Posted in:

Make an Impact with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

© by Getty images

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs have rocketed in popularity in the past few years. This is largely due to reflection on social issues and injustices in the United States today. That consideration has trickled from the personal sphere into the professional world, and companies are responding by creating DEI programs to address these concerns. 

Unfortunately, with the rapid expansion of these programs, too many corporations are focused on simply checking the boxes of what it looks like to be diverse and inclusive. Here are some ways your company can actively make an impact in this area — through innovation, growth, and positive change. 

1. Hold yourself accountable

Accountability is an important factor in building a DEI program that creates change. Too many companies believe that they can simply outline diversity and inclusion milestones and staff members will be motivated to hit them of their own volition. Yet, it can take some effort to ensure everyone is committed to change in the workplace (even if it’s for the better). 

Some of the best ways to keep everyone accountable is to invest in the proper training. Training allows you to bring awareness to all unconscious biases and make them known so staff can begin to counteract them in both the workplace and the hiring process. 

Once you begin to implement DEI processes, consider distributing anonymous feedback surveys to help you evaluate the program. What’s working? What’s not? How can you train your staff better to address underlying issues? 

As part of your training program, managers should also set attainable DEI goals that align with the company’s overall mission. Follow up with these goals to ensure that your leaders are dynamically working toward them, and if they’re not, find out what obstacles stand in their way. 

2. Create a community

When you create a diversity, equity, and inclusion program, you rely on individuals with diverse perspectives and talents coming together. Unfortunately, companies don’t always foster connections between individuals they hire. This results in valuable people feeling lonely, isolated, and undervalued. 

To resolve this, community elements should be incorporated into diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. A great step that companies can take is creating Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These groups foster connection, engagement, mentorship, and allyship among employees to ensure they feel heard, seen, and valued. By integrating this component into your DEI program, you can make a broader impact than sampling exceeding current metrics.

3. Stay transparent 

It’s one thing to make goals, and it’s another thing to meet those goals. Today, companies realize the importance of creating a diversity and inclusion program, but countless struggle with the follow-through. They don’t invest the time and resources in the program because they don’t have to. Simply saying that it’s a priority for them is enough. After all, who is going to check?

This is where transparency comes in. Transparency holds us accountable for action. It prompts companies to inform both their employees and the general public of their DEI plans, data, representation goals, and progress. Think of transparency as a report card. The information that companies publish (often in the form of a report) notifies everyone about what they’re doing on a particular subject. Additionally, it allows them to reflect on what they’re doing well and how they can improve on future plans. 

Final Thoughts 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs are trendy right now. Every single company is looking to appear diverse and inclusive because they know it’s attractive to both prospective employees and consumers. You can add a diversity calendar 2023 to remind yourself and your team of the importance.  But that isn’t enough. Instead, build your DEI program on the foundation of creating an impact through an inclusive culture and equitable opportunities. A “show” instead of a “tell” approach will prove more valuable in the long run.