Our Guide to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

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In order to keep up in today’s world, businesses must attract forward-thinking clients, employees, and other stakeholders who are focused on DEIB. In this article, we will define DEIB, share examples of what companies are currently doing to support their DEIB initiatives, offer tips to help you kick-start your DEIB initiatives, and explain how Activate 180’s employee coaching can further your progress.

What is DEIB?

Diversity: the representation of individuals who come from a variety of social, ethnic, and sexual backgrounds, and who have different experiences and beliefs from each other.

Equity: acting in a manner that is fair to individuals based on their unique needs.

Inclusion: offering the same access to options and resources to all individuals, regardless of their intersectional identities or statuses.

Belonging: the feelings of psychological safety and support that an individual experiences as a result of the acceptance, inclusion, and identity shown by a group of which they are a member.

What Companies are Doing to Propel DEIB Initiatives

A number of companies are successfully solving challenges related to DEIB, internally and beyond the bounds of their corporations. Internationally, 84% of Google’s managers have completed training about unconscious bias. Instacart and Carbon have decided to amplify minority voices via the work of their employee resource groups (ERGs) which help the organizations host events that honor cultural heritage holidays such as Pride Month, Black History Month, International Women’s Day, and more. The above companies are also being recognized for educating their employees about minority groups so that they can better understand and advocate for their peers, creating a sense of true belonging for everyone within their workplaces through the implementation of meaningful DEIB initiatives. Chipotle has changed the game by completing compensation equity studies to ensure that employees at every level are being paid the same as their peers no matter their ethnic, religious, gender, or other identities. The food chain has also established an online multicultural education program where inclusive conversations are hosted with influencers who represent minority groups across many industries, to inspire employees that do not see themselves represented often enough. Confluent works to build and retain a diverse workforce through inclusive hiring practices and by providing development opportunities for employees of all backgrounds.

How Can You Make a Difference?

There is not just one way to resolve disconnection, prejudice, or exclusion in the workplace. With the number of options that exist for driving these initiatives, it can be overwhelming to pick which areas to focus on, or in which order to prioritize needs. Here are four ways you can successfully implement DEIB initiatives:

1. Set short- and long-term goals and create attainable steps to accomplish those goals.

Start by creating a list of meaningful DEIB objectives and the ideal outcomes from putting these measures into action. Pick an objective from your list to start working toward. Continuously assess, measure, and remind yourself of your goal for that specific objective to keep track of your progress and make sure that you achieve the right results. Keep in mind that it is vital to prioritize acting on the measures that will bring the most significant amount of positive change. 

2. Make DEIB initiatives the responsibility of every employee.

DEIB does not start and end with human resources departments or employee resource groups, it is the duty of all members of an organization to contribute to the improvement of their workplace. Hiring diverse candidates isn’t enough if a company is lacking equity, inclusion, and belonging. Every team must co-create a psychologically safe workplace in which people feel comfortable showing up as their unique selves. Give everybody tasks and set clear expectations about how employees are expected to behave during intercultural exchanges in order to foster inclusivity, equity, and belonging.

3. Mitigate bias.

Recognize that unconscious identity biases – relating to ability, gender, sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic status, and more – that exist in your workplace, no matter how hard your company tries to protect, include, and equally-treat diverse employees. You must mitigate prejudice through equity, education, alliance, and the creation of experiences in which employees can see each other as relatable people. Also, think about the ways your operations affect minority employees at your company. If these processes seem unjust, resolve or replace them as quickly as possible.

4. Statistics don’t lie.

Data transparency is the key to achieving impressive DEIB standards. Conduct company-wide studies or culture audits to determine where your company is at in its journey and what else you need to do to improve the happiness and comfort of your team. Be sure to consider the need for fairness on behalf of all employees across the creation, processes, and outcomes of your DEIB initiatives.

How Activate 180 Can Help with Your DEIB Initiatives

While many companies today recognize and prioritize hiring diverse candidates, it is much more challenging to address and implement changes around equity, inclusion, and belonging. Employers may not know where to start, and the concern of doing the wrong thing may prevent them from making impactful decisions surrounding DEIB. This makes sense, given that initiatives in these areas are much more difficult to grasp and effectively implement. But, thanks to Activate 180, companies no longer have to work alone when creating change related to DEIB.

Equity: Consistently recognizing and redistributing opportunities

By offering coaching to employees at all levels, Activate 180 supports organizations in providing equitable opportunities for the development, growth, and advancement of their entire employee base. One-on-one coaching provides the equity that individuals need to level up and improve their promotability at work. Because Activate 180 recognizes each person needs to improve different areas of their lives, the company does not prescribe the same coaching formula to each employee. Instead, every coaching session is customized to meet participants’ individualized needs. This helps companies promote diverse employees alongside their less diverse counterparts. By giving each employee an equitable coaching experience, organizations can tap into the innovation, creativity, and effort once overlooked in diverse associates.

Inclusion: Thoughts, ideas, and perspectives of all employees matter

Through one-on-one coaching, the organization teaches tools that give employees confidence and empowers them to share their opinions. This DEIB initiative enables employees to speak up about their feelings and share their ideas about their company’s processes, projects, or strategic growth. It also sets employees up to suggest tactics they believe could help expand their company. 

Belonging: Engaging the full potential of all employees so that views, beliefs, and values are integrated

Team-wide monthly experiential workshops and culture audits offered by Activate 180 help companies in providing safe spaces where all employees can express themselves honestly while helping businesses understand where there is room for improvement. The above measures show employees that they are included and their views matter, creating a sense of belonging and passion among workers. This is because people who feel that their input is making a difference are more likely to sense a true connection to their company as well as its mission, values, and goals. Activate 180’s purpose is to support all employees by helping them become fully engaged and weaved into their companies’ cultures. 

What This Means

Brainstorming and successfully enacting an entire process to become a leader in DEIB cannot happen overnight. These plans must be carefully thought out and implemented in steps. Overall, companies must push every employee out of their comfort zone to communally work toward creating a workplace that is inviting and equitable for all. Activate 180’s employee coaching ultimately helps organizations develop the tactical skills and synergy needed to navigate through challenging yet necessary conversations around DEIB, helping leaders take huge steps toward their DEIB initiatives. 

Patrycja Skurzak

Patrycja is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Facilitator, and Neurolinguistic Practitioner, empowering employees to operate at their peak performance level. With her background in neuroscience and psychology, she has strengthened and developed the Activate 180 coaching methodology to produce optimized results for companies and their teams.


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