Organizational Structures for DEI: Ask Catalyst ExpressMay 26, 2022
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) organizational structures take on a variety of formats within organizations and may include chief diversity and inclusion officers, executive diversity councils, steering committees, and many other roles. For organizations starting a diversity initiative, the following entries in the Ask Catalyst Express series will be especially helpful.
Catalyst Resources on Creating a DEI Structure
- Boston Scientific: Accelerating Progress for Women by Creating Equal Opportunities for Growth Supporter Exclusive
The Global Council for Inclusion is co-chaired by the CFO and the SVP of HR. Its members include the CEO, the Executive Committee, the Global Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, the entire DEI team, and the leaders of each of the company’s nine ERGs. All groups within the GCI—as well as each of their individual members—play a role in executing the initiative.
- The Executive Committee integrates DEI strategy into the overall business strategy, monitors progress, and provides resources to meet goals.
- ERG Leaders establish goals for their ERG, which they cascade to local chapters. Each ERG has a global executive sponsor who ensures that ERG goals are aligned with the company’s business strategy and provides executive-level support to the ERG.
- The DEI team leads the implementation of the initiative’s programs, provides best practices, monitors progress and measures of success, advises leaders, and oversees ERGs.
- Enbridge: Informed Insights and Inclusion Supporter Exclusive
The Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee (SteerCo), which consists of senior leaders, is the senior executive team that is responsible for the initiative. SteerCo is led by two executive sponsors who report directly to the CEO.
The Diversity, Inclusion & Talent Acquisition Strategy (DITAS) team, in partnership with specialists across Human Resources, is accountable for the implementation of the initiative and actively supports the governance structure.
Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Groups (DIAG) are regional groups that drive diversity and inclusion priorities specific to local needs.
- Parexel: Leveraging Gender Partnership to Advance Women in Leadership Supporter Exclusive
Cultivating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace doesn’t always necessitate a complicated infrastructure and separate organizational chart. In the case of Parexel, the company was able to drive the success of their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative with the help of a small team of DEI professionals, professional volunteers, and the strong support of company leadership. This is a culture-change initiative supported by a senior leadership team who demonstrates by example how to build an inclusive workplace, and then ensures this approach flows through to each region and business area, allowing them to take ownership over their own transformation.
- Barilla: An Italian Family-Owned Company’s Journey to Global Inclusion Supporter Exclusive
The D&I Board is responsible for setting global priorities for increased inclusion and monitoring the company’s progress. The Board collaborates with HR, as well as the leaders and executive sponsors of the company’s ERGs, which execute the action plans and activities that support the initiative.
There are several components to Barilla’s D&I Board. One is the D&I Operating Committee, which is composed of 10 employees from all Barilla regions around the world in business roles across levels and functions.
The D&I Board also includes four Barilla executive leaders: the Chairman, CEO, Chief HR Officer, and the Chief Global Communications & External Relations Officer. In addition, the D&I Board includes independent external experts who provide advice, vision, an external perspective, and guidelines on equality and inclusion.
- RBC: Speak Up for Inclusion Supporter Exclusive
RBC implements its D&I efforts using a “hub-and-spoke” model. The central hub is the bank’s Diversity & Inclusion Centre of Expertise (D&I CoE), led by the VP of Diversity & Inclusion. The D&I CoE is responsible for the design and implementation of Speak Up for Inclusion across the bank.
The spokes provide both top-down and bottom-up input. Top-down input comes from senior leaders through the Enterprise Diversity Leadership Council (DLC), which is chaired by the CEO and composed of senior leaders across the bank.
Bottom-up input arrives through employee efforts, including the activities of 41 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that boast more than 27,000 members around the globe. ERGs are open to all employees and operate both as regional and platform-specific groups. They collaborate, share best practices with one another, and advise senior leaders, the DLCs, and the D&I CoE.
- Eli Lilly and Company—Employee Journeys and People Strategy Supporter Exclusive
Lilly’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Office (GDIO) is an essential oversight body providing strategy, structure, and resources for the initiative. The GDIO, led by the Chief Diversity Officer, is responsible for the development and implementation of programs to improve D&I. The GDIO works with the Executive Diversity Council (chaired by the CEO and including Lilly’s Executive Committee) and other Diversity Councils specific to different regions and lines of business that adapt Lilly’s global D&I strategies for their own specific operational contexts. Each business unit also has a diversity and inclusion lead.
- Diversity Councils Supporter Exclusive
Other Resources on Creating a D&I Structure
- Diversity Staffing Structures: Examining Current Practices in the Area of Diversity Staffing Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion
- Diversity & Inclusion Councils: Toolkit for Diversity and Inclusion Practitioners [pdf] Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
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