What is DEI?
DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and is considered to be of high importance when recruiting, hiring, and decision-making. See below for the breakdown of each component of DEI, gathered from the University of Iowa.
Diversity: Diversity refers to all aspects of human difference, social identities, demographic groups and social group differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and identity, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religion/spirituality, age, (dis)ability, and military/veteran status, political perspective, and associational preferences.
Equity: Equity refers to fair and just practices and policies that ensure all campus community members can thrive. Equity is different than equality in that equality implies treating everyone as if their experiences are exactly the same. Being equitable means acknowledging and addressing structural inequalities — historic and current — that advantage some and disadvantage others. Equal treatment results in equity only if everyone starts with equal access to opportunities.
Inclusion: Inclusion refers to a campus community where all members are and feel respected, have a strong sense of belonging, and are able to participate and achieve their potential. While diversity is essential, it is not sufficient. An institution can be both diverse and non-inclusive at the same time, thus a sustained practice of creating inclusive environments for diverse candidates is necessary for success.
Why is DEI important in the workplace?
DEI is vital in the workplace. It's important to make sure that everyone feels as though they are valued by the company as they carry out their assigned tasks. With that being said, everyone should also have the same opportunities for things like promotions, raises, etc. To clarify, not everyone should make the exact same wage for their hard work, but everyone should have the opportunity to climb the ladder regardless of any identifiers that may set them apart from their peers.
A good, well-rounded company culture starts with a good DEI strategy. Not only can a successful DEI strategy make employees feel valued, but it can also earn you trust and deeper commitment. An employee that feels valued and heard in their role is much more likely to put in the work than an employee who feels like just another face in the crowd.
Implementing DEI doesn't imply that you have to give a chance to every single person who asks for one - it just simply means they shouldn't have to ask. Opportunities should be readily available to everyone.
More importantly, DEI is vital in physician recruitment. Having a DEI strategy in place for your physician recruiters can have a tickle-down effect that will likely impact your candidates. By having this strategy in place, you’re showing candidates that your organization is open-minded and will accept people from all walks of life.
Our own Sarah Becker, Senior Vice President of Executive Search, at The Medicus Firm shared why DEI is so important in the workplace:
“As someone who has taken an active role in education surrounding gender diversity it has been interesting to see organizations shift from “we care” to “here is what we are doing” over the past five years. It is no longer acceptable to say “we value diversity” – our employees, clients and potential candidates are asking us to step-up and define what diversity means to us. We need to be able to articulate what our Diversity Vision/Goals are – and back that up with actionable plans and accountable metrics. An inability to articulate your vision and goals – and cascade this messaging in a meaningful way throughout your organization will result in disengagement both internally and externally.”
A DEI strategy also allows for the following:
- A staff with diverse skill sets
- A larger candidate pool
- Improved patient care
- Attraction of top talent
- A more positive work environment
Overall, you will have higher quality candidates, resulting in the potential for higher quality patient care.
In September 2022, a report was put together by Lever to analyze DEI and the effects it can have on candidates and already existing employees. On average, 81% of candidates check a company’s website for their stance on DEI before applying. In addition, 40% of employees are likely to search for a company’s DEI practices on their website.
It was also found that 39% of employees feel that their company views DEI as a checkbox, rather than implementing it for the good of their staff.
Some ways physician recruiters can implement DEI include:
- Attending diversity-focused career fairs, conferences, and events to connect with underrepresented talent
- Training to raise awareness about unconscious bias and its impact on the patient care
- Implementing blind resume reviews to reduce bias related to candidates’ names, educational institutions, or other demographic indicators
- Seeking out candidates from underrepresented backgrounds, allowing patients the opportunity to be cared for by people that look like them
Implementing DEI makes employees feel empowered.
What is the purpose of this blog?
We'll discuss how to develop and implement the perfect DE&I strategy to fit your business objectives, crafting the perfect DEI mission and values, measuring DEI success (including the success of your DEI implementation as well as DEI as a whole), and educating staff on best practices when it comes to DEI.
We know that it can be difficult to navigate DEI in the workplace, and we're here to help. Continue reading to learn how you can craft the perfect DE&I strategy.
Assessing the Current State of DE&I
Collect and analyze data on the current state of your DE&I implementation.
One of the first things you should to when creating the perfect DE&I strategy is collect data on what DE&I strategies you're using, if any, and analyze them. Are they working?
