Why Should I Book a DEI Speaker?

Booking a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) speaker for your live or virtual event benefits both your employees and your corporate bottom line. An expert in DEI brings motivational expertise in areas such as gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, racial equity and more. In doing so, they raise awareness of important cultural issues and can help you jumpstart your DEI initiative.

A DEI keynote or guest speaker also brings the energy and experience necessary to engage and enthuse audiences. With humor and the power of masterful storytelling, they educate your attendees while replacing resistance with greater support and buy-in. Your guests develop a fuller understanding of how to recognize social injustices and systemic barriers that may prevent their peers from reaching their full potential.

The result? When all voices are heard, employees feel more valued and the corporate culture improves. This inclusivity increases your prospective talent pool, too. A 2020 Glassdoor survey found that 76% of job seekers “report a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.” 

With these overarching advantages in mind, let’s examine eight distinct benefits of booking a DEI keynote speaker for your event.

DEI speakers provide education.

Misunderstanding often surrounds issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Some valued staff members may be resistant to DEI initiatives. Perhaps some have grown accustomed to the status quo and view any change as a threat. The first task of a professional speaker lies in clarifying definitions. They help resistant employees understand what DEI is and—just as importantly—what it is not.

Prepared with evidence and data, a professional speaker will educate your audience in the basics of DEI. Staff and other attendees will come to realize that a more open growth mindset will improve their potential career opportunities, productivity and resilience.

Raise mindful self-awareness among leaders and teams.

Beyond the educational value, a DEI speaker also helps attendees become more aware of themselves and others. The best speakers help team members to better recognize and acknowledge their own implicit and unconscious biases. After all, each of us lives in our own bubble to some extent. DEI speakers help penetrate that bubble with an understanding that we don’t all think and interact in the same way.

This shift in self-awareness may seem subtle at first, but the effects can be far-reaching. Through the understanding that we all have different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, DEI speakers plant the seeds of cultural competence. For many, this unlocking of the power of self-awareness can be transformative.

Spark meaningful DEI conversations.

Guarded conversations about intersectionality, equity and anti-racism can lead to conflict when raised without the right tools. However, a lack of communication has the potential to grow and metastasize into resentment in an environment of avoidance. Cliques based on age, education, race, sexual identity or other factors may form, impeding team harmony.

But with the education provided by a DEI speaker, productive conversations may begin. Intercultural communication is important to understanding, appreciating and working fully with one another. For a productive institution or workplace, effective communication is essential for leaders and their staff. A DEI keynote speaker provides the tools and methods needed to guide your human resources department, team leaders and other staff to begin a constructive dialogue.

Promote multicultural awareness and understanding.

DEI speakers promote a deeper multicultural understanding among employees. They begin to see the life experiences of others not as potential points of workplace conflict, but rather as complimentary pieces of a larger tapestry. This awareness dispels stereotypes and mitigates unconscious biases that hinder relationships.

An additional benefit of multicultural awareness is public-facing. Your company may better be able to communicate with clients, customers, stakeholders, vendors and others. Sales and marketing teams, for instance, can better express your values to potential clients and consumers of diverse backgrounds. 

Foster lasting inclusivity.

DEI speakers provide a crash course in inclusion. By sharing best practices and strategies for creating a more inclusive workplace, a DEI keynote speaker can help organizations build a culture of inclusivity. They provide real-world tactics and methods for developing more inclusive leadership and a richer work culture with better communication strategies.

This culture of inclusivity creates a healthier work environment. Many corporate leaders present their companies as “families.” But an employee cannot feel like they are part of that family if they are misunderstood, misrepresented and not included. DEI speakers address these hidden issues while also promoting more inclusive hiring practices.

Experience improved productivity.

A 2022 report by Research and Markets finds that inclusive teams are over 35% more productive and “earn 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee” than their less racially and culturally representative counterparts. Clearly, a policy of proactive inclusion and belonging for all races, genders and cultures has a positive, bottom-line impact for your business.

The best DEI keynote speakers know the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, most certainly. But they also know business. They have led corporations, startups, branding efforts and built stronger workflows. When you book a DEI speaker, you get a business expert as well as a multicultural guru. They craft their inspirational messages specifically for an improved, numbers-driven company or institution.

Super-charge creativity and innovation.

Intersectionality—the way attributes such as age, gender and race affect the experience of an individual—applies to teams, also. Increasing these intersections creates more varied perspectives amid any group. A diverse, multicultural team will help you build more creative teams with many valuable perspectives, keeping your company at the cutting edge of any industry.

Show your commitment and allyship.

You don’t want employees who talk a big game and give only 50%. You want words to mean things. You want true commitment from your staff.

The same goes for leadership. By hiring a DEI keynote speaker, you show a true commitment to fairness, equity, social justice and anti-racism. Beyond words, you stand as an example for not only your employees, but also your consumers and stakeholders. This commitment improves your brand image and your bottom line. In fact, in a 2019 analysis McKinsey & Company concluded that companies that embrace DEI perform better across multiple criteria. Positive brand sentiment increases, too. Hiring a DEI keynote speaker for an in-person or virtual event may be one of the simplest and most fulfilling ways to signal that you are a true ally of multicultural and differently abled communities.

How do I choose and book the best DEI speaker?

When choosing a DEI speaker for your event, it is important to work with a trusted booking agency such as the SUCCESS Speakers Bureau. Such a legacy talent agency can help you choose the right speaker to meet your long- and short-term goals, as well as handle negotiations and other logistics.

Simply contact us with your event needs. SUCCESS will put its century and a quarter of experience in thought leadership and relationship-building to work for you.