The DEI initiatives of many organizations only create the “illusion of inclusion,” rather than bringing about actual, substantive change. How can you ensure that your team’s efforts at creating an inclusive work environment go beyond the superficial? Start by asking yourself these three questions.
- Are we providing equitable access to growth? While representation at all levels in the organization is critical, it’s even more important to pay attention to the opportunities afforded to employees of color. Are they given equitable access to professional development, mentorship, sponsorship, pay, performance reviews, networking, and opportunities for advancement and promotion? Go beyond keeping a “scorecard” to understanding the actual experiences of individuals within the organization.
- Are we promoting a culture of allyship? Leaders must be vocal and transparent about what allyship means within your workplace and how every individual can practice it. You should have a reward structure in place that acknowledges the impact of authentic allyship on workplace culture.
- Do we know how we’ll measure our progress (or lack thereof)? This may mean tracking the racial and gender breakdown on teams, promotion rates, and who is assigned key projects. Then tie those metrics to outside requirements that force your organization to be transparent and hold itself accountable.