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Leveraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion During COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has made many jobs vulnerable, but the ability to maintain diverse talent may be most at risk. A review of the March/April 2020 Business Study by the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) and PR firm Peppercomm showed that “Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives have been somewhat swept aside for the time being” (Ragan’s PR Daily).

The following reading list sheds light on why DE&I may lose momentum during the COVID-19 crisis and what’s at risk when you dissolve DE&I recruitment and programming. It also presents strategies to leverage DE&I efforts and strengthen the future of organizations.

  • Diversity winners that deploy a systematic approach to inclusion and diversity and don’t fear bold action to foster inclusion and belonging are most likely to reap the rewards. Now is the time to be even bolder. Diversity Matters (McKinsey & Company, May 19, 2020)
  • “While it’s tempting to respond to uncertainty and financial pressure by dropping DE&I programs, it won’t serve your organization in the long run... DE&I can be the means by which your company not only survives this crisis but comes out on the other side of it stronger.” Adapt Your D&I Efforts to the Reality of the Crisis (Harvard Business Review, May 7, 2020)
  • “Organizations must take steps now to continue to strengthen diversity and build inclusive cultures in ways unlike ever before—through new communications strategies (internal and external), programs, data collection practices, and interventions that continue the momentum toward a more equitable and just world. And leaders—that is, all of us—must adapt the daily practice of inclusive leadership as well. Addressing the impact of COVID-19 Practicing inclusive leadership in times of crisis. (Deloitte, 2020)

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