The Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the Workplace

The Importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace: A Conversation With Americas DE&I Leader Lori Harvey

At Hitachi, our ability to innovate and grow sustainably is hindered without Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I). With approximately 350,000 employees worldwide, the diversity of our workforce is mandatory for the growth of our global footprint. Hitachi has identified key individuals to lead DE&I, discuss common issues, deploy actions and leverage networks to create greater social value.

We sat down with Americas DE&I Leader Lori Harvey to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion and learn more about its importance at Hitachi.



What is the purpose of DE&I?


The importance of diversity, equity and inclusion within a company is to develop stronger, innovative teams. An empowered team makes a difference in our jobs, our career growth, our work-life balance and overall company success.


DE&I is a part of Hitachi’s Mid-term Management Plan 2024. Why is DE&I an integral part of Hitachi?


Being a leader in many sectors and industries, whether it is in product development, innovation or research — DE&I makes Hitachi more open and desirable for not only those that have been working with the company long term but also makes it a viable option for upcoming talent — innovative thinkers, engineers, coordinators. Anybody within an organization wants to feel like they are working for a company that is giving back, and Hitachi recognizes that. Being a leader in DE&I will make us a better place to work and a better company overall.


Why does DE&I matter in business?


Diverse, equitable and inclusive teams are more innovative, productive and even healthier. Diverse perspectives are the ultimate catalyst for creativity and innovation. Diversity means different things to different people, and organizations apply those definitions to their companies accordingly.

Promoting DE&I in the workplace is a constant work in progress and should be maintained and nurtured to show effectiveness. Empathetic leadership is key to this transformation. Inclusion is what helps ignite and harness diversity. In most corporate environments, DE&I is a grassroots effort. Individuals within organizations are developing groups known as ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) to support one another. An example of this is Hitachi High-Tech America’s “Women in Hitachi.” This group is an internal project that was launched in 2017. It was established by seven female employees from different divisions with a mission and vision that aligned with corporate strategic plans. Their goals are to create an environment where all people feel, and are, valued and able to bring their differences together toward building success. Although it is called “Women” in Hitachi, the focus is for all to Inform, Advance and Network.


How are DE&I and sustainability interconnected?


Companies benefit when they embed sustainability and DEI principles into their business. While the scope of sustainability in business has broadened, so has the scope of DE&I. Companies like Hitachi are looking outward at how they affect the communities they serve and what they contribute to society.

Now and into the future, companies will be viewed on their environmental performance, what they are doing from a social perspective, and how they are addressing diversity, equity and inclusion. Research has shown that a more diverse workplace fosters greater innovation and productivity. Hitachi is equipping its workforce with the right tools to ensure equal opportunity and create an environment that allows everyone to perform at their full potential. This helps people sustain their roles and grow within those roles. That makes a world of a difference in being productive as a corporation and to realize sustainability goals, foster green innovation and deliver more resilient technology solutions.


Do you have any final words on DE&I in the workplace?


Within any organization, although you might not feel like what you do directly impacts DE&I, it does. Every employee plays a significant role in making sure everyone on their team is recognized and can contribute equally. This creates success, this creates resilience, and this creates a better workplace environment and a better world we live in.