An effective diversity equity and inclusion statement shows a candidate’s dedication to creating an environment which embraces and respects all demographic groups, as well as an understanding of its challenges.
However, the most successful DEI statements go beyond empty promises by setting specific and measurable objectives that will bring real change. Here are some tips to help you write one.
1. Define Your Goals
Create a diversity equity and inclusion statement can help your organization take meaningful steps to recognize and promote different identities in the workplace. From eliminating unconscious bias to building more diverse hiring pools, your company will benefit from creating a statement which incorporates these goals and values throughout.
Before writing your diversity and inclusion statement, it’s essential that you identify what will go into it. A great way of doing this is working closely with key stakeholders to assess how DEI initiatives align with and support your company vision.
Assuming you operate a tech-centric brand with a tagline like, “It’s cool to be smart,” your DEI statement should emphasize the significance of welcoming and including people of various cultures within your workforce, while emphasizing your dedication to combatting issues of oppression such as sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia.
Your diversity statement should reflect your brand culture, so it’s crucial that it remains consistent throughout. Any deviation from your normal messaging could come across as performative and unauthentic, which would undermine diversity efforts. Your statement can show off how you have embraced multiple identities within the company through employee resource groups such as Africans@Google, GREYGLOBALS and Trans at Google – showing off how well diversity efforts have taken hold in your workplace.
Many companies demonstrate their dedication to diversity by outlining current representation figures such as gender pay gap figures and setting specific goals for increasing diversity within their leadership team. You could also use your diversity statement to highlight any tangible actions being taken such as providing cultural competency training to employees.
Finally, your statement can serve to highlight how your company has already integrated equity and inclusion into the way it does business by mentioning community involvement, philanthropic endeavors, volunteerism, research projects, mentorship initiatives or any other strategies it uses to reach its objectives. This will give potential applicants or visitors more of an idea about your commitment to diversity and inclusion – helping them decide whether they wish to apply or learn more about products/services offered by your business.
2. Create an Action Plan
Before creating an action plan for your company, take the time to understand its goals. From there, devise specific initiatives designed to make those goals a reality; such as partnering with historically black colleges to recruit employees or inviting diversity and inclusion professionals for training purposes or providing company-wide mentorship programs. Some organizations even hire vice presidents of diversity equity and inclusion exclusively dedicated to this aspect of their business.
Once you’ve decided on what you wish to achieve, it’s essential that clear goals and metrics be set to measure success. This allows your team to see exactly how their work fits into the overall mission of the company – for instance if your aim is increasing women in management roles then set performance goals with timelines for reaching them.
If you need some guidance in writing your diversity statement, reading examples of successful diversity statements from past will be helpful in providing inspiration and ideas of what should be included; just be careful not to copy someone else’s as you want your statement to remain authentic and sincere.
Finalizing your statement by making it public-facing will enable you to demonstrate your dedication. This can be accomplished through linking to it from your website or including it in other corporate communications materials, such as job postings.
Your diversity data statement should also include demographic breakdowns or details on how you’re fostering inclusivity within the workforce, to demonstrate trust between employees and your organization and demonstrate its true commitment. Sharing these stats also encourages employees to voice concerns if they feel that company is failing to meet its stated values; for instance if one demographic of employees are underrepresented or that your organization fails to accommodate LGBTQ+ staff members’ needs it can help if these statistics can be brought up during meetings or HR discussions.
3. Link It Back to Your Mission & Values
One way to create a compelling statement is to link it back to your company’s mission and values – something common to successful DEI statements such as those by Workday, Target and LEGO Group.
These companies utilize DEI statements to promote diversity, equity and inclusion as key aspects of their mission statement. Employees see firsthand their value to them and become more invested in supporting efforts to foster an inclusive workplace for all.
Employees who witness their organization’s dedication to diversity will be more inclined to trust and believe its leadership, so it is crucial for company leaders to back their words up with actions. A Deloitte study revealed that 84% of employees who saw leadership publicly pledge their dedication to increasing diversity found it genuine.
Your company should demonstrate its dedication to DEI goals by including data about its progress. This could include statistics such as the percentage of women or people of color in leadership roles or how much money has been spent with diverse suppliers; anything else which demonstrates your company’s dedication to equality and inclusion would serve as proof.
If you’re applying for jobs, including your DEI statement in your resume or CV can make your application stand out and demonstrate your dedication to equality and inclusion in the workplace. But be careful – some employers might view such statements as discriminatory. When applying at universities or schools, be sure to research their existing diversity programs and resources so you can tailor your statement appropriately – otherwise, alienating hiring panels or being perceived as insincere are risks; an engaging DEI statement can position yourself as an excellent candidate!
4. Consider Your Target Audience
As you write your DEI statement, it’s essential to consider your audience. Doing so will allow you to produce a more targeted, effective document relevant to both yourself and those you wish to reach – for instance if you wish to apply for positions in higher education and focus on diversity initiatives within that sector; accordingly your DEI statement would likely have different requirements than one written for corporate America.
Focusing on your audience is also key in crafting an impactful and clear DEI statement, which can be read by multiple individuals outside your company and will have far-reaching ramifications. Be wary of using vague language that could turn away potential readers.
As you begin the writing of your DEI statement, it can be useful to brainstorm ideas and take notes about what matters to you most. Free-writing or diagraming your thoughts is one way of getting ideas down on paper quickly; once all your notes and research have been collected, start working on writing your first draft.
If you find yourself stuck, asking colleagues and friends for input could provide invaluable insight into your own perspective as well as suggest changes you hadn’t considered or provide ideas for how you could incorporate more diversity in the workplace.
Consider how your personal experiences shape your approach to diversity when crafting a DEI statement, but remember it’s not an opportunity for narrative–rather, it should communicate your commitment to making research, teaching and service more inclusive for all members of the academic community.
Additionally, when discussing diversity, you should also explore what structural changes you would like to see implemented within your workplace. For example, this could involve discussing ways of making your office more accessible or finding opportunities for mentoring; innovative approaches that recognize power imbalances; or other innovative forms of diversity recognition such as power/privilege relations.
Overall, the most successful diversity statements are those that are genuine and detailed. They prioritize clarity and authenticity while remaining tied to the mission and values of their business.