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Getting Started with DEI: Page 2 of 2

Your playbook should include assessing the company’s current state of diversity, setting goals for improvement, acquiring leadership buy-in, and building an action plan. By Jessica Meek
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BEGINNING A DEI initiative requires getting the initial steps right, which includes determining the culture you wish to create.
ALIGN YOUR DEI PLAN with business objectives to ensure employee buy-in and company-wide commitment that’s driven by leadership.
CLEARLY OUTLINE THE VISION and purpose of the initiative and use metrics to measure progress and note needed adjustments.

State Vision and Goals

A comprehensive and complete DEI plan must clearly outline its vision and purpose. Roman advises having three to five top-line goals, derived from the data gathered during your surveys and employee conversations. Frame the plan within the context of its impact on suppliers, vendors, partners, products, and services, as well as staff. “It needs to be a broad plan,” Roman says, noting that this will enable all employees to feel part of the process and like “they have skin in the game.”

Once your plan is in place, create a DEI committee or task force that has cross-company representation and leadership from the CEO or a similarly powerful influencer. This will enable top decision makers to ensure the DEI initiative is consistently moving forward and being felt throughout the organization.

Shaara Roman

Complement committee meetings with ongoing grassroots outreach, Catlin says, including individual team member meetings, casual gatherings, Slack chats, email conversations, happy hours dedicated to DEI, and so on in order to engage staff at the foundational, day-to-day level.

Finally, be sure to do “ruthless tracking of [diversity] representation in your workforce,” Brown says, pointing out that an acute and ongoing awareness of staffing demographics is essential for realizing DEI goals. Likewise, any training materials you utilize as part of a DEI plan must be updated regularly and treated as a living document in order to reflect the initiative’s fluidity and evolution.

The bottom line, experts agree, is that good intentions aren’t enough when it comes to DEI. Businesses that plan and track a DEI initiative, rather than simply plunging in, will improve their odds for success.


Image: iStock

About the Author

Jessica Meek's picture

JESSICA MEEK is a freelance technology and financial writer based in New York.

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