Points of View

Four Steps to Start with Diversity and Inclusion

Sam Stebbins

Axios HR recently posted an easy-to-follow blog which outlines how small businesses can begin a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiative. After an internal DE&I champion decides to focus on the opportunity to begin this effort, there are four steps they can take with their organization.

 

1. Make the Case for DE&I

First, the organization’s leadership team must be made aware of the case for a DE&I initiative. There are many reasons to focus on this effort, but Axios HR highlights four basic reasons. They are:

  • The economic case,
  • The market case,
  • The results case, and
  • The moral case.

 

Read more about the economic advantages of DE&I in a previous What We Are Reading.

 

Small business leaders can then consider these four arguments based on their “business model, customers, and dynamics and articulate why it matters.”

 

2. Unconscious Bias Training

The second step is to provide and engage in training for leadership on unconscious bias. This allows leaders to understand that while their intentions may be good, bias may be demonstrated in ways they are unaware of.

 

Axios HR’s blog explains that without training on unconscious bias, “there isn’t a base level of self-awareness.” Leaders must learn that “quick judgements and stereotyping are just part of our natural brain function.”

 

3. Benchmarking

The third step businesses should take is to benchmark their metrics and internal practices. Establishing a baseline early on helps to ensure progress is being made.

 

Axios HR recommends tracking diversity metrics such as age, gender, and ethnicity. Companies should also keep track of their practices that contribute to (or detract from) a culture of inclusion.

 

To get started, Talent 2025’s Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group includes a Benchmarking Survey as part of their four strategies for employers to make measurable progress in DE&I.

 

 

4. Open Dialogue with Leadership

The final step is to conduct a “transparent conversation within the organization’s leadership team about the results of the benchmarking.” Axios HR suggests asking questions about the organization’s strengths and weaknesses in addition to projects and practices that should be implemented to improve DE&I, including who might be responsible for them.

 

The blog also recommends utilizing PIVOT as a resource, our new toolkit for employers on DE&I resources. In particular, those just starting out can check out resources under the “Getting Started” category.


Will you be following these four-steps to get started with DE&I at your organization? Have you used the PIVOT toolkit? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.