Category: Fiercely Inclusive

Where to Start Your Organization’s DEI Work

For organizations, committing to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) means playing the long game. It’s not enough to sponsor ad hoc initiatives—Band-Aids like new mentorship programs whenever issues arise; organizations must reframe DEI in the same way they have had to reframe their digital transformations. What used to be a nice-to-have has become a must-have for future sustainability.

But where do you start your DEI work? DEI is first and foremost an outcome of personal development work and strategic decision making at scale, supported over a prolonged period of time. This, unfortunately, is where we see a disconnect in most organizations.

DEI Band-Aid: How to Avoid it

Making swift progress to achieve greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is not a feel-good campaign—it’s hard, necessary work. I worry that some leaders consider DEI to be just another type of management fad, a Band-Aid,  popular today but like most trends, one that won’t last. If I drag my feet long enough and/or throw some money at it in the form of a few initiatives, we’ll be all set until the next big thing rolls around, right?

Wrong! DEI isn’t about pursuing initiatives for the sake of appeasing stakeholders or appearing more virtuous to your customers. Becoming an inclusive organization doesn’t happen just because you say you are one or even because inclusivity is one of your core values. Inclusivity manifests when it becomes part of leaders’ and organizations’ entire approach to the way they run their businesses. In other words, it’s an outcome, not an initiative.