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At the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are a top priority.  That's why we have an entire office dedicated to advance this important area of corporate governance and society.

We celebrate the differences that make each North Carolinian, Commerce employee, culture, region, community, industry and business unique, and are committed to prioritizing DEI in everything we do – from employee relations to business practices, to collaborations and partnerships within the economic and workforce development community. Our goal is to lead by example in cultivating an environment – and state – where all people feel valued, respected, and safe to bring their whole self to work. North Carolina’s economy should be one that works for all people of this great state.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have become buzzwords in the corporate world and beyond. But what does DEI really mean? And why is it important?

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Within today’s business environment, diversity, equity, and inclusion are key elements for economic growth:

  • High-profile companies and Fortune 500’s have long utilized inclusive workplace policies as proven recruitment and retention tools.
  • Diversity and inclusion practices enhance employer reputation, increase productivity and overall job satisfaction, and boost employee morale.
  • Businesses actively consider local laws and policies when making decisions about where to headquarter, relocate, or expand.
  • Businesses are becoming increasingly vocal in their support for laws and policies that protect all of their employees and their families – whether at home, in the workplace, or in their communities.
  • Companies are looking to our public officials to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all residents while encouraging real economic growth that benefits everyone.

DEI is both a moral and a business concern; it is not just the right thing to do, it is also economically advantageous.

Additional Information

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Did you know...

  • 67 percent of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering  employment opportunities, and more than 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity. (Glassdoor, 2014)
  • 83 percent of all millennials are more likely to be actively engaged if they believe their company stimulates a diverse and inclusive culture. (Deloitte Millennial Survey, 2018)
  • Highly inclusive companies see 1.4 times more revenue, are 1.7 times more innovative, and notice 2.3 times more cash flow per employee. (Gartner, 2018)

According to McKinsey’s 2019 study, Diversity Wins, which analyzed performance data from 15 countries and over 1,000 companies: 

  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile—up from 21% in 2017 and 15% in 2014.
  • Companies in the top-quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity outperformed those in the fourth by 36% in profitability, slightly up from 33% in 2017 and 35% in 2014 .

As these statistics illustrate, prioritizing DEI translates to increased revenue, innovation, employee retention, and job satisfaction. And companies who fail to support DEI consistently underperform and may consequently fall behind. Now is the time for systemic change. As the private sector becomes more competitive by the day, and the country’s population demographics continue to evolve, don’t be left behind. Learn how your company can strengthen DEI in the workplace and take steps toward greater social and economic success.

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For more information on how you can implement good DEI practices in your company, please contact one of our DEI Office team members.

Betty Marrow-Taylor Headshot 2

Betty Marrow-Taylor

Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Officer | Biography





Catherine Rivera Headshot 2

Catherine Rivera

DEI Program Analyst






Mose Dorsey


Mose Dorsey

Compliance Officer




Lorraine Dulin

Lorraine Dulin

EEO Officer


The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion — and Commerce overall — look forward to working with partners, both public and private, to achieve goals outlined within the state’s new First in Talent Economic Development Strategic Plan.

Equity is a key factor in job creation, workforce development and our state’s post-pandemic recovery. Together, we’ll work to ensure all North Carolinians reap the benefits of new investments and structural improvements. Collaborating with our partners statewide, we aim to improve the social determinants of health, like economic stability, environment, healthcare, and education, that may help or hinder an individual’s pathways to economic prosperity, as well as “…bolster a robust small business recovery, inclusive of opportunities for new entrepreneurs and women-and-minority owned firms,” which is one of the strategies identified in the First in Talent plan to prepare North Carolina businesses for success.  

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June Celebrations and Observances

Caribbean American Heritage Month (June)

Recognizes the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. Learn more about Caribbean American Heritage Month here.


Immigrant Heritage Month (June)

Established in June 2014, gives people across the United States an opportunity to annually explore their own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of America. It celebrates immigrants across the United States and their contributions to their local communities and economy. Learn more about Immigrant Heritage Month here.


LGBTQ+ Pride Month (June)

Celebrated in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and more. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. Learn more about Pride Month here.


Loving Day (June 12)

Loving Day is the anniversary of a historic court decision for interracial marriage. Every year on June 12th, it’s a global day of visibility, education, and community. Learn more about Loving Day here.

Eid al-Adha (June 16 – June 17)

An Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. Muslims around the world observe this event. Learn more about Eid al-Adha here.


Juneteenth (June 19)

Also known as “Freedom Day,” Juneteenth is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19th, 1865 announcement that slavery would be abolished in Texas, three years after enslaved people were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end of chattel slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday. Learn more about Juneteenth here.


World Refugee Day (June 20) 

World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. This holiday shines a light on the rights, needs, and dreams of refugees. It is held annually on June 20th and was celebrated for the first time in 2001 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Learn more about World Refugee Day here.


LGBTQ+ Equality Day (June 26)

Anniversary of 3 different Supreme Court cases (Lawrence v. Texas, United States v. Windsor, and Obergefell v. Hodges) that led to LGBTQ+ equality. Learn more about LGBTQ+ Equality Day here.


July Celebrations and Observances

Disability Pride Month

A month set aside (mostly unofficially but with some local proclamations) to focus attention on the disability community and celebrate the pride disabled people have as people with disabilities. Learn more about Disability Pride Month here.


Non-Binary Peoples Awareness Week (July 10 – July 16)

Taking place in the week that surrounds International Non-Binary People’s Day, this week is used to raise awareness and celebrate the diversity of gender identities that exist outside of the traditional gender binary. It is also a time for the non-binary community to come together and share their experiences and stories, as well as to create a space for education and advocacy. Learn more about Non-Binary Peoples Awareness Week here.


International Non-Binary People’s Day (July 14)

Aimed at raising awareness and organizing around the issues faced by non-binary people around the world while celebrating their contributions. The date was chosen because it falls exactly halfway between International Women’s Day and International Men’s Day. Learn more about International Non-Binary People’s Day here.


Disability Independence Day (July 26)

Celebrating the anniversary of the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Learn more about Disability Independence Day here.


August Celebrations and Observances

Black Business Month (August)

Black Business Month was created by two entrepreneurs, John William Templeton and Frederick E. Jordan, in 2004 who shared a passion for Black-owned businesses and understood how important those businesses are to economic growth. The intention of the pair was to “drive the policy agenda affecting the 2.6 million African-American businesses,” in order to highlight and empower Black business owners all over, especially given the unique challenges faced by minority business owners. This stemmed from Jordan’s own personal experience of the struggle to gain financial backing and funding when he began his own firm in San Francisco in 1969. Learn more about Black Business Month here.


UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (August 9)

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is observed on 9 August each year to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. Learn more about UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous People here.


Women’s Equality Day (August 26)

Commemorates the August 26, 1920, certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug first introduced a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Since that time, every president has published a proclamation recognizing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. Learn more about Women’s Equality Day here.


UN International Day for People of African Descent (August 31) 

Celebrated for the first time on August 31, 2021. Through this Observance the United Nations aims to promote the extraordinary contributions of the African diaspora around the world and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent. Learn more about UN International Day for People of African Descent here.