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...

[Systemic Assessment]

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...

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Illustration of Equality vs. Equity by Artist Angus Macguire for the Interaction Institute of Social Change. On the left, three people of differnt heights (tall, medium, and short) are standing at a fence, attempting to watch a baseball game. They are all standing on boxes of the same height. The tall and medium height individuals are able to see the game. The short individual cannot. On the right: The same three individuals are shown. This time, the shortest individual is given an extra box to stand on so that they may also see the baseball game.
The "Agile DEI" cycle, designed by tparker@co LLC for Adriele Parker LLC. This image shows four parts to agile DEI: Evaluate, Plan, Design, and Implement.

[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.

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[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.

Once your key stakeholders agree upon a focal point, we’ll collaborate across the organization to define and set realistic OKRs (or KPIs) for several focus areas, including:

  • Leadership Engagement

  • Communications

  • Recruiting

  • Employee Enablement

  • Employee Development

  • 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.

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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.)