Since 2020, several reports highlight the fragile state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), especially when initiatives lacked strategic integration within organizations. Despite these challenges, some companies remain committed to DEI and are actively seeking strategic approaches to maintain their progress. As organizations begin to build their annual budgets, the role of strategic planning and fiscal responsibility in supporting DEI initiatives cannot be understated.
In a recent DEI Leader Network (DLN) Live Event, we invited DEI expert E. Taylor Doctor, a government administrator with the District of Columbia, to shed light on how organizations can strategically integrate fiscal responsibility into their DEI efforts to drive sustainable growth and transformation. In case you missed it, the link to our presentation is here.
Here are five actionable insights from E. Taylor Doctor:
- Craft a Purposeful DEI Statement.
Begin by crafting a DEI statement that motivates real actions that the executive team can support, not just empty words. This statement should reflect the tenets of DEI while aligning with the organization’s mission, vision, and theory of action. By breaking down these elements into puzzle pieces that support DEI, organizations can lay the foundation for their strategic approach. The statement should emphasize historical inequities, value diversity in all forms, and emphasize the commitment to shared power and inclusivity.
- Integrate DEI into Strategic Planning.
DEI should be seamlessly integrated into the organization’s strategic plan, with its own dedicated priority. Aligning core values with DEI principles ensures that it’s not just a standalone program but an integral part of the organization’s fabric. Consider the organization’s long-term DEI goals and create a roadmap that identifies key milestones and strategies for achieving them. In addition to incorporating DEI into the organization’s strategic plan, E. Taylor Doctor recommends integrating DEI into each department’s plan of action.
- Allocate a Dedicated Budget for DEI.
Fiscal responsibility is the backbone of a sustainable DEI strategy. Allocate a specific percentage of the budget to DEI initiatives. E. Taylor Doctor suggests reserving at least 10% of the budget for DEI and an additional 2% from various functional areas to support these efforts. Making a financial commitment demonstrates an organization’s commitment to DEI beyond lip service, ensuring it becomes a true priority.
- Implement DEI Across the Organization.
Small, consistent actions can lead to significant change. Think beyond traditional DEI programs and consider how to make everyday practices more inclusive. For instance, flexible work arrangements can improve overall mental health and productivity while also accommodating diverse needs. Ensure that these actions align with your organization’s core values and contribute to a culture of inclusion.
- Track Progress and Set Measurable Goals.
To achieve sustainable DEI growth, tracking progress is paramount. Establish measurable goals and regularly assess your organization’s progress towards achieving them. By evaluating the effectiveness of your initiatives, you can make informed decisions about where to invest resources and pivot strategies as needed.
At Diversity Works, we’re dedicated to partnering with organizations to cultivate DEI strategies that drive growth, innovation, and positive change. Our experts bring decades of experience and knowledge to the table, ensuring that your DEI journey is effective and impactful. We’ve created a tipsheet on How to Measure the ROI of DEI Programs and Initiatives.
DEI Leader Network
Every third Thursday, we host an event for this community of DEI Practitioners. Please join next month’s live event, on Pay Equity, on September 21st at 1:00 PM ET. This session will explore how to craft fair and equitable compensation practices that are consistent and provide clarity in making compensation decisions. You can register for the live event here.
About Diversity Works
Diversity Works helps organizations understand and leverage the power of workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion.