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How to Write a Meaningful DEI Statement

How to Write a Meaningful DEI Statement

In this guide, discover how to write a meaningful DEI statement to guide your company’s goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In today’s rapidly-evolving world, global perspectives are intersecting like never before and social dynamics are continuously shifting. Because of this, the significance of companies’ DEI initiatives cannot be overstated.

DEI isn’t just about visible differences; it’s about embracing diverse backgrounds, ensuring fairness, and fostering a sense of belonging. Diversity encompasses various identities, equity ensures equal opportunities, and inclusion shares an environment of welcoming and validation for all. These concepts are interconnected. Together, diversity brings fresh perspectives, equity levels the field, and inclusion enhances both.

Companies that genuinely embrace and promote DEI not only reflect today’s workforce – they also position themselves for success. As a result, they experience a greater drive for innovation, improved decision-making, and enhanced employee satisfaction.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to embody these principles through real examples. After reading, you’ll be ready to help fuel your organization toward a more equitable, inclusive, and successful future!

Read on for more information about these ideas, and more!

  • Steps to crafting a meaningful DEI statement
  • How to articulate your organization’s unique DEI vision
  • Translating your DEI statement into practice
  • Best practices for monitoring, reviewing, and updating your DEI statement
  • Compelling examples from leading companies and industries

In this post, you’ll find:

  • How to write a DEI statement 
  • Compelling reasons why a DEI statement is important
  • DEI statement examples from top companies
  • Steps to incorporating a DEI mission statement into your work culture
  • Pitfalls companies should avoid when creating a DEI statement

Employee Typing

What is a DEI Statement?

A “DEI Statement” refers to a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement. It is a formal written declaration that outlines an organization’s commitment to promoting diversity, fostering equity, and creating an inclusive environment. The purpose of the statement is then put into practice within a company’s operations, policies, and culture.

A typical DEI statement includes an overview of the organization’s commitment. This often includes: defining key terms for clarity, outlining dedication to diversity and inclusivity, and detailing actionable steps and initiatives. In addition, statements can address accountability through metrics, as well as highlight the value of ongoing improvements for sustained change. The length of a DEI statement is usually one to several sentences, but may be shorter or longer.

Overall, a well-crafted DEI statement communicates an organization’s values and commitment to creating an inclusive environment. Additionally, it serves as a foundation for guiding concrete actions and initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Why Do You Need a DEI Statement?

A DEI statement holds profound benefits and significance for organizations. A well-crafted DEI statement serves as a public declaration of an organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Therefore, a DEI statement can share a company’s core values and aspirations.

This outward expression can resonate with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, from employees and customers to investors and partners. As a result, companies can experience a greater sense of trust, transparency, and alignment from each.

Moreover, an effective DEI statement bolsters employee engagement and satisfaction. It signals a commitment to fair treatment and respect, thus reducing turnover rates and boosting overall morale. In fact, Datapeople found that including DEI statements in job postings can significantly boost perceived inclusiveness. And, GlassDoor shares that 76% of job seekers say a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.

By setting the tone for an inclusive atmosphere, a DEI statement plays a pivotal role in attracting diverse talent. Often, individuals from varied backgrounds are drawn to organizations that genuinely prioritize their contributions and perspectives. This influx of diverse skills and experiences cultivates an environment of creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.

Conversely, an organization that lacks a meaningful DEI statement may miss out on the benefits of a well-rounded workforce. Such a deficiency can cast doubts on the organization’s ethical stance and cultural values. In turn, this can lead to negative public perception and potential backlash.

A failure to prioritize diversity and equity can also result in a lack of cultural sensitivity and understanding. This can translate into lost opportunities and weakened relationships with diverse markets and communities.

Steps to Crafting a Meaningful DEI Statement

Read on as we delve into a detailed, step-by-step guide for creating a meaningful DEI statement. By breaking down the process into easily digestible steps, you’ll be ready to create your own in no time!

Employees and Stakeholders Conversing

Gather Input from All Stakeholders

Gathering input from all stakeholders – including employees, management, clients, and partners – is crucial for meaningful DEI efforts within an organization. By seeking perspectives from a broad spectrum of voices, a comprehensive understanding of the current state of DEI can be attained.

To start, consider hosting open discussions and utilizing anonymous surveys. These tactics create safe spaces for openly sharing experiences and insights. Additionally, include a mix of closed-ended and open-ended questions to provide both quantitative data and qualitative narratives for a well-rounded view.

In addition, collaborative workshops that involve cross-functional teams can foster innovative DEI feedback. This inclusive approach not only demonstrates commitment to DEI but also supports informed decision-making later on.

Articulate Your Organization’s Unique DEI Vision

First and foremost, the DEI vision should reflect the organization’s core values. It should encapsulate its beliefs in fairness, respect, and equal opportunities for all individuals. This alignment ensures that the pursuit of diversity and inclusion is not separate from the organization’s existing principles. Instead, a DEI statement is an extension of your corporate values.

Furthermore, the DEI vision should be linked to the organization’s strategic objectives. This ensures that efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are not seen as secondary endeavors, but rather as strategic imperatives that contribute to the organization’s growth, innovation, and long-term success.

Employees Outlining a DEI Statement

Outline Commitments and Actions

Tangible measures are needed from an organization to promote diversity, achieve equity, and enhance inclusion. By detailing these commitments, the organization creates a roadmap for genuine transformation – one that not only speaks to its values, but that also shapes its actions and future direction.

