1) DEI practitioners NEED to get it together. We need experienced and credible folks. And more dedicated folks—meaning folks who are doing the work on themselves BEFORE attempting to help others (Dr. Sam Rae, EdD, MPH wrote a post about this recently that speaks to this much better than I can—I'll link it in the comments.) We also need more diversity amongst CDOs and other DEI practitioners who are *actually* being hired and given the power (although with an average 1.8 year tenure rate for CDOs, how much power are they *really* being given) to effect change. As of September 2022 Zippia identified that 81% of CDOs identify as wh-te. Yep.
2) We need to stop expecting "low hanging fruit" to change things. If it's too easy, it's unlikely to change things. I say more in the video about this.
3) It's also time to ditch the "cookie cutter" efforts. There has *not* and never will be a one-size-fits all approach to DEI. We can't keep throwing out of the box, antiquated solutions at things without taking time to understand the problem(s). For example, just because your colleague's org requires all of their employees to go through the same unconscious bias training that was written in MS-DOS and hasn't been updated since 1985, doesn't mean your org should do the same. Not only is it a waste of time and money, it just causes DEI as a practice to lose credibility. We already know DEI budgets are the first to go, even when things are going seemingly well. So why add fuel to the fire? Take the time to assess what's going on in your workplace and THEN consider possible solutions.
4) ENOUGH WITH THE "DIVERSITY HIRES." Just hire people. Also, to quote one of my favorite DEI practitioners, Caren Young ,"THE PIPELINE IS NOT THE PROBLEM!" The problem is that you lack the network, and likely the confidence and/or interpersonal skills, to source people of various backgrounds and identities (read: people that aren't like you).
5) And this is arguable the most important one: LEADERS NEED TO STEP IT UP. Leadership buy-in is NOT enough. You need to be engaged. You need to be doing the work. What does that look like? Click the link to hear/read(captions) of some examples. My virtual office is also open, so feel free to drop me a note if you want to schedule some time to talk. Just keep in mind that you may not "pick my brain" for free. Eggs are expensive in 2023.