As family enterprise advisors and educators, we have seen the topic of diversity and inclusion lead to conflict, confusion, and uncertainty among family business stakeholders — at times putting family enterprise leaders in a very challenging situation. But, as hard as the subject can be, we’ve seen it generate deeper understanding among stakeholders as well. “This is the first time I had to think about taking a vocal stance on a social issue,” multiple family-firm CEOs told us, in regard to speaking to both internal (employees and family stakeholders) and external public audiences.
The confusion and anxiety are understandable. The highly publicized case of George Floyd sparked a significant global conversation about implicit (and explicit) bias, institutionalized racism, misogyny, homophobia, and many other injustices with long-term, meaningful impact, resulting in what felt like heightened “overnight awareness” of these chronic issues. And it came at a time when most of the world was already unsettled due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including disruption of most business sectors.
We felt it was important to explore diversity and inclusion (D&I) issues in the context of family businesses — and set out to speak to several directly, to capture insights and experiences that might benefit others. The resulting Special Report on “Diversity and Inclusion in Family Enterprise: What, Why, and How” was created to help family enterprises approach D&I in a way that aligns with their values, practices, and preferences.
Inside this 16-page Special Report, you’ll find:
- Insights on why diversity and inclusion matter for family enterprises
- Interrelated benefits of moving toward greater diversity and inclusion such as family harmony and competitive advantages
- Practical tips and tactics for launching or enhancing D&I initiatives
- Experiences from real-life family firms on their successes and setbacks
- Guidance on navigating common stumbling blocks
There is a passion, awareness, and motivation for change facing family enterprises of all shapes and sizes. We encourage family-firm readers to think of this as a “bigger than you” global moment. One that calls for a thoughtful, open-minded approach to considering D&I issues, not only in the context of the large, ongoing disruption taking place in this arena worldwide, but also in terms of what’s best for your enterprise.
“Our focus on D&I is a testament to the Huber family. Their core family values cascade down to management, creating the business culture.”
LILY PROST, HUBER’S CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICER