At various times in our history organizations have sought to “do the right thing” and “ right the wrongs” of past injustices and launch diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. These instances are in some cases unfortunately spurred by social injustice in our society.
There organizations/groups want to help, want to make a change, make a difference. They are motivated to do things differently.
This is a laudable endeavor.
This process of the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) journey is a long road and taking those initial steps are often hard and many times feel risky.
Organizations start out with the “warm, fuzzy” approach: cultural potlucks, motivational speakers, inspiring professional development. Some stop there.
Then there are those who move to the “taking a stand” approach: statements /declarations/pledges of DEI in all manner of places on the websites, letterhead, hall banners etc. Many stop there.
Then there are those who move to the next step, “nuts and bolts” this is where the rubber meets the road. In this phase organizations develop: DEI Policies, Practices and Procedures. This is critical. We are what the policies say we are. Policies are the laws of organization, the holy grail of the business of what we do. Practices are how we do the business and how we execute the policies. Procedures are the ways we monitor the practices, the check and balance of the system. In order for an organization to move along in their DEI journey they must’ bake in’ the work into their systems, establish DEI in the principles and business of the agency, so that is in unavoidable, not to be an afterthought, front and center in line with all of the other critical strategic aspects of the how we the work. Otherwise the DEI initiative is merely the other P, performative.
- Examine the DEI journey of your organization, what approach are they taking?
- Does the organization have equity policies?