Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Our Mission – To provide informed, authentic leadership for diversity, equity and inclusion for the wholesale distributor industry.

The Southern strives to:

  • Provide members practical tools and resources to aid in their diversity, equity, and inclusion journeys.
  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
    Cultivate respectful communication and cooperation between all members. Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
  • Contribute as leaders to the communities we serve to promote a greater understanding and respect for the diversity within our society.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, committees, customers, and communities.
  • Lead with respect and acceptance of difference.

The Southern has put together a wide variety of resources for our members with perspectives and guidance on how to strive toward a more diverse and inclusive environment whether it be at home, in their community, at their company, and in the entire industry.

This page will be updated constantly as we continue to add resources for members of The Southern.


  • Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to see greater financial returns, according to the McKinsey report “Diversity Matters.”
  • There is also a statistically significant relationship between diversity and innovation. A Harvard Business Review study found that companies with above-average total diversity had both 19% higher innovation revenues and 9% higher EBIT margins.
  • Likewise, a Deloitte report noted that organizations with inclusive cultures were six times more likely to be innovative and agile, eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes, and twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets.



DEI Business Case Power Point


In That’s BS! How Bias Synapse Disrupts Inclusive Cultures and the Power to Attract Diverse Markets, Risha Grant calls out the elephant in the room.  Gender and racial inequality is breeding hate, separation and violence. She presents a three-step process to confront bias and find common ground. Readers will also learn the keys to creating a culture that welcomes all employees, boosts retention and productivity.

Click here for more information.


Studies have shown that 60% of male managers feel uncomfortable working one-on-one with their female colleagues. This means over half of American male managers lack the confidence in their ability to create an inclusive environment for all of their team members. That’s where The Man’s Guide to Corporate Culture comes in. Heather Zumarraga, a business journalist who has spent much of her career in testosterone-filled work environments, wants to make sure that any male leader who wants to be part of the solution knows how to do it the right way. Click here for more information.



How Circle K is Removing Barriers for Black Leaders
The Insider Outsider Podcast
The Diversity Gap
The Will to Change: Uncovering True Stories of Diversity & Inclusion
The Forum on Workplace Inclusion


Taking the Pulse of D&I
How to Combat Unconscious Bias as a Leader in Your Organization
Are you an inclusive leader? Take this quiz to find out.
Talking About Race at Work: 3 Ways to Get Started
Leaders: 5 Places Racism Hides at Work
Tips for Discussing Racial Injustice in the Workplace
5 Ways to Combat Ageism in the Workplace
How to Avoid Ageism
The Difference Between Being Not Racist and Antiracist
15 Tips for Building a More Inclusive Workplace
Advocating for Age in an Age of Uncertainty
The diversity and inclusion revolution: eight powerful truths


Video Support on Unconscious Bias and Mentorship
How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Time to Discover Your Cultural Blind Spots
Lets stop talking about diversity and start working towards equity
Systematic Racism
What Leaders Must Do Today to Address Systemic Racism
Racism Has a Cost for Everyone
Inclusion Starts with I
White Fragility


Mentor Guide
Mentee Guide