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Don’t Focus Your DEI Efforts on the Calendar

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Observances like Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, or Women’s History Month offer an opportunity to celebrate members of your community. But when you approach these celebrations as a quick and easy DEI win, your efforts will come across as opportunistic — or even cringeworthy. These three strategies will help ensure your approach is authentic and respectful.

  • Show up all year round. If your organization launches a splashy campaign for Pride month, but hasn’t considered equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ employees, customers, or community members, your efforts will be seen as performative allyship or rainbow washing. Instead, engage with your communities, identify their needs, and incorporate these into your year-round policies and practices.
  • Ask “Who is this for?” Too often companies make these celebrations about educating people who don’t identify with the group that’s being honored. Asking “Who is this for,” and shifting the focus of your programming accordingly, can help you increase connection and belonging for all employees.
  • Avoid tokenizing at all costs. Don’t ask the groups who are being celebrated to bear the burden of organizing your efforts. Consult them, integrate their input, and compensate them accordingly, but don’t place the onus on them.

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