In today’s ever-changing societal and professional landscape, job opportunities have undergone a considerable shift. However, despite a seemingly thinning job market, most candidates are in search of an environment where inclusivity and diversity are noticeably present. If these factors are absent, companies may be missing out on a high-quality workforce.

In late June, management consulting agency McKinsey & Company released the results of a study in which roughly 39% of job applicants noted that they would turn down a position should the company they’re applying to show a lack of inclusivity and diversity amongst the company’s demographics. Of that 39%, the highest numbers were comprised of women, ethnic or racial minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Men, non-minority respondents, and non-LGBTQ+ respondents also noted that they would turn down a position for those reasons, though not at as high a percentage as the aforementioned.

There is a trickle-down effect to this logic. Should an applicant notice that a company lacks the appropriate measures to both guarantee and cultivate inclusivity, they’ll turn down the job. If enough applicants do so, then the goal to grow a more diverse company also falls by the wayside, since there is no new interest in working for a particular corporation that is tethered to the old guard. The value of inclusivity is important for a number of reasons, arguably now more than ever.

An article by Fortune revealed that, in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in remote working, employees feel that a lack of diversity and inclusion has intensified. When working from home already produces feelings of isolation, if a company lacks a diversified staff, that feeling may increase in the absence of coworkers to whom an employee can relate on multiple levels.

The situation, however, is not irreparable. By demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) even under abnormal circumstances, companies can set the stage for attracting a more diverse, discerning, and successful workforce, both now and in the future.