ICOY Can Support Your DEI Journey!

Publisher: Randi Slack

Are you looking to embark on a journey toward building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization? What are important considerations to remember when starting your DEI journey as an organization? It’s crucial to consider the right factors to help pave the way towards success. Prioritizing these critical considerations can be considered the first step toward creating a more welcoming and inclusive workplace. 

Stage one: Awareness 

Find out why DEI matters to your organization. Learning and understanding about staff experiences of diversity or discrimination inside and outside of the organization builds a necessary foundation of shared understanding and trust to strategize as a collective and is a part of finding out why DEI matters to your organization. In addition, you will discover where you want to go regarding your DEI journey as an organization. Setting a collective internal vision for your organization’s DEI work has proven to help guide you in the right direction as you start the journey. Organizations that make big DEI initiatives before being ready will most likely fail and lose their momentum, which ultimately leads to minority employees and community members being continually marginalized.  

Stage two: Compliance

The compliance stage is usually the type of thinking that translates the notion, “We do DEI because we have to.” The post-2020 era has revealed that too many organizations find themselves in the compliant stage, with a lack of intentionality that guides their efforts. Organizations should ask themselves what bigger goals other than compliance targets could be set. Using this thought process and gaining the support of senior-level staff and managers who may not have the shared experience of discrimination in the workplace trying to combat it can be challenging. The key to defining true allyship is demonstrating how diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, regardless of race and ethnicity, can help the organization accomplish its specific objectives, values, and goals through shared understanding. 

Stage three: Tactical 

Organizations that identify with this stage have moved beyond imposed traditional rules embedded in the organizational structure and are fully engaged in executing their own DEI initiatives that better align with the direction of the existing culture. Organizations should want to implement their own DEI processes, such as creating and using community guidelines to address microaggressions, acknowledging implicit biases, and providing an open and safe space for staff to discuss their experiences. This will, in turn, facilitate more effective Organizations in the tactical stage, encourage employees at all levels to openly discuss biases and provide feedback, facilitating a culture shift. Organizational leaders should ask themselves whether their strategy for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) allows organizational culture to evolve. Developing a comprehensive DEI strategy will help unify the organization’s efforts. Leaders should also consider the full sphere of their organization’s influence, as they may have an impact beyond their employees. Examining the effects of discrimination or inequity on internal and external stakeholders, partners, suppliers, shareholders, and communities is also crucial. 

No matter which stage you find yourself in, the DEI Committee at ICOY would like to know more from you and learn more about the goals that you have for your organization from a DEI lens. 

Complete the following typeform survey to set a time to discuss your stage, our journey and the resources we can provide to support you. 

Additionally, please check out our BRAND NEW webpage committed to our DEI Committee here.

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