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?
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.
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.
For more information on how you can implement good DEI practices in your company, please contact one of our DEI Office team members.
DEI Program Analyst
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.
- GUIDE | Inclusive Language and Community Names (N.C. Department of Commerce, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)
- REPORT | Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters (McKinsey)
- WEBSITE | Triangle Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Alliance
- WEBSITE | North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, DEI
- GLOSSARY | Terms and Definitions (LGBTQ+ Resource Center, UCDavis)
- BIBLIOGRAPHY | Antiracism Resources (N.C. State University Libraries)
- WEBSITE | Pronoun Usage Resources (Pronouns.org)
- PODCAST | How to Reduce Bias in Your Workplace (Kim Scott and Trier Bryant, TED Talks Daily)
- ARTICLE | Who is APIDA Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (California State University San Marcos)
- VIDEO | What is the difference between Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx? (Fig. 1, University of California)
- ARTICLE | Adapt Your D&I Efforts to the Reality of the Crisis (Harvard Business Review • May 7, 2020)
- WEBSITE | Talking About Race (National Museum of African American History & Culture)
- ARTICLE | Privilege (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
National Braille Literacy Month (January)
National Braille Literacy Month recognizes and honors the legally blind and visually impaired. The mission of this month is to raise awareness of the importance of Braille to the blind and visually impaired community. To learn more about National Braille Literacy Month, visit here.
National Poverty in America Awareness Month (January)
A month-long initiative to raise awareness and call attention to the growth of poverty in America.
World Braille Day (January 4)
Created in honor of the birthday of Louis Braille, who was born on January 4th, 1809. Learn more about World Braille Day here.
Dia de los Reyes/Three King’s Day (January 6)
Holiday observed by Eastern and Western Christians that recognizes the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus 12 days after his birth. Culturally significant in some Latin American countries (and Spain) and is celebrated differently in each country. Learn more about Three King’s Day here.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 15)
A holiday honoring the achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. A Baptist minister who advocated the use of nonviolent means to end racial segregation. Learn more about MLK Jr. Day here.
Black History Month (February)
An annual celebration of achievements by descendants of the African diaspora and a time for recognizing their central role in US History. Learn more about Black History Month here.
Lent (February 14 – March 28)
In the Christian church, a period of penitential preparation for Easter. In Western churches it begins on Ash Wednesday, six and a half weeks before Easter, and provides for a 40-day fast (Sundays are excluded), in imitation of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry. Learn more about Lent here.
World Hijab Day (February 1)
In recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty. Learn more about World Hijab Day here.
Lunar New Year (February 10)
Festival typically celebrated in China and other Asian countries that begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. One of the most sacred of all traditional Asian holidays, a time of family reunion and celebration. Learn more about the Lunar New Year here.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11)
A day to recognize the role that women and girls play in science and technology. Learn more about International Day of Women and Girls in Science here.
NAACP Day (February 12)
Celebrates the founding of the NAACP in 1909.
Ash Wednesday (February 14)
1st day of Lent on the Christian calendar. Its name is derived from the symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence. It takes place immediately after the excesses of the two days of Carnival that take place in Northern Europe and parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. Learn more about Ash Wednesday here.
International Mother Language Day (February 21)
A day that recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion. Learn more about International Mother Language Day here.