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How celebrating Black history can improve employee wellbeing and spark better business results

  • Date posted

    Feb 07, 2023

Does diversity inspire innovation at work? As data around this topic grows, the resounding answer to this question is—absolutely.

Diversity of thinking is a wellspring of creativity, enhancing innovation by about 20%. It also enables groups to spot risks, reducing these by up to 30%. And it smooths the implementation of decisions by creating buy-in and trust.

While many well-intentioned companies step up their DEI efforts, some are left with one question: “How?” How do they create a more equitable and inclusive workplace? And how do they go beyond good intentions to create not only business results, but a culture so steeped in inclusion that every employee feels the effect of their efforts? Everyone has their own method for addressing equity in the workplace, but one strategy that’s often overlooked is the celebration of Black history.

Why recognizing Black history is an important part of your DEI strategy

Founded in 1926 by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), Black History Month is an opportunity to shine a light on the significant—yet often overlooked—contributions of Black Americans to U.S. history. For too long, this recognition started and ended with the month of February. This is where we have the chance to do things differently. Simply put: If DEI is an important part of your company’s mission, missing out on this celebration isn't an option. With the right planning and execution, events like Black History Month can spark opportunities for learning, understanding, and togetherness that extend beyond those 28 days.

Actions that amplify Black voices at work and in your community

In honor of Black History Month, we rounded up a few ways your organization can celebrate Black excellence in February and beyond.

Show some love to local Black-owned businesses

Writing a positive review for a service you appreciate, or sharing a purchase online, is a simple and meaningful way to show support to Black entrepreneurs and businesses. Companies can even go a step further by intentionally sourcing from minority-owned and operated vendors. Check out resources like Official Black Wall Street or Support Black Owned to help find Black-owned businesses in your area and beyond.

Learn about important figures and moments in Black history

Get to know important contributors to American history like Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Shirley Chisholm, or Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler and celebrate their significant—yet often overlooked—contributions to American science, politics, and beyond. Want to learn more? Check out this comprehensive roundup from HISTORY Classroom.

Offer DEI training to company leaders

Whether they’re C-Suite executives or middle managers, team leaders hold a significant amount of influence when it comes to building a culture of inclusion. In fact, inclusive leaders alone have the power to spark a . . .


Increase in individual feelings of inclusion.


Increase in decision-making quality.


Increase in team performance.

To achieve these results, leaders need resources on how to realistically implement DEI best practices. Not sure where to get started? Check out your city’s chamber of commerce for events, tools, and information that is specific to your area. These operations (like our local Greater Des Moines Partnership) could offer a variety of helpful resources for organizations dedicated to DEI.

More than a feeling: The business case for diversity and inclusion

Integrating DEI into your company culture is more than just the right thing to do. According to a Deloitte Review study, combining diversity and inclusion can lead to meaningful benefits for the entire organization. In fact, inclusive companies are:


As likely to meet or exceed financial targets.


More likely to be innovative or agile.


More likely to achieve better business outcomes.

Teams that are cognitively and demographically diverse have greater opportunities to present new ideas, have engaging conversations, and outperform less-inclusive organizations.

Are you ready to take the next step on your DEI journey? Find out how you can integrate diversity and inclusion into your employee wellbeing strategy with these 10 steps.

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