an increasing demand for transparency and accountability within the corporate landscape. This shift in conscientious consumerism, which traditionally focused on environmental concerns, is now expanding to include the social dimension. This broader perspective encompasses factors such as labor conditions, diversity, and community engagement.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) can serve as not only an important mindset within our organizations but also as an essential lens through which to assess and compare businesses. This enables consumers to make choices that minimize environmental impact while promoting a more equitable future.
Choosing brands that reflect the diversity of the world around us sends a powerful message about the importance of inclusivity to organizations. Inclusive brands not only contribute to a more just society but also drive organizational growth and creativity when diverse perspectives are valued and included. To ensure long-term success, organizations must commit to DEI efforts at every step, from recruitment and training to leadership development.
Teknion, a global designer and manufacturer of office systems and furniture, stands out as an organization committed to dismantling systemic barriers and cultivating a culture where opportunity and belongingness can thrive within its workforce and supply chain. Their Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Council and Task Force features a group of over 40 committed employees with the goal of implementing measurable initiatives that advance EDI across their global workforce. Their Council also focuses on fostering inclusive workplace environments and building strong relationships with customers, dealers, and suppliers.
Supporting companies that incorporate diverse voices and perspectives in their product development and leadership challenges harmful stereotypes and fosters inclusivity. Fresh perspectives from individuals with varied backgrounds and experiences prove invaluable to problem-solving at any level of leadership. For marginalized groups, systemic barriers to reaching leadership positions can lead to underrepresentation within executive roles. Through targeted programming, training, and networking opportunities, organizations can equip women with the necessary skills for advancement. Within Teknion, these efforts have resulted in all new executive appointments in the past two years and 27% of leadership roles at the Director levels and above being held by women.
Consumers should also consider the supply chain behind a product. Supporting diverse suppliers and companies that prioritize partnerships with local small businesses, minorities, people with disabilities, women, and veterans can empower underrepresented communities and inspire greater corporate responsibility. Teknion serves as an exemplary model, both by prioritizing workers local to their manufacturing operation sites and by partnering with programs that help at-risk, racialized, and marginalized youth, alongside people with physical and mental disabilities, gain the necessary skills and opportunities for meaningful employment.
The journey towards greater diversity, equitability, and inclusivity within the business landscape is ongoing, but progress is undeniable. By supporting inclusive brands, valuing diverse perspectives, and advocating for inclusive supply claims, we collectively move towards a more resilient and empowered future that aligns with our values. If you are interested in learning more about leveraging the FoundationCCC’s agreement with Teknion, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read more about Tekion’s corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts in their Impact Report.