Recognizing that diversity and inclusion is more than a moral challenge, but a business imperative requires linking D&I to the organization’s mission and explicitly assessing and identifying the value of diversity for the organization’s bottom line. Further, it’s recommended that organizations develop a comprehensive diversity strategy supported by actions, metrics and management routines with a central point of accountability. Consider these five key foundational pillars necessary for a sustainable and effective D&I leadership:
1. CEO/Senior Leadership Commitment – Secure active visual and vocal CEO and top-level leadership commitment to diversity and inclusion work.
2. Engagement – Support and create equity for people of all identities through recruitment, training, and development strategies and implement best practices to ensure an inclusive workplace culture.
3. Inventory Organizational Policies, Procedures and Practices – Ensure all areas of organizational operations are designed to optimize inclusion. Conduct an assessment of the organization identifying opportunities and strategies for improvement. Assign ownership for D&I goals and responsibilities within the organization with linked performance measures.
4. Community Outreach - Build partnership and publicly support minority-serving professional organizations and establish visible initiatives that contribute to building a diverse pipeline of employees.
5. Supplier Diversity – Have a written supplier diversity statement, policies and procedures to support underutilized diverse businesses.
Nika White is the VP of Diversity & Inclusion at the Greenville Chamber.