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Diversity in Business

Diversity in Business Is America’s Strength and an Economic Imperative

Rick Wade

Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents the interests of some 3 million companies in America, is connecting corporations, trade associations, businesses, elected officials, and policymakers to champion positions that advance diversity and inclusion in business, as well as create more entrepreneurship opportunities for minorities.  

The case for diversity

We believe that the moral – and the business – case for greater diversity, equality, and inclusion in the workplace is indisputable. According to a groundbreaking study from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the American economy stands to gain $8 trillion by the year 2050 simply by closing the racial equity gap. A Gartner study notes highly-inclusive businesses generate 1.4 times more revenue and are 120% more capable of meeting their financial targets. 

As the largest business organization in the world, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace in order to maintain America’s global competitiveness. We have been building a national network to promote inclusion and equality through several strategic partnerships and programs, including a $1 million grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The “Business Case for Diversity” initiative facilitates a dialogue in the business community on the benefits of racial equity and how best to achieve it.

Inclusion initiatives

Through our Next-Gen Business Partnership with Howard University and other historically black colleges and universities, the Chamber is working to develop the next generation of diverse business leaders.

In cooperation with the Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, we are working to strengthen minority-owned enterprises – helping them access capital and connect to corporate supply chains.

Our “Business Huddle” is a place where professional athlete-entrepreneurs engage C-suite executives and discuss various issues affecting business. The Chamber also recognizes the importance of inspiring new innovators and recently provided testimony before the U.S. House Small Business Committee on the importance of patent diversity.

Ongoing efforts

Last year, I hosted a cohort of international business students at the Chamber. They met with young executives from around the world who are shaping trade policy. It was an amazing exchange. The room looked like the globe – that’s diversity.

Through these and other efforts, we are tackling issues that matter to business, helping to foster diversity in the workplace, and promoting economic growth. Building diversity is not only the right thing to do – it is the smart thing for business to do.

Whether on Capitol Hill or in the corporate boardrooms, we at the U.S. Chamber will continue to champion inclusive policies that extend freedom and economic opportunity to all Americans.

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