The business case for diversity and inclusion is strong and contains a number of benefits, according to Brookdale Senior Living’s President and CEO Cindy Baier. Among them are increased creativity, improved profits, and higher employee engagement.
Baier spoke at this week’s McKnight’s Women of Distinction event. During the virtual panel discussion “Finding Success in Increasing Diversity and Inclusion,” Baier shared that diversity plays a large role in meeting challenging times such as the ones we’re in now and that leadership drives this.
As a part of the company’s strategic plan over the last several years, Brookdale has increased the diversity of its leadership, specifically the Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team. This intentional increase in the diversity of top leadership has brought greater focus to increasing diversity throughout the organization, according to Baier. She says that diverse and inclusive organizations outperform their peers and make better decisions and are better at solving complex problems, such as those presented by COVID-19. Baier suggested that companies just getting started on a D&I initiative should get referrals from people who already have a strong diversity and inclusion initiative.
In addition to Baier, other panelists were CEO of A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab Deke Cateau, President & CEO of Christian Living Communities Jill Vitale-Aussem, and CEO of Eclipse Senior Living Kai Hsiao The session was moderated by McKnight’s Senior Living editor Lois Bowers.