Blog Post | , ,

Driving DE&I Initiatives Across Your Organization

Kristina Finn

November 15, 2022

DE&I in the Workplace

More than ever, and rightly so, organizations are focusing on DE&I initiatives to foster an inclusive work environment by hiring a more diverse workforce, and taking strides to ensure existing employees know that they are an important part of the organization.

While progress has been made, there’s certainly a lot more that needs to be done. Here are some steps you can take to drive DE&I efforts across your organization.

Start by setting goals

Set clear, measurable goals so that not only can you monitor progress but so you have a quantitative means to hold yourself accountable.

Start by taking stock of where you stand now. Use a people analytics platform to assess demographic representation across all departments and job levels, including leadership, and ask your employees how they feel about your company’s DE&I efforts thus far.

Take DE&I progress seriously and approach with the same rigor as you would any other business objective. DE&I should be an integral part of a senior executive’s job description.

Share progress and metrics with the company at large so your employees are vested in the success of your efforts. Even if results are not immediately optimistic, your transparency will be appreciated and inform your continued commitment.

Review your hiring practices

Though more than 75% of supply chain companies consider gender, race, and ethnicity in their DE&I strategies, people of color represent only 35% of the supply chain workforce at publicly held companies and 30% at privately held companies.

Redouble your efforts to proactively seek and hire employees who represent a wide array of experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds. Don’t just look to your frontline — make sure your DE&I focus extends to management and leadership roles as well. Hiring BIPOC and under-represented groups in positions of leadership helps extend the reach of your DE&I investment by fostering more equitable recruitment and positions leaders to act inclusively.

Diverse interview panels will help avoid unintentional bias and set prospective employees at ease in the knowledge that they are welcome at your organization.

Make DE&I a core part of your company culture

Ingrain DE&I into your company culture by encouraging open dialogue with leadership and ensuring that your employees each have a voice. They should feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues with their superiors and know that they will not be penalized for speaking out.

Create DE&I mentorship programs, inclusive training, employee resource groups, and diversity ambassadors. Inclusive training should avoid generalities and focus on specific ways leaders can avoid bias and hold themselves accountable on a daily basis.

Have a zero-tolerance discrimination policy. 

Use inclusive language in corporate communications and when engaging with workers at all levels. Celebrate different cultures and holidays that might be important to each employee.

Be transparent about career growth and pay, as well as the criteria behind each. 76% of workers report that they’d consider job hunting if they found out that a company had an unfair gender pay gap or lacked a DE&I policy.

The bottom line is that each of your employees should work in a safe space where they feel like they belong and are appreciated.

Iterate — and let your data guide you

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to DE&I because every company (and employee) is unique. Measure each DE&I goal, iterate your strategy as needed, and measure again.

Check in with employees regularly to see if their feedback aligns with your data and that they are feeling welcome and respected. The only way to know if your metrics reflect real progress is to ask your employees.

WorkStep RETAIN elevates the individual voices that make up your workforce and gives you useful insight into your people, demographics, and how management relationships, onboarding, pay, and benefits differ among diverse groups. Schedule a RETAIN demo today to see how.


Kristina Finn

Kristina Finn, Content Marketing Manager | kristina@workstep.com