In recent years, many companies, schools and nonprofit organizations have worked on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
And these DEI initiatives haven’t always been met with welcoming arms – in fact, there have been those who have sought to spread misinformation about DEI initiatives.
So, what is the truth and what is a myth when it comes to DEI?
Fact: DEI is never a one-time-only initiative or class; it’s a commitment to making real change in your organization. It can look like recruiting a diverse workforce, making sure there is equal pay for equal work, reevaluating company culture and processes and also, making sure everyone is heard.
It is a life-long commitment to making small, medium and large changes – using a thoughtful approach.
Fact: Achieving equality isn’t the same as achieving equity. These two words have different meanings and it’s one of the first things to understand when talking about DEI. Equity is about fairness and is based on someone’s unique and individual needs. Equality is a more “across-the-board” approach. Both are important but equity is different because it recognizes that people are different and with proper support and systems, barriers can come down.
Fact: DEI efforts are focused on race, gender and age for sure, but there are other areas where employees and students can face barriers, like physical and mental disabilities, economics, marital status, whether one is a parent and religion.
This is why is important to note that a diverse workforce isn’t just meeting a quota. It’s about making sure you are working toward equitable hiring practices.
Fact: There has been criticism that DEI measures are a band aid solution to a societal issue and don’t do anything real to change inequities in society. But DEI isn’t a new-fangled Millennial catchphrase: Diverse organizations do better than ones that don’t embrace equity.
REdCon is an organizational development firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio, with satellite offices in Washington, DC, and Las Vegas. We provide training, coaching, and strategic planning to a wide range of industries including, education, municipalities, non-profits, technology firms, and Fortune 500 companies.