Diversity & Inclusion – Part 1 –Strategy

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is the hottest and biggest business push over the past 24+ months and some organizations are better and faster than others. If you are one of those organizations that have a committed focus to improve D&I and are underway on your journey, that is fantastic. If you are a bit newer on this path, welcome!


Before considering a strategy, you must understand what diversity encompasses. According to SHRM, these groups include:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity/national origin
  • Family status
  • Gender
  • Gender identity or expression
  • Generation
  • Language
  • Life experiences
  • Organization function and level
  • Personality type
  • Physical characteristics
  • Race
  • Religion, belief, and spirituality
  • Sexual orientation
  • Thinking/learning styles
  • Veteran status


Adopting and blending D&I into your companies’ fabric is a positive way to impact business. In two 2020 reports, a Purdue study and a report published by Score, it was found that diverse teams are more agile, have increased productivity and an increased financial results over less diverse organizations. If these are not sound reasons as to why D&I should be on your task list, hopefully it is now!


You now need to investigate (or create) your specific strategy. Having D&I defined as a business initiative and having executive-level buy in only helps to improve decision making and drive results. D&I must be woven into your culture. D&I starts from the top and bleeds down, becoming a daily part of your operation. You cannot just say you want D&I; you must live and lead by example.


Things to consider as a part of your strategy:

  • Identify gaps – using data! It is great to look within your current team and look to see if there are groups who have embraced diversity and if there are groups that need to improve. Bringing in new ideas from various backgrounds can lead to some amazing innovation. HR will pull reporting on this for early analysis.
  • Conduct research – Find where you may go to partner with organizations, associations, and universities to make an invested connection. These connections help with your story and your level of commitment. These must be long term, strategic initiatives and not a touchpoint.
  • Attracting diverse applicants – Leveraging social platforms to engage an audience helps to continue the story. Talk about your journey, about those making impacts, even posting jobs to diverse job boards will help to reaffirm your commitment.
  • Tell your D&I story – Be transparent in your storytelling. Telling potential employees that you are one thing and during the interview they the opposite or that it isn’t engrained as they were told, this could be a deal breaker. If you are early in your journey, tell people that you are and that you are looking to hire great people to join the team and to help impact change.
  • Hunting for diverse individuals – This is the highest level of time investment; actually, searching for “talent”. Learning where to search for individuals beyond LinkedIn. Learning how to narrow your search for D&I. This can be a fun hunt but will take time to perfect.
  • Analytics – Research market conditions to find the available workforce. A fisherman knows where to go to find fish, recruiters need to know where to conduct a search that brings results.


Now that you are finalizing your strategy, in our next entry to this series we will discuss the Recruitment Branding aspect of D&I.


Have any tips to share on strategy? Drop into the comments and let us know!

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