Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)
You've likely heard it a million times, but just so we're on the same page:
Embracing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but it's good for business.
With that said, empathy is not enough, nor are "check the box" efforts (e.g. unconscious bias trainings, employee resource groups, cultural events, etc.). But, to be clear, you do need all of those things...
If you're really looking to make an impact, and want to build out a really strong DEI strategy, we must first acknowledge that systemic barriers do exist for marginalized individuals. We then need to think critically about how and why those barriers (e.g. hiring procedures, promotional policies, etc.) stifle their success, and simultaneously support everyone else.
Note: Vulnerability and transparency will manifest throughout this entire process. I know that may sound a bit overwhelming, but I’ll be here to support you! Let’s continue...
Equality vs. Equity.
Image depicts the difference between Equality and Equity. In the first image, depicting equality, four individuals of different physical statures receive the same size bike. Only one person can comfortably use the bike. One person, in a wheelchair, cannot use the bike at all. In the second set of images, depicting equity, the same four individuals each receive a bike, but this time the bike is unique to their physical abilities and stature. For example, the person in the wheelchair now has a hand pedaled bike and a taller individual has a larger framed bike.
[Cultural & Workplace Assessment]
Once we have an understanding of the systemic barriers that exist, we’ll need to dig into understanding and defining the culture of your organization. And when I say culture, I don't mean planning team social outings or allowing people to bring their dogs into the office (although, I fully support those things if that's contributes to the happiness of your people ♥️). What I'm referring to here is organizational, or workplace culture, which is a set of shared values, beliefs, assumptions, and behavioral norms, defined and reinforced by leadership.
Not only does auditing your culture involve looking at your quantitative data (think employee self-ID data, such as ethnicity or gender, or candidate pipeline data), but also the qualitative data––what do people (internally and externally) know, think, and feel about DEI within your workplace?
Using Agile Methodologies, we’ll gain a better understanding of the current state of DEI within your org, employing existing data, focus groups, retrospectives, surveys, and other tools to inform and shape a holistic strategy.
Agile DEI Cycle | Designed by: +parker&co., llc.
Image of an iterative cycle. Plan, Design, Implement, Evaluate.
[Defining Your Strategy]
Before we dive into creating the first version (yes, version – this is an iterative process) of your strategy, we’ll need to define your North Star. That is, your guiding light–– an aspirational goal or set of principles that will drive your strategy.
During this stage, you’ll want to keep in mind that while it’s important to be ambitious, it’s imperative that you be realistic when defining your North Star.
Data & Impact
Once designed, we’ll implement your strategy, evaluate it, and iterate from there!
Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is. Really. But if true DEI is what you seek for your organization, then a well-thought out, cohesive, and iterative strategy is what you need.
Go ahead, drop me a line, and let’s get started!
(Curious to know who I've worked with? Check out some of my current and past clients here.)