For years, diversity and inclusion leaders, especially those advocating for diverse-owned small businesses said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Yet we were all looking at one another’s boats from across a very large ocean, staying safely in our own harbors and allowing outside forces to pit our diverse communities against one another.
Over the last decade we have begun to tether our boats together to send a strong message that we cannot – we will not – sail on without one another. Does it mean we will always agree on every issue? No. Does it mean we will work together as much as we can, as often as we can, for the betterment of all diverse business communities? Absolutely.
Initiatives for inclusion
That is what drove us to bring our partner organizations together and form the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC).
Spearheaded by the NGLCC and launched in 2011, the NBIC advocates for the business interests of a diverse range of people, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities; ethnic minorities; the differently abled; and women-owned business communities. Together, we represent over $9 trillion in annual economic power and significant contributions to the marketplace and workplace. We are the living, breathing definition of stronger together.
Fighting myths about diversity
One of the misconceptions about helping any one community is that someone else’s opportunity decreases as a result. That simply isn’t so. No one loses when everyone is given a fair shot to win. When it comes to inclusion, there is no us against them – no more the pie isn’t big enough – because a corporate or government contracting pie is as big as we are collective willing to bake it. When communities of color do better, so do we. When women do better, so do we. When people with disabilities and veterans do better, so do we. And when we do better, so do they.
Supporting diverse communities is a simple, active choice. Invest in these communities by buying from their business owners. Support the corporations who have their back in the marketplace, workplace, and in the halls of power. Together, and only together, can we ensure more pies of opportunity for all, and longer, more welcoming tables at which to share them.