Diversity Equity and Inclusion statements are an integral component of any academic job application, providing a chance for you to outline strategies you would employ in teaching, research, scholarly (university) service as well as demonstrate your dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Inclusion encompasses more than just ethnic diversity; it encompasses gender, age, religion, physical abilities, political views, sexual orientation and life experiences as well.
Identifying the Problem
Candidate’s diversity statements must outline their core values and demonstrate their dedication to EDIB. Strong candidates address definitions of equity, diversity and inclusion articulated by EDIB as well as provide examples that actualize those definitions through research, teaching or service activities. Strong statements may also discuss structural obstacles to equality as well as describe ways that these barriers are being overcome.
An inadequate diversity statement often reads like an academic guild manifesto, employing terminology such as “anti-racist,” “deconstruction” and “white supremacy.” Such statements sound generic and serve only to prove candidates’ claims that they do not hold racist or bigoted attitudes.
Effective diversity statements focus on the core issues causing inequity and inequality within science, technology and engineering fields. They examine how sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia contribute to workplace culture as well as ways in which candidates can counter these issues with initiatives like affinity groups or outreach programs that support minoritized groups within their department.
Establishing a diversity statement is only part of an effective plan to increase employee and student diversity. A successful strategy must also address nonverbal messaging, hiring practices, evaluation procedures, mentoring and outreach programs and an analysis of current hiring demographics in addition to devising plans to enhance those numbers.
A strong diversity statement conveys that the company’s goals for creating an inclusive workplace should include harnessing all employees and students’ talents to their fullest extent, in an atmosphere in which all feel valued, psychologically safe, and free to reach their maximum potential. A great diversity statement goes further by detailing how discrimination or harassment on any basis such as race, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic disposition physical ability political views will not be tolerated or tolerated within its walls.
Diversity equity and inclusion statements exist to outline specific steps your organization will take moving forward. By doing this, the statements not only raise awareness but help focus and prioritize internal efforts at solving the problem as well as show prospective employees, business partners and the general public that your company is committed to taking steps that make a difference for good.
To ensure the maximum effectiveness of your diversity statement, engage a variety of voices throughout the process – this should include internal stakeholders as well as external ones like employees, suppliers and customers. Surveys, town hall meetings or employee resource groups are good ways to do this – the aim should be to create forums where individuals can share their stories, ask questions and offer insight into challenges they are experiencing in a workplace that doesn’t accommodate them.
Once you’ve identified the problem and outlined your company’s plans to address it, writing the statement becomes much simpler. Employing language that aligns with your brand voice and culture is key in order to create an impactful message for all audiences. A copywriter could help craft an ideal final draft which conveys meaning through your unique brand voice.
Not like most other CSR statements, DEI statements shouldn’t just be empty platitudes. Instead, it should include specific initiatives and policies your company will implement along with clear metrics for measuring accountability – this will prevent virtue-signaling while making employees more inclined to follow through on your commitments.
Your company statement should include examples of how it addresses lack of representation for marginalized communities in higher education by prioritizing recruitment of such communities and welcoming different perspectives in teaching and research, for instance. This will demonstrate to prospective faculty, students and partners that your institution understands diversity issues as part of its overall commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Goal setting is essential to the success of your company’s DEI efforts, so setting clear and attainable targets is vitally important to its success. Your goals should also be measurable so you can track progress over time; relevant goals that relate directly to your business should also provide motivation for employees who may work toward them; finally they should be attainable so you don’t overpromise and underdeliver.
Not only should your company set goals, but you must also include an action plan outlining how they will be accomplished. This should include timelines and deliverables as well as metrics to track your progress over time. Communicating these goals to employees ensures they hold leadership accountable for fostering an inclusive workplace culture.
To effectively set diversity and inclusion goals, begin with an analysis of your current culture. This can help identify areas for improvement such as increasing underrepresented group applications. Furthermore, benchmarking against competitors provides invaluable insight on ways in which your company could do better and how improvements could be implemented.
As you craft your diversity statement, it is vital that you remember diversity doesn’t just encompass race and ethnicity – it also encompasses gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, physical abilities, political views and many other facets of identity. For your company to truly be diverse it must embrace these many identities while making everyone feel safe at work.
Your diversity and inclusion statement must capture this expansive viewpoint, so it is vital that it includes activities and initiatives that encourage all types of people to come to work as themselves and express themselves freely. Examples could include mentoring programs, employee resource groups, open communication channels or any other types of activities that create an inclusive working environment where all perspectives can thrive and flourish.
Trying looking at diversity statements of other leading companies in your industry as a source of inspiration? They could give you ideas to create more impactful and meaningful diversity statements for your own organization.
Holding the Company Accountable
Being an inclusive company goes far beyond simply hiring employees from various backgrounds; diversity and inclusion encompass making sure everyone feels safe at work and can express themselves authentically despite external challenges they might be facing. Therefore, companies must develop an annual diversity statement and hold themselves accountable for achieving its stated goals.
One of the key elements of an effective diversity statement is clarity of writing and not being overly legal-sounding; this ensures it can evoke feelings of safety without seeming like something written by lawyers. Furthermore, its progress must be tracked so it can be held accountable.
An effective diversity statement should also link to relevant resources, such as documents on representation and pay or workforce diversity reports. Companies can also add employee or candidate testimonials for additional personalization of the statement. Finally, accessibility for people with disabilities must also be ensured on any company website.
Assuring accountability of company actions with regards to its diversity statement requires making sure employees are fully immersed in the process, understanding how their roles fit into making it a reality. A committee that regularly meets and provides updates should also engage other groups such as wellness or mental health teams or employee networks for broad input into this endeavor.
By being clear and precise with their goals, engaging employees throughout the process, and holding their company accountable for its actions, diversity statements can instill trust and confidence among both employees and customers alike. They may help avoid what happened in 2020 when numerous companies issued DEI statements only to find they weren’t being held to account effectively for what had been promised.