We know that getting started with your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Companies realize the power of investing in DEI and have accepted they can no longer put it on the back burner. From increased revenue to a more robust company culture, DEI has a proven track record. Don’t wait to take action on DEI; use our 5-step cascading method to get started.
1. Start at the top
Your company's leadership team has to get on board with creating change beyond vanity metrics. If leadership isn’t on board with your DEI goals, then you’re facing an uphill battle, and success is unlikely. Don’t fret if they aren’t quickly sold. It can take time…and data. Find reliable statistics and data to help build your case. Once they see the various benefits, they’ll be more likely to get on board.
2. Get different departments involved
Often, the entire DEI is put on the HR or Supplier Diversity department. While in reality, those departments are responsible for a fraction of DEI. Let’s say that you’ve completed the DEI audit for your company and find out that you lack diversity among your new hires. The HR team AND hiring managers must work together to attract and retain diverse talent. Are there specific departments that lack diversity more than others? If so, start with those managers. Remember that creating change takes everyone in the organization to work together.
3. Be accountable
To be successful, you have to track your success. Establish goals and metrics to monitor your progress. Be realistic. We want to solve problems immediately, but how likely it's? Create goals based on resources and capacity.
DEI is a long-game initiative. Set yourself up for success by creating a checklist of items you want to monitor and set regular dates to check your progress. This doesn’t have to be a long or drawn-out process, but something to flag you in the event something is off track. We recommend quarterly (at the very least).
Suppose you notice that your diversity initiatives are ineffective; pivot. For example, the company aims to reach 45% minority representation in leadership positions by 2024. However, by the end of 2022, you will have 15%. Something needs to be fixed. Instead of waiting to see if anything changes, find out what’s going on and make the necessary adjustments to get back on track.
Getting started with your DEI initiatives doesn’t have to be stressful. If you aren’t sure where to start or need guidance, reach out to one of our DEI consultants today.