Opinion

A New Model For Corporate D&I Investing

Paolo Gaudiano Headshot

By Paolo Gaudiano

By Paolo Gaudiano

After several years of gradual increases in corporate awareness about the business value of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), the turbulent events of the past eight months have led to a dramatic rise in corporate D&I activities, ranging from vague statements of support to substantial monetary investments.

While this sudden increased awareness is welcome, some have questioned whether this is the beginning of a wave of sustainable change, or whether it is just a transient phenomenon. Moreover, an increasing number of D&I supporters are pointing out that the traditional approaches to corporate D&I have failed to demonstrate significant progress – a particularly troubling observation given the billions of dollars poured annually into D&I initiatives, with little progress to show in the past several decades.

While many corporations wax poetic about the value of D&I, there is often an unstated belief that the primary benefits of corporate D&I are reputation management and risk management. Reputation management recognizes that D&I can have a positive or negative impact on a company, especially in today’s social media-driven world, where missteps – and, occasionally, acts of inclusion – are likely to be amplified and have a sudden, material impact on product sales and stock prices.

Read the full Forbes article.
___
Paolo Gaudiano is an Adjunct Associate Professor.