An inclusive diversity and equity statement should not just exist on its own in an employee intranet; it must become part of the overarching company mission and values.
A robust DEI policy should open the doors for change by addressing commonly recognized forms of oppression such as racism, sexism and other biases.
What is DEI?
Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statements represent companies’ pledge to be inclusive employers. More than just a box to check on job applications or an annual report page, DEI statements should become integral parts of your organization’s fabric, reflecting its values and providing the basis for what your stand for.
Deliberate Employee Involvement (DEI) statements can help communicate your commitment and rally employees behind what you’re trying to achieve. But be wary: these types of statements can easily come off as performative if they aren’t meant with serious intent; avoid cliches and excessively-fluffy language and instead focus on internal efforts rather than the external landscape when creating one.
Include specific examples of how your company fulfills its DEI mission, from volunteering at local charities to incorporating antiracist pedagogy into training programs. Use data to demonstrate current status and goals for future growth if applicable.
Successful DEI statements combine all these elements into an eye-catching message, rather than making empty promises. A great way to do this is by aligning DEI efforts with larger business strategies; this will allow you to identify how a diverse workforce can enhance profits while showing employees that the company recognizes the worth of their individual experiences and backgrounds. A powerful DEI statement will set your company apart in the marketplace while drawing talent.
Why is DEI important?
An effective DEI program is no longer just a luxury for forward-thinking organizations; today’s workforce is more diverse than ever and that trend will only continue. Companies who fail to highlight the significance of diversity, equity and inclusion may find themselves at an immediate competitive disadvantage with talent pools – some millennials may even decide not to stay due to a lack of commitment to DEI initiatives.
All business leaders should understand the importance of creating a diverse workplace, which means committing to a diversity strategy with hiring a chief diversity officer (CDO), implementing diversity training programs and creating a diversity transformation committee.
These initiatives will make employees feel like their differences are valued and that they belong at their organization, helping to increase retention rates and decrease turnover rates – essential in any company with expensive recruitment costs.
Diverse workplaces also promote greater decision-making. Studies have demonstrated that teams with greater racial, gender and ethnic diversity tend to be more innovative than their homogenous counterparts. Companies that prioritize DEI also tend to be more resilient during crisis situations – one McKinsey study revealed that companies with diverse management teams outperformed their peers in revenue growth.
All these benefits make an argument for creating an organization-wide diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. Although words alone won’t get you very far, a mature DEI program will have concrete plans and programs in place or planned such as forward-thinking recruitment practices and onboarding procedures; diversity training; the formation of an employee resource group with diversity committee membership; as well as regular people and culture programs.
What are the goals of DEI?
DEI seeks to foster an equitable society where every member has equal access and opportunities. To do this, DEI addresses historical barriers that make it hard for certain groups to excel within their communities. In order to accomplish this goal, companies need to make a commitment and set realistic goals that demonstrate they value diversity, equity and inclusion in order to show employees and the public they truly prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion.
Establishing sustainable changes to workplace culture is no small undertaking. It will take effort from all departments of an organization, with employees being encouraged to share their ideas on how to foster a more diverse and inclusive work environment, while receiving support in carrying them out.
An effective diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) statement requires being tailored specifically to reflect its company culture and not copied directly from another organization’s statement as this will appear as pandering and not authentic. Furthermore, companies must commit the resources to actualizing its diversity, equity and inclusion goals otherwise their DEI statement will simply become another superficial marketing ploy.
Numerous companies also include additional details on their DEI website that support their statements of commitment, such as statistics on the proportion of women and people of color in leadership roles or data about how the company sources products from minority-owned businesses. Such measures help establish more concrete and tangible positions on DEI and add credibility.
How will DEI impact my career?
Diversity and inclusion initiatives are not only morally essential, they’re also good business. Companies that employ a robust DEI strategy tend to attract top talent while encouraging creativity among their staff members, as well as being better suited to respond quickly to customer needs and market changes due to having diverse perspectives, experiences, and perspectives within their workforces.
But if the organization’s commitment to DEI isn’t genuine or authentic, results may be hard to come by. Many organizations post diversity statements online and in promotional materials without actually taking steps toward real change within their workplace.
To be effective, DEI initiatives must become fully embedded into a company’s culture and daily operations. To achieve this goal, senior-level sponsorship must publicly endorse DEI efforts while actively taking part in training or events related to DEI efforts. Promoting inclusive behaviors while holding managers accountable for hiring practices which reflect diverse demographics is also necessary for their success.
One way of measuring the effectiveness of a DEI program is to examine its percentage of female, black or indigenous (BIPOC), or LGBTQ+ employees – an indicator of whether or not your company truly embraces equity and inclusion as part of its culture.
Diversity and inclusivity are integral parts of success for any company, yet organizations that have long operated with traditionalist mindsets may struggle with making this change. When interviewing, be mindful to assess companies for their commitment to equity and inclusion until you find an organization where your ideal match exists.
How will DEI impact my workplace?
DEI stands for Diversity & Equality Inclusion and seeks to foster an environment which embraces differences while creating an atmosphere of belonging among employees. Businesses that prioritize DEI initiatives are better able to tap into their employees’ full potential and drive innovation forward.
As workplace diversity increases, employees will have more opportunities to contribute new ideas and perspectives that would not otherwise have been available to them. Diversity Equal Employment (DEI) also acts as a powerful recruitment tool and competitive edge builder; according to one Harvard Business Review study, businesses with more diverse teams were 70% likely to successfully capture new markets.
Companies can take several key steps to begin developing and implementing an inclusive DEI strategy. They should begin by defining what it means to be inclusive and setting goals, then working to improve hiring practices by using blind resumes that mask information that may discriminate against certain groups of candidates and providing on-site training sessions for HR personnel.
Additionally, they should encourage senior leaders to act as Diversity & Inclusion sponsors and involve younger workers in DEI efforts. Younger employees frequently cite DEI as a factor when making employment decisions and are more likely to remain at companies which value their opinions and recognize contributions made.
Company leaders should remain transparent regarding their DEI initiatives and regularly share updates on their progress to foster employee trust and ensure that everyone knows that their voices are being heard while their employers take proactive steps to enhance the workplace environment.