In recent times, many DEI leaders have petitioned for the appropriate resources to do this work in the most efficacious way possible. This struggle is real and has led to many limiting the scope of their DEI work to ensure sustainability of their position, focusing solely on recruitment and retention efforts. Unfortunately, the scaling back of effort and limited focus has created a new wave of stagnation in progress, essentially reinforcing the DEI siloes that we worked so hard to break down. And, in the worst-case scenarios, DEI leaders have quit their positions.
Let me offer an alternative approach. Instead of minimizing effort and duties, consider expanding the scope of your DEI leadership role to include a wider array of populations and business domains within your purview, giving yourself a more holistic view of your organization’s needs. By doing this, you break down the figurative walls that keep DEI initiatives siloed and at-risk in many institutions. This can result in true integration of your work across the enterprise.
Here are some examples:
- Link your work in belonging to efforts for improving employee well-being, a huge priority for most organizations.
- Create pathways for modern allyship education to reach your senior leadership teams as part of their accountability metrics.
- Apply your initiatives for retention and advancement to broader groups, giving insight on methodology to mitigate burnout across the board.
- Dive deeper into understanding resource equity and the relationship to the funds flow models of your department.
- Translate the value proposition of belonging to your organization’s growth strategy plan.
The applications of equity, inclusion, and belonging work are innumerable and, as we have proven, are beneficial to all of our constituents if done well and with intention. Surprisingly, expanding the scope of your role does not necessarily add more time and labor, but rather promotes collaboration, empowerment, relevance, and ultimate sustainability and enjoyment of this work. Importantly when you think bigger than your title, and pull up a chair to other tables, you distribute principles of inclusivity and equity in the places where they are most needed in your organization.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article entitled “Where Does DEI Go From Here?” by Laura Morgan Roberts, (daughter of Orthopaedic Surgeon and pioneering leader Dr. Randall Morgan), she identifies four freedoms in the workplace that serve as the next level focus for DEI leadership work. Click here to read more and understand how the Freedom to Be, the Freedom to Become, the Freedom to Fade, and the Freedom to Fail sculpt the new, integrative direction of our efforts. It is a MUST READ.
Drop me a message (<– this link opens a direct email to me in your email app) with your thoughts. Onward we go!
Thinking Outside the Box 24/7/365,