What Is DE&I?
DE&I stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. DE&I is a broad term that describes how companies welcome various groups of people within their organization.
The Diversity portion of DE&I refers to representing individuals from different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, genders, ages, and religions. To increase the amount of diversity in their employee base, companies should seek to reduce hiring bias as much as possible.
The Equity part of DE&I ensures that all programs are designed in a way that gives everyone the same potential to achieve outcomes. Equity typically comes into play regarding recognition, rewards, compensation, and promotion cycles.
Inclusion, the final component of DE&I, is about promoting a sense of belonging at work. Employees need to feel connected to a company’s mission, form solid relationships with their peers, and feel like they are in a safe and secure environment in order to do their best work.
Why Embrace DE&I?
DEI is about making sure everyone feels welcome and empowered at work. In an ideal world, every organization would have a diverse workforce where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of being judged or discriminated against based on their race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. But the reality is that many companies don’t have this kind of environment yet, which is why many are:
- Considering any pay gaps
- Providing anti-discrimination training to managers
- Evaluating their offices (and online presence) for accessibility
Diversity can be a goal that’s written into your organization’s mission statement, but DEI is more than just numbers; it’s about bringing diversity into your workplace and making cultural choices that are equitable for everyone.
DE&I initiatives aren’t just important for moral reasons but because they also lead to higher functioning teams that are more creative and drive better company performance. McKinsey found that the most diverse companies are more likely to outperform less diverse peers on profitability and that greater representation correlated to higher outperformance.
And it makes sense一diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures improve communication between teams, increase trust, boost engagement, and improve morale, all things that ultimately contribute to a company’s bottom line.
Strategies for Embracing DE&I
There are many ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in your company, but here are a few tips:
- Promote from within - Make sure you’re recognizing the achievements of people in your organization
- Review your org chart and career pathing - Ensure that everyone knows what their next step could be and the path to get there
- Review your mission statement - is it aligned with your values and does it promote DE&I?
- Set up a referral program - Existing employees may be able to bring in other people who could add value and diversity to your
- Review your pay structure - Work with finance to identify any gaps in pay between genders and other aspects of diversity
How Does DE&I Fit Into Recruiting?
HR needs to establish and maintain diversity and inclusion policies and ensure those are put into practice during the sourcing, recruiting, and interviewing cycle.
In order for your organization’s DEI efforts to be successful, the HR team needs a good understanding of what diversity and inclusion are and applying them to the hiring process. This could mean adjusting your interview questions, employer branding, training programs, and more.