3 Reasons Now is the time to start your DEI service business

The Time is Now

stop letting your knowledge and skills go to waste

Is your organization empowering you to make real change? Are your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) skills and knowledge being fully utilized? Do you get the resources you need (funds and staff) to make an impact? If the answer to any of those questions is no, then it may be time to strike out on your own. Starting your own DEI consulting and training business will provide an opportunity for you to put everything you have learned to use AND help transform organizations in a real way that has a lasting impact for future generations. If that does not get your juices flowing, well it’s also a very lucrative business to be in today.

Reason Number 1 – The George Floyd Tragedy

the bell that can’t be unrung

When: May 25, 2020 

Where: Minneapolis, MN  

Why:  A history of systemic discrimination that has made some individuals, especially those in positions of power, feel they can abuse said power and face no consequences,  

How: Four police officers responding to an alleged counterfeit $20 bill being used at a liquor store, apprehended George Floyd. Unfortunately, that is not where the story ended. During the course of Floyd’s arrest Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. All of which occurred while his three fellow officers stood by and did not intervene. Floyd was already restrained at the time and could be heard calling for his mother and repeating the phrase “I can’t breathe!”

What made this tragedy more shocking than previous instances of police brutality or excessive force, was that it occurred in broad daylight in front of other civilians. Thanks to the courage of one such civilian, the murder of George Floyd was recorded and shared with the world.

What followed were months of protests across the globe with individuals from different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and beliefs, taking to the streets to demand justice for George Floyd and many others like him.  The George Floyd tragedy revealed a harsh reality about the United States of America, that even in 2020 systemic discrimination was not only prevalent but threatening to rip the country apart. 

Aftermath: Derek Chauvin committed murder that day. That is a fact determined by a court of law. Another fact determined by this event is that the country is sorely lacking the knowledge, the training, and the resources to live up to the ideals it has preached for centuries. Furthermore, the corporate landscape in turn, realized that it needed to evolve and change.

Organizations from all industries are beginning to understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion, cannot just be words tweeted or posted on intranet pages. They must be realized principles infused into every aspect of an organization.  There has been a demand that organizations become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. To ignore these demands could mean lost clients, revenues, and employees

What this means for you: The professional landscape needs effective and transformative DEI strategies, which include training. This provides a unique opportunity for those with the knowledge and passion to jumpstart their DEI training businesses now. Rather than continue to clock in and out every day, never feeling quite fulfilled or satisfied, take charge and start your business now. The resources and tolls are available for those who are determined enough to seek them.

Reason Number 2 – Corporate Pressure

The demand for DEI is two-fold

External Pressures: 

In the world of business, it is not uncommon for organizations to feel pressure from various sources: clients or customers, media outlets, regulatory entities, or competitors among others. “In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, investors dialed up pressure on the corporate sector to act.” (Hughes, 2021)

Companies had to start taking stock of where their culture currently stood, how it was failing, and how it could be rebuilt to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.  The public has started to demand more transparency regarding diversity.

While companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Nike, and Netflix put their resources behind their tweets and public statements, others revealed themselves to be nothing more than performance artists. That is no longer acceptable.

External stakeholders are ready to hit companies where it hurts, their bottom lines. Customers have boycotted brands and products, investors have pulled funds, and suppliers have terminated contracts with organizations that have failed to meet the DEI needs of the present ecosystem.

Few companies want to be the next breaking news story about inept leadership and poor company culture leading to litigation or mass resignation. As the general public demands more from organizations, companies are beginning to seek out the DEI help they need.

Internal Pressures:

As external pressures mount, so too do internal ones for many organizations. Employees are using their voices to demand that their organizations be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive in all their practices.  Swag bags and free lunches are no longer enough to satiate the deeply personal desires of a diverse workforce.

What is interesting is that employees are not just coming to their managers and executives with feelings alone. They are bringing the numbers that move the needle for decision makers. Sydney Ly highlights a few key statistics when discussing the impact of diversity on management and leadership, “Companies with higher diversity in management earned, on average, 38% more revenue than companies with lower diversity. That could be because diversity of gender, country of origin, career path, and industry background are highly correlated to innovation. Organizations in the top 25% when it comes to gender diversity among executive leadership teams are 21% more likely to be profitable and 27% better at creating value.” (2021)

The numbers themselves provide motivation for companies to seek out DEI professionals. In conjunction with the voices of their employees, organizations have no excuses when it comes transforming their cultures.

What this means for you

The mounting external and internal pressures many organizations are facing creates opportunities for DEI professionals. That is where you come in. As you start your business, you will have numerous potential clients and opportunities to share your knowledge and make a tangible difference in the workforce.

Reason number 3 – Government Opportunities

The private sector is not the only one being required to incorporate DEI and reshape culture. The public sector has been tasked with similar objectives. Furthermore, the President himself, signed an executive order demanding that the federal government essentially be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. The order outlines specific actions federal government agencies must take as they reshape their workforces to reflect the country’s diverse composition. If private sector organizations are feeling pressure, then government entities are feeling it tenfold thanks to the executive order.

What this means for you: For those of you starting your DEI businesses or looking to increase your business, this means more opportunity. With the need for government agencies to utilize DEI on a larger scale, comes the potential for government contracts. Government contracts can provide large budgets, resource pools, and steady work for extended periods if handled correctly. To learn how to register to do business with the government, get my free Government Business Startup Guide.

The Bottom Line

Maybe you’ve been looking at the news and saying, “How can I make a difference?” Perhaps you’re not quite ready to quit your nine to five. Maybe you want to make sure you have a certain number of clients before you make a move.

Start your diversity, equity, and inclusion business now.  If you already have a diversity business and you want to make your training services more transformational keep reading.  If you want to learn how to garner multiple six-seven figure and long-term corporate and government contracts, there is no better time than now to learn more.

As a result of the George Floyd tragedy, corporate pressure, and government opportunities, your skills and knowledge are needed now more than ever. I have a wealth of resources, tools, and experience to share with all who are ready to answer the call. If you are prepared to level up contact me. Additionally, for a how to get started resource, get my free guide to starting your diversity consulting and training business, Diversity Trainers Launchpad.

I invite you to join me on Clubhouse for my Equity to Liberation Conference presentation on MLK day, Monday, January 17, 2022.

References

“George Floyd Murder: Derek Chauvin Sentenced to over 22 Years.” BBC News, BBC, 25 June 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57618356.

Crump, Jennifer. “4 Benefits of DEI in the Workplace.” WorkPlaceTesting.com, WorkplaceTesting, 25 July 2021, https://www.workplacetesting.com/4-benefits-of-dei-in-the-workplace/2/5578.

Hughes, C. (2021, May 25). Bloomberg.com. Retrieved October 30, 2021, from https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-05-25/george-floyd-legacy-have-companies-kept-their-diversity-promises.

Ly, S. (2021, September 14). The True Value of bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion into your workplace. 15Five. Retrieved October 30, 2021, from https://www.15five.com/blog/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/.

The United States Government. (2021, June 25). Executive order on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal workforce. The White House. Retrieved October 30, 2021, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/06/25/executive-order-on-diversity-equity-inclusion-and-accessibility-in-the-federal-workforce/.