Now more than ever, diversity, equity and inclusion are taking center stage—and rightly so. 

After doing this work for a number of years, our team knows with certainty that integrating the work across the organization is critical to its success. Any time DEI lives on its own as a project, or you have a DEI team that is operating out on its own, organizational change will be fragmented, at best. DEI strategy needs to be a part of the fabric of the organization and link to the overarching organizational strategic plan to be effective. Benefits of an integrated DEI strategy include enhanced decision making, increased financial performance and strengthened employee engagement.

If your organization already has a DEI task force or advisory team, a great next step is to begin bridging the gap between the people who are doing the DEI work and the organization itself by overlaying DEI onto other areas where it may not be present. Embedding DEI into your systems and considering how your workforce interacts with one another also ensures long-term sustainability of DEI efforts. Doing so will also help your organization stay relevant, innovative and connected to your community. 

Here’s what is most important: Regardless of where your organization’s starting point is, there are three essential elements to look at as you begin to integrate DEI across your organization. They are: transparency, power-sharing and accountability.

keys to Integrating DEI: Transparency, Power-Sharing and Accountability - Contributing Nonprofit HR Authors

Diversity:

  • Who is present? 
  • What identities are there? 
  • What identities are not? 

Equity:

  • How are your people management systems working together? 
  • Are things fair/equitable in compensation, promotion and across the full HR lifecycle? 
  • Are your people management systems creating opportunities for people to flourish in their role and organization as a whole?

Inclusion:

  • What does the sense of belonging—the employees’ connection to the organization—look like? 
  • Do you have a sense of their satisfaction level with the work they’re achieving? 
  • Do you have a sense of how they see themselves as they relate to others?