Organizations are beginning to make strides to build a more sustainable culture through investment in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. However, the real value is when organizations further the conversation beyond access and equality and focus on building equity to generate a true sense of inclusion and belonging for all.
In the initial phase of the DEI journey, it is critical for leaders to identify their organizational “Why?” and outline a vision to determine the tactical focus. If the organization envisions creating equity, a solid starting point is by addressing biases, instilling authenticity, and adopting tactics that establish a level playing field for all.
Often, organizations invest too much time in planning DEI initiative or tend to be the extreme opposite by quickly reacting to an external event, both of which could negatively impact end results. Below are three ways to help organizations adopt a holistic approach to achieving equity.
- Be ready and willing to acknowledge and diagnose the real problem. Conducting an objective assessment of the current state serves as a great starting point to understand and recognize the current sentiment, concerns, and opportunities. The insights gathered may uncover deep rooted issues and the ability to resolve them is a quintessential step for generating trust among employees and developing a successful DEI strategic framework.
- Mobilize your workforce by offering developmental opportunities and required support. Creating and maintaining diversity within different levels and departments of an organization is a daunting task. This issue is compounded when leadership positions are similar and there is no mechanism to ensure that high performing diverse individuals have an avenue to grow and excel. A monolithic approach of offering professional developmental trainings is not fully impactful when specific needs and aspirations of different groups are not addressed, and career advancements are offered without providing adequate support. Therefore, organizations need to develop, promote, and create a support structure where existing leaders can serve as allies and offer the platform, mentorship and advocacy to create true equity.
- Drive continuous momentum by instilling accountability. While we are working to fix the equity gaps at different levels, the complexity of social, racial, pay, gender inequity (and more) cannot be solved by a few designated individuals within an organization. Instead, integrating DEI within the organization’s operations can be a successful method to ensure that each employee is responsible of being aware of their own actions, and identifying and removing barriers that are limiting.
The history of social, racial, and pay equity is complex – and it involves a long history of discrimination and segregation. This is why it’s important to leverage every employee’s life experience and constantly identify ways to breakdown systematic barriers in our workplace and society.
Read more about Diversity Crew Partner, Dinaz Jiwani, in her full company profile. For more information about equity, and how your company can assess equity among it’s organization, contact us at LetsGo@DiversityCrew.com.