Embedding DEI into Your Business Strategy: Key Insights from Industry Leaders (Infographic)Dec 21, 2023
Implementing an effective diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy is a challenging yet crucial undertaking for organizations that want to continue to attract and cultivate best-in-class talent. But despite advancements in research, tools, and practices in the DEI industry, many practitioners face common stumbling blocks that hinder the effectiveness of their initiatives.
To maximize and sustain impact, companies must proactively address these challenges and create a DEI strategic plan that is aligned to business goals.
At our recent webinar, “DEI Efficacy: Preempting Pitfalls for Sustained Impact and Value,” diversity and inclusion leaders from across the financial and utilities sectors discussed how DEI practitioners can create lasting change in an increasingly polarized environment.
To create true workplace equity, human resources and learning and development teams need to fundamentally understand the needs of their employees and meet employees where they are, the experts said. “When you talk about equity in the workplace, it’s first understanding what success and growth looks like for each individual and [second] making sure there’s opportunities for them,” said Natacha Buchanan, Chief Diversity Officer at ConocoPhillips.
This approach to employee retention and career development requires companies to think holistically and embed DEI across the entire business.
Lynette Barksdale, Global Head, Inclusion & Diversity at Visa further explained, “It is not just thinking about ‘What is the inclusion and diversity team or the equity and inclusion team doing?’ It is: ‘How are we partnering across the entire employee lifecycle to ensure that we are embedding the right practices and principles into those parts of the business?’”
By embedding DEI into an organization’s core values and business goals, the panelists emphasized, companies can create a shared understanding of what an inclusive and equitable organization looks like, which is fundamental to breaking down barriers.
To do this, organizations must invite everyone in, leaning on teamwork and cultivating a network of passionate DEI advocates to create inclusive cultures. “What I’ve found to be really powerful is finding the champions across your enterprise who can permeate those messages, but in a slightly different voice. Because more often than not, people are willing to listen to how their fears might be addressed from people that they already have some kind of relational trust with,” recommended Roselle Gonsalves, Managing Director, Inclusion & Reconciliation at ATB Financial.
Leaders must embrace the power of vulnerability to foster a true culture of engagement and trust. Change of this nature, panelists added, doesn’t happen overnight – it must be a habit rather than a temporary effort.
Here are 10 ways companies can preempt challenges to ensure their DEI strategy drives results and sustains value.
Download the Infographic
For more insights on how to advance your DEI strategy, see our report “Words Aren’t Enough: The Risks of Performative Policies.”
Supporter organizations can promote inclusion with:
- 5 Strategies to Promote Inclusion: A Manager’s Playbook
- Moments That Matter – a scenario-based interactive series for front line managers