An inclusive diversity statement provides you with an opportunity to convey your perspectives and approach for creating a welcoming classroom, lab and campus community. Furthermore, it details plans for furthering inclusivity and equity through teaching, research and university service activities.
Diversity involves many dimensions that lie both within your control and outside it, including race or ethnic identity and religious beliefs.
What is a DEI statement?
An inclusive statement demonstrates a commitment to foster an environment of equality, fairness, and respect in the workplace. Committing to diversity can be undertaken by either individuals or organizations, and can involve various initiatives like hiring practices, mentoring programs and training sessions. A good DEI statement should be easily visible and accessible for all employees, as well as include a plan to meet its goals. When setting goals for DEI statements, be realistic. Metrics or other ways of measuring success may demonstrate accountability as well. Finally, this document must reflect an organization’s mission and core values.
To create a DEI statement, begin by exploring the current ecosystem through various means, such as free writing, diagraming or outlining. Once you have an understanding of its state, begin designing your own framework to address its needs.
Although your statement should include personal experiences from your life, beware of being too self-congratulatory or dwelling on them; rather focus on how your experiences have helped shape your DEI journey rather than listing everything you have already accomplished – especially if writing this statement as part of an academic application process or job application.
Many organizations include public-facing data in their DEI statements, such as percentage of women or people of color in leadership roles or gender pay gap statistics, which can show potential employees that your company is committed to its diversity and inclusion goals. Furthermore, it’s vital that a link for your DEI statement be added directly onto your company website so visitors can easily locate it and read it; doing so can increase employee engagement while improving recruitment efforts and decreasing legal risks.
What is the purpose of a DEI statement?
An academic diversity statement allows academics to reflect on their contributions towards diversity, equity and inclusion within teaching, research and scholarly communities. Furthermore, it can identify areas where more work needs to be done in order to improve climate in your workplace.
An effective Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement can be an excellent way to demonstrate to hiring committees that you are an engaged and thoughtful candidate for a faculty position. Your statement should clearly describe how your own experiences, identity and background inform your approach to diversity, equity and inclusion within classrooms, fields and university service/research communities.
Many candidates use their statements to highlight their personal backgrounds and identities; this is absolutely fine; however, it is essential that your statement also highlights how past experiences have informed your approach to DEI as well as future efforts you plan to undertake to foster inclusion throughout your academic career.
Highlighting statistics regarding your organization’s progress toward its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals (DEI) goals can be an effective way to send a powerful message that it values inclusion and is making it a top priority for its employees, customers and stakeholders. This could involve showing how many women hold leadership roles within your company or how much has been spent with minority-owned suppliers.
One effective way of showing your commitment to diversity is by outlining specific goals you and your team have set. For instance, if your aim is to increase female representation within leadership ranks, set an objective together and devise an action plan on how it will be accomplished.
Make sure your DEI statement is easily accessible for job seekers and other stakeholders to view it, for instance by linking to it on your website and listing it in Google search results. In addition, consider including it in employee handbooks as well as prominently displaying it within your workplace.
How can I write a DEI statement?
Included a DEI statement in your job posts can help attract qualified applicants and set your company apart from its competition. Incorporating such statements also reinforces brand image by showing prospective customers and employees that your organization values diversity, equity and inclusion.
Importantly, your DEI statement should not be used as an opportunity to promote your personal viewpoints or beliefs on diversity and inclusion; instead, this statement should serve as an avenue to demonstrate your dedication and showcase how diversity- and inclusion-related issues have been addressed in your teaching, research, scholarly activity and department/discipline service activities.
As you write your DEI statement, keep this phrase in mind: show, don’t tell. Although it might be tempting to use vague terminology such as “recognizing the importance of diversity” or “committed to creating an inclusive academic community”, such statements won’t convince schools and departments.
Focusing on what steps have already been taken to implement inclusive practices into classroom, scholarly work and community service can help. You should also explain how your efforts will continue into the future.
Writing a diversity statement requires keeping in mind your audience includes not only school and department administrators but also students and potential future colleagues. Your statement must cater to each of these audiences in order to be effective.
Your Diversity and Inclusion Statement should include statistics whenever possible to demonstrate your commitment to diversity and inclusion, showing prospective employers and students that you take your commitment seriously by including things such as percentage of women on your leadership team or amount spent with diverse suppliers. Likewise, linking it with any public-facing information regarding diversity initiatives within your company will give your audience a full picture of where your stand on this issue and how they intend to move forward.
What is the best way to write a DEI statement?
Writing a diversity statement allows you to evaluate your current engagements with inclusivity, as well as outline how those will develop over time. When developing such statements, consider how your experiences, research and service can advance inclusive scholarship – then formulate concrete plans on how you plan to advance these efforts within academic communities and beyond.
This process may require reflection and seeking advice from colleagues for feedback. The most successful DEI statements should be authentic and demonstrate more than tell. For example, an effective statement could focus on your personal racial identity and how it motivates you to mentor students from marginalized backgrounds; or perhaps disability has changed how you teach and mentor.
As you assess your past experiences, it’s also advisable to make notes of everything you have done or tried to do that has contributed to inclusion within your fields. This might involve serving on committees or initiating projects with these goals in mind; you might even want to note outcomes of such endeavors such as more diverse classes or scholarship programs as part of this assessment process.
Consider not only how you have engaged with inclusivity but also where you want it to go in terms of internal culture or metrics that you can share publicly – for instance, some organizations set goals to increase women in leadership or on boards while others use DEI reporting as a way of holding themselves accountable.
Be honest when admitting your organization hasn’t reached its potential when it comes to DEI, even if this goes against what your statements indicate. Transparency is at the core of DEI; being open and honest will encourage others to follow suit as well as create positive reactions from potential employees or other stakeholders. If your company lacks an explicit policy for DEI implementation, consider creating one now.