page title icon Why is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Important in the Workplace?

“When people feel they have a voice, and their voice is being listened to, then that is when they begin to feel safe and they begin to trust the system.”

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). These three words pop up almost everywhere. Every modern workforce has a discussion revolving around these three words, but what exactly is the difference between diversity, equity, and inclusion? What does it mean?

If you are an executive leader, you have to understand that the workforce today faces a huge problem with regards to psychological safety, and how a business handles diversity, equity, and inclusion may directly affect its bottom line. Listen to Omar L. Harris as he shares his thoughts on DEI and how you can be more inclusive in your organization today.

Born to a chemical engineer father and social worker mother in the working-class town of Pittsburgh, PA, Omar L. Harris learned the values of connecting process to outcomes and the importance of being of service to others at an early age. Being the youngest of four boys in a family of 5 children he endured a lot of hope and pressure to succeed where others had failed in order to uplift and support his family. Moving from Pittsburgh to Charleston, WV, to Lake Charles, LA over the course of his childhood and adolescence engendered in Omar the ability to adapt to constant change which has been his status quo as an adult living all over the US and spending considerable time living and working in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

Omar is a former pharmaceutical General Manager (GSK, Allergan), Intent Consulting and founder, motivational speaker, and bestselling author, with over 20 years’ experience building high performance organizations on 4 continents.

He has managed multibillion dollar brands and led extensive organizations while working in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the US, he innovated blueprints for J.E.D.I. Leadership (leading with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion), servant leadership, and 20 Team Performance Acceleration Principles (TPAPs) that can be applied by leaders at all levels of professional experience.  

Over the course of his career, he embodied and championed positive psychology, Clifton Strengths, and servant leadership with all his teams and organizations while also becoming a bestselling author.

He is the CEO of Intent Consulting, which does coaching, training, publishing, productions, and technology. 

His software company, is the world’s first and best interactive meeting software application for boosting employee inclusion during key internal forums (townhalls, annual meetings, fireside chats, askmeanythings). 

Omar resides in Charlotte, NC with his family. In his spare time, he loves traveling the world, connecting with and experiencing diverse cultures and people, and reading for inspiration and pleasure, while staying connected with his closest friends.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @strengthsleader get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“When people feel they have a voice, and their voice is being listened to, then that is when they begin to feel safe and they begin to trust the system.” – Click to Tweet

“Not having diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace is a business risk.” – Click to Tweet

“No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson – Click to Tweet

Hump Story

Omar recently published a book, but one morning, he woke up to a really bad review on Amazon. It always hurts to receive a negative review, but Omar understood that it is what it is. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and you just have to roll with the punches. In order to get over that hump, Omar just continued with the rest of the day, went to the gym, and worked out the stress.

Advice for others

Orient yourself with servant leadership.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Time management.

Best Leadership Advice

Run my own race.

Secret to Success

Hiring people with the WHOM – Work ethic, Heart, Optimism, and Maturity

Recommended Reading

Be a J.E.D.I. Leader, Not a Boss: Leadership in the Era of Corporate Social Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Infinite Game

The Servant Leader’s Manifesto

Leader Board: The DNA of High Performance Teams

From Authors to Entrepreneurs (F.A.T.E.): The Personal Side of Indie Publishing

Links and Resources

Omar’s website: 

Omar’s Twitter: 

Omar’s LinkedIn: 

Fast Leader Show on YouTube: 

Fast Leader Show on Apple Podcast: 

Fast Leader Show on Facebook:  

Fast Leader Show on Twitter:  

Fast Leader Show on LinkedIn:  

Check out the first episode with Omar: 

Check out other episodes on psychological safety: 

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