Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI)

More than ever before, brands and organizations are embracing that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are more than buzzwords or aspirational goals – they are foundational principles that lead to stronger teams, businesses, work environments, and public-facing communication.
 
But even though there is growing understanding that bringing together diverse perspectives in a collaborative way results in stronger, more successful projects, amplifying underheard voices isn’t easy work. Many – including purpose-driven organizations – still struggle to bring diversity into the process when it really counts.

source image | Unsplash

Equity isn’t just about translating an advertisement or adding someone to a committee – it’s about baking an inclusive approach into your systems and your day-to-day thinking.

Creating the space for diverse voices to be heard starts at the outset of any initiative. When you consider timelines, budgets, personnel, and objectives, you also need to make sure to embrace inclusivity in your planning practices themselves.

Here are three ways to bring diversity and equity into your processes:

Revisit your project team

What does your project team look like? Is the entire team white? All male? From similar economic or cultural backgrounds? Who are the decision-makers? Where can you incorporate new voices into the process? Consider your target audience and create a team filled with different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. By giving others the opportunity to weigh in, you can see the project in a new way, rethink some aspects, and push your project – and organization – to its greatest potential.

Assess your feedback process

Are meetings/system set up in a way that makes people feel comfortable, inviting open feedback? Have you sought out and integrated hard-to-reach audiences into the process? Are you conducting focus groups, targeted research, and/or one-on-one conversations at the grassroots level? Having voices in the room isn’t effective if you aren’t hearing from them. Connecting with your target audience in multiple ways gives your project relevancy where it matters most.

prioritize accessibility

Is your final product equitable and accessible to your entire audience, including those who may have specific accessibility requirements? Have you thought about different mediums and strategies to meet your audience where they are most? Be bold and explore non-traditional methods and platforms. This may require more upfront preparation, but these are the tactics that can resonate most with your target audience and become part of the culture. 

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Defining how you’re going to integrate DEI into your daily operations isn’t easy. But it is just about the most vital thing you can do to make sure you’re living up to the purpose-driven values at the heart of your organization.