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Fostering a Community of Collaboration and Teamwork

Why diversity, equity and inclusion are necessary components of successful teams.

Calls for social reforms over the past three to five years have resulted in increased corporate focus on workplace diversity, equity and inclusion. Like many organizations, MRO has been working to strengthen its corporate culture through a variety of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

In addition to making these important concepts foundational to MRO’s three-year strategic plan, an employee-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee was formed in 2021. The committee’s mission is to “Celebrate the community within MRO by promoting awareness related to diversity and inclusion, and enhancing respect for others by acknowledging the importance of equity.”

While diversity and inclusion outcomes are hard to measure in smaller organizations like MRO, there is rich literature supporting the following benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Increased levels of innovation and performance. Gartner suggests that through 2022, 75 percent of diverse frontline decision-making units will exceed their financial targets. The study also indicates that gender-diverse and inclusive teams outperformed gender-homogeneous, less inclusive teams by 50 percent on average, and that employee performance is 12 percent higher in diverse organizations.

Improved employee engagement and retention. Changeboard notes that “working in a diverse team is among the top five most important drivers of employee engagement and discretionary effort in the workplace.” This equates to employees that work 12 percent harder, are 19 percent more likely to stay with the company, and collaborate 57 percent more effectively with their peers. A Glassdoor survey indicates that 76 percent of job seekers and employees say having a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers, giving diverse and inclusive employers the edge in a tight labor market.

Better decision-making. A Harvard Business Review article titled Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter examines decision making on both diverse and non-diverse teams. According to the article, diverse teams: 1) are less entrenched in “group think” and focus more on the facts, 2) consider perspectives of others and process facts more carefully, and 3) discourage conformity and encourage new ways of looking at problems.

All of this research suggests that diversity, equity and inclusion are not simply goalposts an organization sets out to achieve, but should instead be attributes of a company’s culture, strategy, and performance.

Expanding on MRO’s corporate diversity and inclusion objectives, the board’s Organizational Group Oversight Committee (OGOC) has made increasing diversity on MRO’s organizational groups a top priority. MRO’s organizational groups consist of subject matter experts that help to identify and assess reliability and security risks most prevalent in the MRO region, as well as develop mitigation strategies and expand outreach efforts to help entities become more aware of and reduce risk to their individual systems. Increased levels of innovation and performance, improved engagement, and better decision-making will boost the value these groups provide to the region and the ERO Enterprise as a whole—supporting our shared vision of a highly reliable and secure North American bulk power system.

How can you help?

MRO’s annual solicitation and nomination period for open or soon-to-be expiring organizational group seats will be open from September 12 to October 7. You are encouraged to consider nominating individuals from within your organization who will help us achieve the OGOC’s diversity objectives to ensure a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives are represented within this group. Look for an announcement from MRO listing the open positions and how you can apply or submit a nomination.

If you already serve on an organizational group, you can help foster an inclusive environment where diverse opinions are welcomed and appreciated, and where each individual feels respected and valued. 

Together, our future is bright!