After that, you should look at what's working and what isn't - look at your company and others. What are you doing that does and doesn't work? What about others - what works for them? From there, you can analyze their strategies and see what could be done differently. Can you take the best, most effective bits and pieces from other strategies and merge them into one?
It's important to keep in mind that a DE&I strategy that works for one company may not work for another. You should evaluate what strategies are being used by other companies in your industry. Something that works for a tech company may not work for you in a different industry.
Crafting a DE&I Vision and Mission
You may be wondering - what is a DEI vision? And what about a DEI mission?
DEI visions and missions (or mission statements) are exactly as they sound - they're just like the missions and values that are set for a company, but they're DEI related. For example, Indeed's DEI mission statement is, "You Belong at Indeed - At Indeed, our mission is to help all people get jobs. While our backgrounds are broad and our talents are many, our best work happens when our voices are heard. Channeling our unique perspectives to make a positive impact on each other, our communities, and our world helps every Indeedian feel they #BelongAtIndeed."
Your DEI mission statement should outline what goal(s) you're trying to achieve by implementing DEI at your company. What is the purpose?
The purpose of a DEI vision, on the other hand, is to make sure that you know what your long-term goals are. What do you want the implementation of DEI to do for your company? What is the desired outcome?
Some more examples of DE&I visions and missions can be found below.
Google - Build for Everyone
Google is committed to continuing to make diversity, equity, and inclusion part of everything we do—from how we build our products to how we build our workforce.
Google is growing to fulfill that vision. In the past few years, we’ve doubled in size—today, we have more than 100,000 employees in 170 cities spanning nearly 60 countries. Operating at this scale brings an elevated level of responsibility to everything we do—including a workforce that’s more representative of our users, and a workplace that creates a sense of belonging for everyone. Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Creating greater equity is one of the 6 company-wide priorities established by our CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, for 2021. This means increasing demographic diversity at Uber and becoming a more actively anti-racist company and ally to the communities we serve. Every member of the Executive Leadership Team is doing their part to make this a reality, especially making sure their entire organization is behind this. Increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the core of the company’s strategy, and commitment to it starts at the top.
Netflix’s greatest impact is in storytelling. Stories like The Harder They Fall, Never Have I Ever, Love on the Spectrum, Yasuke, and Squid Game broaden representation, empathy and understanding. We create and connect these stories to people all around the globe – removing the barriers of language, device, ability or connectivity. Better representation on-screen starts with representation in the office. Our work has to be internal first, so it can impact what we do externally. We believe we’ll do that better if our employees come from different backgrounds, and if we create an environment of inclusion and belonging for them.
We’re dedicated to hiring diverse talent and ensuring that we treat you with respect and support throughout the interview process and once you join Slack. We embrace diversity and strive to create conditions that provide everyone with an equal opportunity to thrive. We offer several programs and initiatives to foster these values.
If you find that you need more inspiration for your DE&I mission [statement] or vision, there are plenty of examples out there.
Developing a DE&I Strategy
It can be difficult to develop a DE&I strategy, let alone develop a perfect one. The first step is to define the key components. What do you need to take into consideration?
According to Forbes, there are 6 steps to creating a DE&I protocol from the ground up:
- Set clear targets and measure progress
- Use internal mobility and alumni to increase diversity
- Clearly define cultural fit
- Consider the order of candidates
- Know where and how to target diverse talent
- Build diverse pipelines of talent
Set clear targets and measure progress
Consider what your vision and mission are. Set expectations revolving around DE&I for your recruiter and hiring manager. This will get you started on the right path to finding the perfect solution for DE&I implementation.
Use internal mobility and alumni to increase diversity
In some cases, it is beneficial for leaders to focus on behaviors and skills rather than just previous experience. It can be helpful to have a discussion with other leaders about reorganizing teams so that their skills can be utilized. This can help to create diverse teams and give everyone a different perspective.
Clearly define cultural fit
What kind of cultural fit are you looking for? This isn't to say that every person you interview/hire should be cookie-cutter, but they do have to fit your culture. A good culture fit increases productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention.
Consider the order of candidates
The order in which you screen/interview candidates can affect how you see them as an employer. The first candidate may benefit from primacy bias, in which you recall the first thing you heard, while the last candidate may benefit from recency bias, in which you recall the most recent thing you heard. From there, everyone in between may suffer. A good way to combat this is to have more than one interviewer present, so that you can discuss candidates together.
