DEI is Intentional
Anything worth striving for needs a plan. Needs intention.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at your company is no different
It’s quite easy to say you plan to become an enterprise that embraces DEI; it’s another thing entirely to actually work to become such.
How might intentional DEI look?
- It’s not just implied in a company’s mission and core values.
Instead, it’s an unequivocal commitment to the creation of a DEI culture throughout an organization. It’s a mission statement that boldly says a company is committed to DEI in a way that creates an environment in which all employees, vendors, and even visitors have a sense of belonging.
- A working group focused on DEI.
If your company doesn’t already have one, there’s no better time to create it. The group could conduct a company audit of your sourcing, recruiting, and hiring practices, as well as HR and legal policies to see what’s in place now and what should be created/updated.
Hold discussion groups with all team members, analyze audit findings. Think through what DEI at your company should be – how will your company know it gets DEI “right”?
- Understand that creating a culture of DEI never happens automatically, and it also should never end.
A business that embraces DEI fully always looks to connect with diverse employees and work with them to understand how DEI looks: a respectful and engaging workplace with a welcoming and inclusive culture.
Moving from intention to action
Once your company decides what DEI looks like for your employees, it’s time to get to work. Some potential tasks/activities could include:
Ask for employee feedback
Continuous learning is critical to any DEI culture. Internal workshops can gently push team members from where they currently are in their inclusion journey and help clarify leadership’s DEI expectations.
Ask employees – as well members of any DEI committees you may have – for feedback regarding what they’re most interested in learning.
Workshops and training
Bring in speakers of different races, genders, ages, physical ability, etc., to help employees understand how they can support underrepresented/diverse colleagues.
Workshop/speaker topics could include – and definitely shouldn’t be limited to:
- Managing Multiple Generations
- How to Be More Inclusive
- Micro-aggressions in the workplace
- Leadership Strategies for Women
- How to Be a Male Ally
- And so on
Defining success and tracking progress
How well are DEI changes, updates, and information communicated throughout your organization? How well are DEI initiatives and/or changes implemented? Do your employees feel like DEI is having an impact?
To see how your DEI efforts are coming along, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Do your DEI goals need to be redefined? They may need to be if you find you’ve hardly begun to meet them.
- How diverse has your candidate pool become? If you’re not making headway here, take a look at gendered language on job postings, skill requirements, where you post jobs, etc.
- Is your hiring process still too biased? Comparing metrics such as demographics of hires compared to the diversity of your candidate pool is one way to discover which areas could use some tweaking.
- In what departments are new hires placed? Many groups are underrepresented in tech and STEM positions, such as women and ethnic minorities.
- Are all employees fairly compensated and rewarded? Are all members of your team, regardless of their background, given equal promotion opportunities and compensation?
- How is retention across all groups? Who tends to stay with you and who leaves after a short time? Which (formally) underrepresented groups have more grievances? If employees from historically underrepresented groups leave you more than members of majority groups, you still have more DEI work to do.
DEI has been a focus for about a year now
How has your business been doing?
Let us know; we want to hear about how your DEI efforts have improved over the past several months.