In a time where employee retention aligns with creating healthy, holistic work environments, organizations and companies are looking to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) to assist in creating a workplace where employees thrive. 

Your company or organization may be working on DEIB efforts – whether you are just beginning the discussion or you have implemented your unique DEIB statement, formed a committee, and are engaged in the 5th year of your strategic plan.

But if you’re like many organizations, you’re just beginning and may not understand the meaning of these words and how they relate to you, your staff, or your organizational identities. So let’s start here, together. 

One way to begin is to ask yourself the question, “How do I define and value DEIB, both individually and organizationally?” Valuing difference is one thing, but creating and engaging in a work culture that embeds self-awareness and celebration of difference is another. 

And identifying shared language to create equitable policies and procedures that will guide employees in practicing inclusivity for all to feel like they belong can be fluid, non-linear and collaborative (whoa..does that feel heavy…well it can be!). 

Janelle St. Omar, Regional Vice President of Benevity, a tech company with a focus to “Turn Social Impact Into Business Impact,” defines DEIB as the following:

  1. Difference: the presence of difference within a given setting (race, gender, age, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation are some examples)
  2. Equity: everybody has access to the same opportunities (promotional/ability to retain employment)
  3. Inclusion: addresses people with different identities, feelings, and being valued within a given setting (setting could be team, workplace, community)
  4. Belonging: creating safety and security for your employees in a company. (can they be their true, authentic, and whole selves?)

These definitions can spark rich conversation among your staff and leadership – how do they want to combine the existing mission, values, and guiding principles within a DEIB lens? This can be an inclusive process, meaning all levels of the organization should engage in creating the mission and/or diversity statement that reflects their unique values and guiding principles. Build in the time and space for the process to occur collaboratively. 

In turn, this allows your organization to readily identify the policies, practices, and procedures that reflect your DEIB culture, creating more equitable and inclusive services and products. 

This is work, not easy work. However, by fully grasping what the concepts of DEIB mean to you and your organization, the foundation is being built, so a solution-focused, collaborative, and innovative work environment can be accomplished. 

As Janelle St. Omar’s client said, “Diversity is fact. Inclusion is Choice.”

We can help you with your DEIB efforts to help your team thrive. 

four people meeting about diversity