Is a Culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Important?

“If you want to consider yourself as a great culture company, great culture companies do good by people.”

Erica Johnson


When you ask Erica if a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion is important and exactly what the business case is for establishing this, she is quick to reply, “what isn’t the business case for this?”


As one of those ‘good’ HR executives, who is really focused on people, Erica has dedicated her career to building effective human resource functions, through a focus on the employee experience. The challenges are great in this space because there is so much to tackle. Her advice to The Culture of Leadership (TCoT) listeners is, to get started now, or you are going to be left behind.


Do something, just don’t do nothing.


Erica Johnson is head of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at Chime, the fastest growing Fintech company in the US. She believes that values tie people together and is excited about a future where businesses are beginning to see the benefit of having a more diverse and inclusive workforce. As a black woman who identifies as gay, Erica knows what it feels like to be alienated. She reflects on certain situations she has found herself in where no one really considered that she might have a different point of view. Let’s just contemplate for example, the emotions which arise when someone asks Erica when they can meet her husband…


Have you read: The Challenge of Transforming Your Culture – Alex Carver


People need to be who they are. If they are not being treated fairly and are not happy, then that is not good for business. If a team does not have mixed viewpoints, or are not being challenged to see other viewpoints, then that business is missing out on what is potentially available.


Part of Erica’s role at Chime involves telling a story with the data – what ‘Chimers’ think is happening, versus what is actually happening. DEI requires a lot more than just hiring another person of colour.


Let’s break down diversity, equity and inclusion.



  • Bringing in different points of view and perspectives
  • A team which does not look the same or have the same background
  • Different voices at every level



  • Equal and fair
  • Integrity in the process
  • Pay reflects the work with equal promotion opportunities



  • Being your authentic self
  • Being accepted for who you are, your views, how you see the world, how you grew up
  • Showing up and feeling like you belong


Have you read: Creating A Culture To Be Proud Of – Bill Clifton


As far as Erica is concerned it is a no-brainer. When you have a homogenous environment where everybody looks the same, sees the world very similarly and has the same approach it can create a bit of a tunnel vision, with a lot of blind spots. Unless you are a team of one, you need a level of diversity, equity and inclusion in order for your business to operate at the highest level.


Erica’s advice is to sit with yourself for a minute and think about it.  


When you are ready to learn how to build a great culture, which starts with caring about your people, then click here to listen to Erica as she shares her insights of the DEI business case which reflects better numbers.


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