Examining Your Talent Strategy Through a DE&I Lens

What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

  • Diversity is achieving a plurality of identities — like race, gender, age, professional background, ethnicity, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation. Having a diverse group of employees, however, does not inherently mean you have also achieved equity or inclusion.
  • Equity is ensuring that everyone has equal access to the same opportunities and resources. Advantages and barriers exist in the workplace, and we can begin the process of equity by acknowledging them and making a commitment to correct and address the imbalance. This can be done through auditing equipment, assigning mentors, launching employee pulse surveys, and more.
  • Inclusion is when different identities feel valued, heard, and welcome in the workplace. Does everyone in your organization feel like they have input or can speak up when they have an idea? Some companies have spent lots of money and time building a diverse workforce, only for their minority employees to still feel marginalized despite having been specifically invited to be. Inclusion ensures that underrepresented groups have a seat at the table and that they’re heard when they speak up.

The Strategic Advantage of Diversity

  • 34% have witnessed or experienced ageism at work
  • 33% have witnessed or experienced gender discrimination at work
  • 30% have witnessed or experienced racism at work
  • 24% have witnessed or experienced LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace
  • 68% are white men
  • 18% are white women
  • 10% are men of color
  • 4% are women of color
  • Ethnically diverse leadership teams are 36% more likely to be profitable (source)
  • The most ethnically and culturally diverse boards are 43% more likely to experience higher profits. (source)
  • Companies whose boards are in the top quartile of gender diversity are 28% more likely than their peers to outperform financially. (source)
  • How many people of color are in leadership roles?
  • How many women are in STEM roles?
  • Do you have a diverse steering committee?
  • Do all groups have input in meetings?
  • Do you solicit the opinions of everyone in creating a workplace that is well-suited to the needs of all groups?

The Way Toward DE&I Programs That Work

  • Include a diverse group of employees. A diversity of identities leads to the inclusion of various viewpoints — and ultimately a more thoughtful and equitable approach.
  • Establish clear goals, roles, and relationships.
  • Set boundaries. Institutions can rely too heavily on volunteers. Anticipate this fatigue and define the terms of your working group.
  • Secure an ally with decision-making power. While participation in something like a DEI committee can be empowering, it is also important to note that most organizational power is granted to those with decision-making influence.
  • Gather data. To promote the longevity of this committee, it is important to collect information on people’s DEI experiences.
  • Co-create and commit to group agreements. Because a DEI committee will inevitably broach challenging topics, it can be helpful to establish group agreements.
  • Secure third-party support.

How Equity Holds it All Together

  • Are they unable to stay late when they need to because of childcare obligations? Extend your daycare program.
  • Do they have a long commute that’s a burden on their budget, causing them stress on the job? Subsidize their public transit pass.
  • Can they not afford the software training that will help them take their skills to the next level? Pay for the class.



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Meredith Wholley

Meredith Wholley


As a Digital Marketing and Events Manager for ClearCompany, Meredith coordinates best-practice content and brand-awareness events with HR practitioners.