Diversity initiatives go way beyond programming and event planning
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) has become a hot topic only in more recent years as organizations across industries have recognized the importance of creating an inclusive workplace. However, there is a misconception that DEI is just another event to plan or initiative to implement, when in fact it is so much more than that.
Diversity initiatives go beyond just programming and events. While these programs are an important part of DEI, without a holistic approach, rarely do events change a culture. They are engaging and leave people feeling excited without tools to drive real change.
This requires a systematic approach to creating a work environment that values and respects all employees regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or ability. It involves creating policies, practices, and procedures that are inclusive and equitable, and that enable everyone to participate fully and contribute their best work.
DEI is not just a one-time event or initiative that can be planned and executed, but rather a continuous process of creating a culture of inclusion and equity in the workplace. It is not just about ticking boxes or meeting quotas, but about creating a culture where everyone feels seen, heard and belongs, regardless of their background or identity.
DEI is about systems, not programs
While events and initiatives can be a part of the DEI process, they are not the solution to the problem. DEI requires a systemic change within an organization that goes beyond just the surface level. It requires an intentional effort to change policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that they are inclusive and equitable.
DEI is change
DEI is not just about hiring a diverse workforce, but also about creating a culture that fosters inclusion and allows diverse perspectives to be heard and valued. It is not about simply promoting diversity, but also about addressing the structural inequalities that exist within the organization and industry as a whole.
DEI is a collective effort
Furthermore, DEI is not just the responsibility of one person or team within an organization, but rather a shared responsibility of everyone within the organization. It requires a collective commitment and buy-in from all levels of the organization, from the CEO to entry-level employees.
Advancing diversity at a company requires a strategic and intentional approach. Here are some actionable steps that people can take to advance diversity at their company:
- Conduct a diversity audit: Start by conducting a thorough audit of your company’s current diversity and inclusion practices. This will help identify gaps and areas of improvement.
- Develop a diversity and inclusion strategy: Based on the findings from the diversity audit, develop a strategic plan to advance diversity and inclusion at the company. This should include specific goals, initiatives, and timelines.
- Foster a culture of inclusion: A diverse workforce is not enough; it is important to create a culture that values and respects different perspectives. This can be done by providing training and education on cultural competence, creating employee resource groups, and celebrating cultural differences.
- Make diversity a priority in hiring: Expand your recruiting efforts to attract a diverse pool of candidates, use diverse interview panels, and establish a formal diversity hiring policy. Note this strategy is critical to be completed in addition to creating an inclusive culture where people want to stay.
- Ensure fair and equitable practices: Review and assess current practices and policies to ensure that they are fair and equitable for all employees. This includes pay equity, promotion opportunities, and access to development opportunities.
- Hold leaders accountable: Diversity and inclusion efforts must be led from the top. Hold leaders accountable for driving diversity and inclusion initiatives and ensure that they are actively participating in and supporting these efforts. This is not quotas, but goals and measurements they can be accountable for.
- Measure progress: Regularly measure and track progress toward diversity and inclusion goals to determine what is working and what needs improvement. This will help refine the strategy and ensure that the company is making progress toward a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Advancing diversity at a company requires a long-term, ongoing commitment from everyone in the organization. By following these strategic steps, individuals can make a meaningful impact on creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
DEI is not just another event to plan or initiative to implement, but rather a continuous process of creating an inclusive culture within an organization. It requires intentional effort to change policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that they are inclusive and equitable, and it is a shared responsibility of everyone within the organization. Organizations that prioritize DEI as an ongoing process rather than a one-time event will reap the benefits of a more inclusive and equitable workplace.
At Next Pivot Point we have lots of resources to help you facilitate successful diversity and inclusion initatives. Schedule some time with our team today to discuss where to start or how to do better. You can also check out:
- Our available workshop topics for developing inclusive leaders.
- Our Train the Trainer programs for scalability within your organization
- Our Right-Sized DEI micro-content packages for consistent small-drip content throughout the year.