What is the consequence of a culture without diversity, equity, and inclusion?
We are all made up of our own unique combination of identities—including, but certainly not limited to—our race, gender, and sexual orientation. But what happens when people don’t feel safe enough to bring their entire selves to the workplace?
Imagine a workplace where...
People with really great ideas don't feel heard, so instead of contributing new and innovative ideas, they eventually shut down.
Team members put their energy into creating better products and services, but they always seem to be one step behind the competition.
People with different backgrounds, perspectives, and philosophies are made to feel less than through microaggressions, -isms, silos, and stereotypes.
Top talent eventually chooses to leave or even join your competitors, because they don’t feel seen, accepted, and supported.
Most organizations do not intentionally create a culture that lacks diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, it takes bold leadership to challenge “but it’s always been done this way” thinking, outdated norms, and narrow perspectives.
Why haven’t your previous DEI solutions worked?
DEI is a long-term investment, and making the wrong moves can actually perpetuate divisive issues, rather than solve them. Surface level solutions make people feel good, but they don’t get to the root cause of why your organization is not making true progress in becoming diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
You hire DEI experts or even a consultant, but the excitement and results are short-lived, because the solutions only scratch the top-most layer of change. They don’t identify and tackle the root cause of the issue. They may even be seen as performative to your marginalized employees.
You create committees to support marginalized employees, and they make people feel good! But these groups only focus on one identity at a time—ultimately, they perpetuate silos. They don’t create enduring, transformative change, because people still aren’t being represented as their entire, unique, complex selves.
You invest time and money into DEI efforts, but people are not invested across the board, because they don’t know or understand their individual role in the work. For DEI work to be truly effective, everyone must have both the skills, knowledge, and competencies and the tools and support they need to incorporate DEI into their own role and department.
DEI work isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s an ongoing strategy implemented across the entire organization, integrating and aligning with the business’ overall goals. It’s not a separate initiative or strategy—it is structured just like any other department, and it is vital to how an organization operates.
In DEI work, everyone has a seat at the table, but you must create a space that allows them to bring their entire self.
Every team member felt comfortable and confident enough to voice their ideas, opinions, and perspectives in an effort to better serve clients and create smarter products?
All employees felt safe to challenge the status quo and present innovative, out-of-the-box ideas based on their own unique experiences in work and life?
Everyone was more interculturally competent, meaning they could recognize, understand, and accept cultural norms and nuances that differ from their own?
Teams could collaborate, innovate, and thrive because they embrace their differences and dissolve the barriers between them, most of which are due to cultural misunderstandings and misconceptions?
At Decide Diversity, we don’t group people based only on one identity. We are all complex, and our intersectional identities should not be ignored or separated, as many DEI programs suggest.
Instead, we challenge organizations to imagine, “what if”...
Everyone has a seat at the table, because everyone has a role to play in creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace.
DEI Consulting from Decide Diversity
DEI Consulting from Decide Diversity is a year-long program designed to empower mid-sized organizations to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture where everyone is valued and safe. We accomplish this through comprehensive consulting, research, and training that focuses on the intersection of identities and the creation of systems and policies that offer a path for all employees to succeed. The resulting organization is able to attract and retain top talent, create innovative products and services, increase profitability, and demonstrate DEI leadership.
Big DEI solutions cannot be actionable, sustainable, or relatable without the right data.
Decide Diversity, we believe change can come only when we dig down to the root. We collect data, analyze organizational norms, and perform assessments to determine the root cause of issues. This allows us to create data-driven, sustainable solutions customized to address your organization’s unique challenges.
There’s no one outcome we can guarantee across the board—but that’s because the data we collect will lead to the right outcome for your organization. However, there are some universal reasons why DEI work is worth the investment.
Everyone in your organization will develop intercultural competence. The more educated you are about the issues and nuances, the more effective you will be as you communicate with, work alongside, and ultimately serve people whose backgrounds are different from your own. This will also empower your employees to make more culturally-informed decisions.
Your workplace culture makes all employees feel seen, heard, and accepted and allows everyone—from entry-level to boardroom—to enjoy increased flexibility, upward mobility, stability, safety, and connection.
People will bring their entire, authentic selves to work, including their unique ideas, opinions, and perspectives, enabling the creation of more innovative products and services, more loyal customers and clients, and more personal and professional investment from employees—all of which can contribute to higher financial returns.
We had no clue where to start. Demetria guided us in developing a strategic plan based on data gathered in our organization. We now know how to reach our diversity and inclusion goals.
— Executive Director, Nonprofit Organization
DEI Consulting with Decide Diversity:
The 6-Part Process
Decide Diversity Consulting follows a six-phase plan that utilizes Industrial and Organizational Psychology techniques in a simple to implement, yet progressive year-long program format. Decide Diversity will help you gain the support and buy-in from key stakeholders, and will teach your leadership the skills necessary for making diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority within the organization.
Here is an overview of the 12-month timeline:
Decide Diversity will meet with senior leadership and key stakeholders to set goals and craft a vision for the organization through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Decide Diversity team will also provide guidance on how to announce the DEI program to the organization.
Phase One :
Data collection. Includes an organization-wide survey, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups to determine how employees currently perceive the organization and its commitment to DEI. This will help to inform a baseline for measuring improvement year-over-year. All survey content and logistics will be managed by Decide Diversity.
DEI analysis. Decide Diversity will identify policies, programs, and cultural norms negatively impacting marginalized and underrepresented groups. This analysis will determine where equity gaps exist. This will be a collaborative effort between organizational stakeholders and the Decide Diversity team.
Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). This is a psychometric tool to gauge a leader’s personal openness to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The IDI allows leaders to measure both individual and group progression along a continuum of cross-cultural competence. The IDI produces a customized Intercultural Development Plan for each leader that will guide them through a series of activities and self-reflections to developmentally build intercultural competence.
Build a learning community. It’s vital to create a culture where people feel comfortable and safe to ask questions, make mistakes, learn, and grow. The Decide Diversity team will meet people where they are, and encourage a growth mindset through curiosity, respect, self-reflection, and open mindedness. We will serve as both a coach and an educator, providing curated resources in various mediums in an effort to educate and inform. We will establish a safe space for ongoing discussion, connection, and reflection.
Analyze data, debrief results, and deliver next steps. At this stage, senior leadership will be debriefed on the results and analysis of the data collection (Phase 1). Decide Diversity will provide recommended goals, objectives, and strategies for success. The first phase of the strategy typically establishes the foundation, gains buy-in from the organization, and creates momentum. Decide Diversity will also provide leadership with access to a customized data dashboard.
Task force debrief and strategy session. Decide Diversity will onboard the task force that will be established internally to co-create a long-term strategy for DEI. The Decide Diversity team will provide best practices, research-based solutions, and advisory on strategies for success, all based on the results of the data collection. The task force will also be granted access to the data dashboard.
Decide Diversity will serve in an advisory role for six months post-program completion, in order to provide ongoing support. The team will be available via phone and email to assist with questions, concerns, and feedback.
I've never heard anyone talk about diversity and inclusion like Demetria. I've been getting emails from employees all day. Everyone thinks she did a great job!
— HR Director, Manufacturing Company