How to write a diversity, equity and inclusion statement

How does your company communicate its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts? Maybe you have some lines about DEI on an old about page, or maybe you posted an International Women’s Day solidarity post on social media? A good start! But to show the real impact of your DEI work, you need to create a diversity, equity and inclusion statement.

When well written, a DEI statement sends a powerful message about what a company stands for and its priorities. But despite its importance, some companies fail to publicize their diversity commitments, putting stakeholders, customers, and employees at a disadvantage and can affect hiring efforts and the bottom line.

What is a diversity, equity and inclusion statement?

A diversity, equity and inclusion statement is a written statement that describes and details a company’s DEI commitments. The statement outlines the company’s commitments to creating an inclusive and diverse workforce and explains how this correlates with its values, mission and vision.

A well-written DEI statement will confirm the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, share the current state of diversity, identify key areas of focus, and detail the steps needed to create a more powerful and inclusive workplace.

If you want to position your company as progressive and show your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, your first step is to write a strong DEI statement. Here’s how to get it right.

How to write a robust DEI statement

You will first need to link the key stakeholders to help bring the project to fruition. Writing a diversity, equity and inclusion statement is not the job of your junior copywriter – it takes a village to craft a meaningful message and a powerful diversity statement, so include the following stakeholders in tackling the task:

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)
  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
  • HR Director/Head of HR
  • Worker representatives (preferably from your DEI committee, if you have one)
  • Brand Strategist/Lead Creative

Once you’ve gathered your key stakeholders, work together on the next steps.

Explore your company’s mission, values ​​and vision

There is no quick way to write a DEI statement. You can’t take a look at another company’s statement because no two DEI statements are the same: each company will work with different goals. To tune in and write a diversity statement that is true to your business, you need to look at your own company and mission statements. ask yourself:

  • How does DEI align with your company’s overall mission?
  • What will the DEI improvement do to help achieve your company’s vision?
  • How can you align your company values ​​with your DEI actions?
  • How can you weave diversity, equity and inclusion into your business strategy?

By starting by exploring who you are as a company and tying this in with your DEI statement, you are putting yourself in the best possible position to understand why a diversity, inclusion and equity strategy is important and how it will affect your broader business goals. community and employees.

Create an action plan and first draft

Now that you understand how a DEI statement impacts business results and relates to your mission statement, try to get clarity with your key stakeholders on the following topics.

What is the purpose of DEI?

Seek to find the ‘why’ behind focusing on diversity. For example, explore why DEI is important to your business, think about how you will take responsibility for implementing initiatives, and consider what you want customers and employees to know about your commitments to DEI.

Where are your DEI priorities?

Think about what to prioritize when it comes to DEI. For example, do you have difficulty hiring women or women of color? Have you found employee age gaps and are you hiring primarily millennials while overlooking the benefits of Gen-Z in the workplace? Or maybe you have a male-dominated C-suite and need to diversify your leadership team?

How will DEI achieve its objectives?

Discuss how you will make DEI initiatives happen and how you will achieve your DEI goals. For example, you could start with something simple like mandatory diversity training for all leadership teams, or spend time reassessing your hiring practices to attract more diverse candidates.

Next, collaborate on a Google Doc and create a first draft of your diversity statement. Remember that using positive language creates a sense of purpose, and it’s perfectly acceptable to ask a lead writer to write a final draft to make sure you get the right message across with the right brand voice and tone.

Finally, be sure to include a plan for how you will finance your DEI efforts and who will be responsible for overseeing them.

Share your DEI statement

A statement of diversity, equity and inclusion is more than a Google document hidden on the Internet exclusive to the company. It’s a commitment and a promise to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, so shout about it.

According to Glassdoor, 76% of job seekers Report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job postings, so make sure your diversity statement is easily accessible.

Include a link to your full DEI statement in the About Us section of your website or as a stand-alone link in the footer of your company’s home page, and ensure that Google and other search engines can index the link. Otherwise, the page won’t show up when searches look for your business online.

You can also distribute your DEI statement on social media or in a company newsletter. Remember to link to the statement or include a copy of your statement on all job postings and career pages.

Fulfill your commitment

There is no point in writing and sharing a DEI statement if you do not follow through on the commitment. So make sure your entire company understands and commits to your DEI action plan, and that employees are willing to help bring the statement to life.

If you’re having trouble embedding leadership, Katee Van Horn, founder and CEO of Bar the Door, suggests focusing on the data that shows why diversity and inclusion matters (hint: it creates happier, more productive workplaces) and addressing the human aspect to “make it more real to people who may not understand that the employee experience is not the same for everyone in the company”, which can be achieved by creating “more awareness” to “open the eyes of people about how big the organization is.” it could be for everyone.”

A good way to keep employees informed and engaged with DEI is to create a diversity, equity and inclusion committee that meets regularly to discuss how DEI is doing, what steps need to be taken to achieve diversity and inclusion goals, and actively collaborate to improve the workplace. culture.

If you distribute a DEI statement and don’t follow through on what you’ve shared, it could impact your hiring efforts and cause your DEI efforts to be tagged as performance.

Aubrey Blanche, CultureAmp’s Senior Director of Strategic Programs and People Operations, spoke with Human Resources Director Magazine and said: “The workforce is becoming more diverse, so employees have very different expectations about the kind of environmental and social responsibility that companies are taking… companies that are not investing in DEI or just they’re doing performance stuff won’t be good enough. They will be outperformed in terms of talent acquisition, talent development and talent retention.”

By following these steps, focusing on tying your DEI statement to your company’s vision, and committing to delivering on your diversity efforts, your company will find value in writing a strong and meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion statement.