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The rewards—and risks—of implementing diversity and inclusion values

J. Veronica Xu (veronica.xu@saberhealth.com) is the Chief Compliance Officer for Saber Healthcare Group, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Daniel Lopez (daniel.lopez@ngc.com) is the Ethics Advisor for Northrop Grumman in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Undoubtedly, we, as a society, are living in unparalleled times, with the pandemic, civil unrest, social injustices, and everything else showing up in our daily news. Among all this activity, diversity and inclusion (D&I)—the words we have heard quite often in recent years—are more important than ever, because we are in a world made up of diverse cultures shaped and shared by people with various experiences and backgrounds. But although it is not a new concept, there is no easy answer or solution for achieving it.

According to Merriam-Webster, diversity is defined as “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements.” In our society, people are those elements, including their race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and countless other aspects. Inclusion, on the other hand, is about how diversity is applied to create an equitable corporate culture or fair workplace where people are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of how they are different from the majority or whether they express different professional opinions.

Here, we will discuss how D&I can be achieved in a work culture and the benefits and obstacles that may be encountered during the development and implementation phases.

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