Inclusion: The Best of D&I Yet to Come


Diversity Equity and Inclusion Director for MentorcliQ

Mar 7, 2017

The past 24-months have been an exciting time for organizations steeped in Diversity and inclusion. There have been visible, systemic efforts afoot to elevate the role and purpose of D&I to become peer to other corporate initiatives. The reasons today go far beyond the optics of looking the part; Diversity and inclusion are good for your organization, inside and out. But there isn’t so much a shift in focus away from diversity in favor of inclusion, but rather an augmented lens on the latter. As we know, diversity needs inclusion for it to grow; and vice versa. As with any other initiative, in order to ensure we are indeed growing, we have to measure…everywhere, everything and do so continually.

To that end, we can observe an encouraging trend towards parity at some companies in a number of traditionally under-represented categories. Admittedly, these “wins” are still isolated rather that generic, but if we just look at the results of the Intel 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Report, we can’t argue against the progress achieved.

But the best is yet to come, not only from a quantitative perspective, but also a qualitative one. As we move towards a world of full diversity and representation, we now have to ask ourselves what we are going to do with this new-found wealth of talent, experience sets and insights. How can we take this compartmentalized talent, which really is a silo-effect created as a by-product of being grouped into ERGs, and brings these wonderful, creative and powerful assets to bear on an organization’s destiny? The benefits of which are many:

  • Better recruiting
  • More innovation
  • Stronger culture
  • Stronger retention
  • Better problem solving
  • Improved market optics

As the workplace becomes even more dynamic, as the Gen-Y move into management and the Millennials start entering the workforce, the altruistic fabric they bring to the organizational mosaic is one not of just wanting to be counted-in, they want to “be in”! How about that, employees motivated to be part of your organization – the only ante from leadership is for it to be real; genuine – no BS!! What a huge payoff for just doing the smart thing – and from an ROI standpoint, the productivity, commitment, innovation, caring and cultural dividends have to rank at the top of any dollar-spent initiative.

Technology also plays a role in bringing this magic to bear – at the pace and functionality that today’s workforce runs at, the need to meet both productivity and results standards demand purpose-built, best-of-breed technologies to leverage this employment dynamic. The requirements of distributed, specialized and multi-tasked D&I workplaces can longer make due with a conflagration of hacks – to give the diversity and inclusion effort its full justice and to extract its full value, vertical tech, as in any other corporate endeavor, needs to be a center-point for change.

Good things are happening for all the right reasons – stay tuned; the best is yet to come!


Nicole Anelas is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director for MentorcliQ. With nearly a decade of experience facilitating DEI training in the beverage, retail, and healthcare industries and managing mentoring programs in higher education, Nicole is passionate about helping others become better versions of themselves. She also enjoys crafting and spending time with her rescue dog, Poe.