Know where and how to target diverse talent
Are you relying solely on referrals as a way to find candidates? If so, you may be hindering your own hiring process. Be sure to nurture diverse talent communities by using job boards and writing your job descriptions to identify trends and widen the funnel.
Build diverse pipelines of talent
One guaranteed way to achieve this is to nurture a diverse pool of talent communities.
A talent community is a community consisting of people who are in a specific industry and have coinciding talents. These communities are often created to help individuals find jobs and to find like-minded individuals. They're also used by diverse communities as a platform for discussions about things in their industry.
By building a diverse talent pipeline, you're opening up opportunities for both your company and for job seekers.
Incorporating DEI Into Hiring Practices
Incorporating DEI into hiring practices is up to the hiring managers and leaders in the company. While employees should follow DEI policies where relevant, leaders are ultimately responsible for implementation as a whole.
The best way to incorporate DEI into hiring practices is by creating a diverse candidate pool, as we discussed earlier. In order to do this, you need a wide variety of sources from which you're pulling your candidates.
See below for some best practices when using DEI in recruitment.
- Set SMART Goals
- Create a diversity recruitment strategy
- Promote your employer brand
- Create an accessible website
- Reduce unconscious bias
- Track your recruitment diversity metrics
Fostering a Culture of Inclusion
Inclusion is important regardless of your industry or job title. Each employee should feel as though they're respected in their role, and as a result, are able to achieve their goals.
One way to promote inclusion in the workplace is to recognize different perspectives diverse backgrounds and experiences - not all of your employees are entering the workplace with the same background. It is important that you recognize these diverse perspectives and backgrounds and acknowledge this in an effort to make everyone feel not only welcomed but heard.
Some best practices include:
- Supporting collaboration
- Establishing a sense of belonging
- Treating all employees fairly
- Creating more inclusive job descriptions (fewer words geared toward just male or female candidates)
- Promoting inclusion at all levels of the company
- Restructuring your recruitment process
Providing DE&I Training and Education
Everyone at your company should know how to properly practice DE&I. The purpose of DE&I is to have a better, more productive workplace
There are two ways to go about training and educating your team on DE&I: you can either create a DE&I training program yourself, or you can employ someone externally to handle DE&I training and education for you. It isrecommended to hire a DE&I expert to handle your training.
Your company's DE&I training should be accessible to all employees, and should focus more on impact than on intention. Acknowledge that not everyone at your company learns at the same pace or in the same way - some employees may be visual learners, while others can learn simply by reading or listening to information.
Think about how DE&I implementation will impact your organization, rather than how you want it to. How will DE&I affect the company long-term?
It is also vital that you tie your DE&I training to professional growth - if employees feel as though it is a burden, they may not be as invested as you had hoped, and as a result, your efforts won't be successful.
Measuring DEI Success
Some DEI metrics to pay attention to include hiring process, employee retention, employee satisfaction, employee resource groups and company representation.
A few ways that you can measure the success of your DE&I implementation is to track the number of diverse employees throughout your organization. You can also do this specifically for your business leaders too. It can also be beneficial to pay attention to how long employees stay with the company, as well as qualitative data such as how much of your budget goes toward DE&I.
Aligning DEI with Business Objectives
The best way to make sure that you're implementing DEI into your business objectives is to analyze your objectives and see what they have in common with the elements of DEI. How does DEI align with your business objectives? From there, you can decide how to proceed.
There are many ways to align DE&I with your business objectives. Some of the best practices are doing so are as follows:
- Identify potential obstacles
- Pinpoint what you need to measure
- Ensure your commitment matches your capacity
Some key solutions for implementing DE&I in your workplace assessing the current state of DE&I implementation, measuring the progress/success that DE&I brought to key stakeholders in your organization, aligning DE&I with your business objectives, and incorporating DE&I into your hiring process.
What does DE&I look like in the future? While some may say it's pointless, successful DE&I implementation can help to foster more, deeper relationships. It also means more diverse teams, which implies more diverse skillsets. Overall, this means more productivity on teams across the globe, creating stronger workforces.
A successful strategy can create a happier, more productive, and more trusting team. From an external point of view, it also means the opportunity for more diverse candidates.
Is there anything you could be doing differently with your DE&I implementation?