How To Demonstrate Your Commitment To Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Written by Nicola Wylie

Did you know that all Fortune 100 companies have made public commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? And it’s hardly surprising, considering 81% of workers claim they would leave a job if their employer weren’t committed to a DEI strategy.

In particular, Gen Z and millennial job seekers highly favour organisations with strong DEI policies and procedures. While there’s no doubt how important creating an inclusive is, some employers struggle to show their commitment to DEI.

This employer’s guide covers everything your organisation needs to know about showcasing your commitment to DEI. This includes:

  • What is DEI in the workplace 
  • Why showing your commitment to candidates matters
  • DEI initiatives and strategies that spotlight your dedication to promoting equal opportunities

First up: What is DEI in the workplace?


What Is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a set of practices ensuring an inclusive and equitable workplace. In other words, it’s a framework that promotes equal opportunities, respect, and empathy for all employees regardless of their backgrounds.

Now let’s break down each of the terms.

  • Diversity: This refers to having a workforce with people from different races, ethnicities, ages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. In short, diversity recognises the importance of unique perspectives in the workplace.
  • Equity: This is all about identifying and tackling systemic barriers in the workplace so that employees enjoy equal and fair conditions. These barriers could include limited access to opportunities and resources for certain underrepresented groups.
  • Inclusion: This focuses on creating a workplace where all employees feel a sense of belonging. In addition, inclusion stresses the importance of having diverse employees participate in decision-making processes to ensure proper representation. 

When combined, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important pillars for organisations, helping them create safe working environments.

Next up: Why do organisations need to showcase their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)?


Why Does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Matter To Candidates?

Implementing diversity and inclusion best practices and promoting DEI education and awareness are important. But it’s also crucial to demonstrate your dedication to potential candidates. 

In this section, we explore five reasons why more job seekers than ever are prioritising equality, diversity, and inclusion.

    1. Representation: Today’s job seekers want to work in organisations where they feel represented. That means they look for companies with a strong focus on diversity. On a deeper level, employers that value DEI tend to value and respect individuality and create a safe space.
    2. Equal opportunities: Many candidates favour employers with DEI initiatives because it shows that the company rewards staff based on merit, not favouritism. In a nutshell, it is a good indicator that the organisation doesn’t have systemic barriers.
    3. Ethics: Generally speaking, candidates associate companies with strong DEI policies with being more ethical and socially responsible. As such, they are more drawn to this type of employer.
    4. Learning and development: Working in a company that prioritises diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) gives staff more opportunities to learn. By learning from people with different cultures, perspectives, and life experiences, they can broaden their horizons and become more open-minded. Moreover, this type of employer is more likely to invest in Diversity training programs and employee resource groups (ERGs).
    5. Innovation: Plenty of research indicates that diverse companies are more creative, innovative, and better problem-solvers. As a result, many job seekers are looking for opportunities to work within this environment.

Put simply, prioritising DEI through inclusive recruitment and retention strategies, training, and other initiatives can boost your reputation. In turn, you will attract a wider pool of diverse talent.

Now that you know why DEI matters to your business and potential employees, let’s discover how to showcase your commitment.


4 Ways To Show Candidates You Take Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Seriously

As more and more job seekers set their sights on companies with stellar DEI initiatives, your company may need to do more to show your dedication. This section reveals four ways to demonstrate to potential new hires how seriously you take DEI. 

1. Rethink job descriptions

Your job ads could be hampering your recruitment success, particularly if you want to hire diverse talent. So, you must review your current job descriptions to weed out unconscious bias, gendered language, or other barriers that could discourage diverse talent from applying.

Working with trained professionals like Embracing Future Potential can help you get your job posting right. Our team of experts offers comprehensive job ad inclusivity screening to ensure your organisation welcomes a wide range of applicants.

If your job listings don’t currently include an equal employer opportunity (EEO) statement, ensure that you add one. An EEO encourages candidates from underrepresented groups to apply for roles in your company, allowing you to build a more diverse workforce.

Next, review all communications with applicants, including online application forms, automated responses, the copy on your careers page, and assessments to ensure they are inclusive. Your communication should align with your DEI values, goals, and promises.

2. Prioritise inclusive recruitment practices

If you really want to show candidates that DEI matters to your organisation, you’ll need to put your money where your mouth is. This means crafting a comprehensive Equal Employment Opportunity (EOO) policy. 

Once you have created this, you should share it with recruiters, hiring managers, HR, and hiring committee members before recruitment efforts begin. In addition, this should appear on your company website. 

An EOO policy directs everybody involved in hiring to employ inclusive language and recruitment practices. For instance, this could mean communicating your preferred pronouns in your email signatures, prohibiting questions, and addressing biases. By giving all parties clear guidelines on how to behave and what to avoid during the recruitment process, you can show applicants your dedication to DEI.

Finally, introducing hiring committees can ensure your processes are fair and inclusive. As such, potential employees will be able to see a greater level of representation during the application process. Plus, implementing a diverse committee of people from different ages, backgrounds, and races reduces the chances of unconscious bias sneaking into the selection process.

3. Advertise on diverse talent job boards

If your current pool of talent is less than diverse, it may be time to find new ways to advertise your listings. This showcases your company’s commitment to work with diverse candidates. 

Our network contains three diverse talent sites to connect employers with the best job seekers from every walk of life. 

  • Aspiring to Include: Resource hub and job board for diverse, underrepresented groups and inclusive employers.
  • Careers with Disabilities: Dedicated job board and advice hub for job seekers with disabilities and disability-friendly employers.
  • Refreshing a Career: Resource centre and job board for career changers and employers of older workers. 

By partnering with diverse job boards, you can ensure your talent pipeline aligns with your DEI policies and practices. In addition, you can connect with overlooked (and often highly-qualified) candidates. 

4. Implement (and support) ERGs

Encouraging employee resource groups (ERGs) and affinity groups is a great way to be an ally to diverse team members. These groups allow employees to collaborate on projects and share common experiences. In addition, they provide a safe and supportive space for underrepresented groups to network and bond.

Remember to mention what ERGs your organisation supports and how you show solidarity. 

Following these DEI best practices will help you show potential employees that you value diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Of course, these strategies should be coupled with a thorough review of your current DEI policies and performance to identify your shortcomings and where more representation is most needed. Then, you can adjust your DEI strategy accordingly.


How We Can Support Your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Efforts

Today’s job seekers are more concerned with DEI than ever before. From adopting inclusive language to overcoming unconscious bias, top talent wants to see a real commitment. As a result, employers must find new ways to promote their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts to the next generation of workers.

To do this, your organisation will need a DEI implementation roadmap and a dedicated team to drive your strategy. While it may seem like a significant investment, the results are worth it. Not only will you attract more talent, but you will cultivate a happier, fairer, and more inclusive work culture.

Do you want to optimise your company’s DEI initiatives? Embracing Future Potential can help. Browse our blog for up-to-date news on a range of employment topics and the latest workplace trends.

For more information on our range of employer services, get in touch.

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