Editorial Note: Opinions are the writer’s own and not those of AfroTech.

The values that a company upholds are an integral part of its very DNA, and reversing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts can greatly impact how companies attract and retain talent. Companies who want to attract and engage Black, Latino, and underrepresented talent and consumers, must build a culture founded on values that permeate every part of the business.

Amidst ongoing news of layoffs, inflation, and economic uncertainty, many businesses have made the unfortunate decision to scale back on DEI efforts. These initiatives should not be considered an afterthought, but rather an essential piece of an organization’s culture helping businesses attract and retain talent, boost innovation, and drive growth.

Company culture is increasingly important to employees – and can be a deciding factor for those considering quitting or choosing a new job. Whether that means creating inclusive environments, adopting sustainable practices, or establishing better boundaries for work-life balance, professionals are closely watching employers. The data is clear, misaligned values with a company are a deal breaker. Recent research from LinkedIn found that nearly three in four Americans – including 80% of Latino 66% of Black professionals – would leave their current job if their values were misaligned with their employer’s.

These insights reveal a great deal about the career priorities of professionals of color, particularly Gen-Z and Millennials, who are voicing their values more assertively. My advice for companies is to lean into these insights, have real and honest conversations on how your company values align with those of your employees, and remain firm and committed to those values even during challenging times.

Our ongoing commitment at LinkedIn is to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion and continue to create an environment of belonging and a platform where everyone can thrive. To make it easier for companies to showcase their values, we introduced the ability for them to highlight their values and organizational commitments across DEI, work-life balance, career growth and learning, social impact, and sustainability goals. Tens of thousands of companies globally have already added their commitments and we’re just getting started. We’ve also introduced a new job search filter that enables professionals to search for job opportunities based on the values that matter most to them.

Values will be a survival issue for many companies over the next decade and it’s mission-critical that companies honor their values not only during periods of growth and success but during times of uncertainty. While companies may think their employer brand isn’t as important during a hiring slowdown, this isn’t the case. As the pendulum will inevitably swing back to a strong hiring market, it’s critical that companies consistently invest in their employer brand to keep their talent pipeline strong.

Rosanna Durruthy is a change maker, thought leader, and Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIBs) at LinkedIn. Rosanna has led global teams, implementing innovative talent practices and DIBs strategies that transform and influence how companies prepare for the future of work.  

An Afro-Latina born and raised in New York City, Rosanna attended Harvard University and Stanford Business School. Her experiences serve as a prism for creating diverse, inclusive, and equitable opportunities for professionals to succeed in the workplace and beyond.  

In 2021, Rosanna was named a DEI trailblazer by Business Insider, and ALPFA named her one of the most powerful and influential Latinas. She was named among ten leaders transforming the workplace in post-George Floyd corporate America, and her thought leadership and highly sought-after insights have been featured in Bloomberg, Forbes, Telemundo, Fast Company,  Business Insider, Harvard Business Review, Univision, and other top-tier media outlets.  

Rosanna is an angel investor and advisor to several startups in the Edtech and grocery tech space. She serves on the 2020 Mom Project board and is regarded as an influential mind in the diversity and inclusion space.