As 2023 comes to an end, businesses are taking a critical look at their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Alarmingly, recent statistics reveal a decline in prioritized diversity hiring, with less than 10% of employers spotlighting DEI. There has been a notable year-over-year decrease in businesses including an EOE or DEI statement in their job postings has also been recorded. Despite budget constraints and shifting priorities, the essential nature of DEI in fostering innovation, employee satisfaction, and business growth cannot be overstated.

Here are five cost-effective strategies for automotive dealerships to bolster their DEI efforts.

  1. Inclusive Job Descriptions

Crafting inclusive job descriptions is a zero-cost initiative that can have a significant impact. Avoid gender-biased language and jargon. Focus on essential job requirements to attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates, ensuring every talent, irrespective of their background, feels welcomed to apply.

  1. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

According to McKinsey, “effective employee resource groups are key to inclusion at work.” Foster the establishment of ERGs to provide support, enhance career development, and contribute to personal development among employees of diverse backgrounds. These groups can also offer valuable insights for the business to address specific needs and challenges, boosting inclusivity.

  1. Training and Awareness Programs

Develop and offer regular training programs focusing on unconscious bias, cultural competence, and other DEI aspects. Online resources and webinars can be cost-effective means to educate employees and leadership about the value and importance of a diverse and inclusive workplace.

  1. Mentorship and Development Programs

Implement mentorship programs that support underrepresented groups in the workplace. These initiatives not only aid in professional development but also contribute to creating a more equitable environment. Pairing experienced employees with newer ones can facilitate the sharing of diverse perspectives and skills.

  1. Measurement and Accountability

Develop clear metrics to measure the progress of DEI initiatives. Transparency in communicating these metrics fosters accountability. Share progress and challenges openly and involve all employees in the journey towards a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

DEI isn’t a passing trend but a fundamental element driving business innovation, employee satisfaction, and overall growth. The alarming statistics in 2023 underscore the need for businesses to recommit to these initiatives. Automotive dealerships and other businesses alike can leverage these cost-effective strategies to not only uphold but advance DEI.

While budget constraints are a reality, the investment in diversity, equity, and inclusion yields returns that transcend monetary value, fostering a workplace where every individual is valued, respected, and given equal opportunities to thrive. The journey to full inclusion may be long and challenging, but with concerted efforts, a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace is an attainable goal.

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