For instance, actions can include crafting a pledge to eradicate systemic barriers and biases that hinder individuals from realizing their full potential. This involves outlining targeted initiatives, such as unbiased hiring processes, equal access to professional development opportunities, and fair compensation practices. In addition, all existing disparities must be addressed and measures to rectify them established.

Furthermore, provide diversity and inclusion training, mentorship programs, and open communication channels. Or, promote the creation of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that allow employees to connect over shared backgrounds or interests.

Use Inclusive and Respectful Language

Language plays a pivotal role in crafting a meaningful and impactful DEI statement. A DEI statement is not just a formality but a powerful tool to express an organization’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment.

The language used in the statement can either reinforce the organization’s dedication to DEI or undermine its credibility. To ensure the statement is truly inclusive, respectful, and representative of diverse perspectives, employ these tips!

Firstly, it’s essential to use inclusive language that encompasses all individuals. This means avoiding gendered language. Instead, opt for gender-neutral terms. Additionally, the use of ableist, ageist, and culturally insensitive language should be strictly avoided. Your statement should be accessible to everyone. This means a statement that’s inclusive to all educational backgrounds, with clear language no matter one’s familiarity with specific terms. Global companies can also translate DEI statement so all employees and stakeholders can understand.

Secondly, a respectful tone is crucial. This involves acknowledging historical and systemic inequalities without glossing over them. Additionally, it’s important to avoid dismissive or defensive language when addressing sensitive issues.

Lastly, avoiding generalizations is paramount. While striving for brevity, it’s crucial not to oversimplify the experiences of underrepresented groups. By highlighting the unique challenges and contributions of each group, your organization’s DEI statement can help paint a more accurate picture of your commitment to inclusion.

Examples of DEI Statements

Worker at Computer

1. Adobe

  • Tagline: Adobe For All
  • Statement: At Adobe, we believe that when people feel respected and included they can be more creative, innovative, and successful. While we have more work to do to advance diversity and inclusion, we’re investing to move our company and industry forward.

Adobe’s diversity and inclusion tagline, “Adobe For All,” serves as an excellent example due to its concise length yet impactful messaging. The statement begins with a clear and positive assertion; it emphasizes the belief that respect and inclusion are catalysts. This establishes the tangible benefits of a diverse workforce.

Moreover, the statement acknowledges that there’s room for improvement. This demonstrates a recognition of the ongoing work needed to advance diversity and inclusion efforts. This admission reflects transparency and a willingness to continuously evolve.

Finally, the mention of investment showcases a commitment to action. This suggests that Adobe isn’t merely making empty promises but is actively dedicating resources to drive meaningful change. Plus, the statement implies that Adobe’s aspirations extend beyond its own walls, into the community.

2. Salesforce

  • Tagline: Let’s build a more inclusive workplace and world.
  • Statement: At Salesforce, our commitment to driving equality and greater business value does not waver. We’re working with employees, partners, Trailblazers, and customers to move closer to equality for all.

Salesforce’s diversity and inclusion statement showcases resolute commitment and a collaborative approach. With a relatively short length, this statement begins with a strong affirmation that the commitment to equality and business value remains unwavering. In other words, it showcases the organization’s dedication to these principles as non-negotiable priorities.

Next, the second sentence suggests that Salesforce views diversity and inclusion as a collective effort that involves employees, partners, customers, and the wider community. This collaborative perspective reflects a comprehensive approach to driving change beyond the confines of the organization – overall, highlighting Salesforce’s recognition that fostering equality requires a multi-faceted strategy.

Furthermore, the statement’s emphasis on moving “closer to equality for all” signifies an ongoing pursuit of progress. By positioning the goal as continual improvement, the statement conveys the dynamic nature of diversity and inclusion efforts.

Nike Hat

3. Nike

  • Statement: Nike, Inc. is working to build a more diverse, inclusive team that reflects the athletes and communities where we live, work and play.

Nike’s diversity and inclusion statement is an example of concise length paired with an action-oriented approach. The statement conveys Nike’s commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive team, aligned with both the athletes and communities it serves.

By focusing on reflection and representation, Nike shows an intent to mirror the diverse world in which it operates. This statement suggests a direct correlation between diversity and its core business. As a result, the statement can be interpreted to mean that diversity isn’t just a checkbox but a strategic advantage.

The statement’s simplicity, coupled with a clear link to the brand’s core values, makes it a compelling example of how to communicate a commitment to impactful change.

4. Mastercard

  • Statement: We are on a journey to create a workplace and world where everyone has equal access to connect their greatest passions with their fullest potential. That starts with our people and how we lead, with a sense of decency and inclusion.

Mastercard’s diversity and inclusion statement articulates a journey to foster a workplace and a global environment that promotes equal access – one that connects individuals’ passions with their potential. By framing diversity and inclusion as a means to empower people, Mastercard presents a compelling and relatable mission that transcends simple compliance.

In addition, the statement’s emphasis on leadership and “a sense of decency and inclusion” signifies a commitment from the top down. This language highlights the importance of fostering an environment where respect and equity are not optional, but core principles.

Furthermore, the statement’s acknowledgment that creating equal access and promoting inclusivity “starts with our people” illustrates a strategic recognition that real change begins internally. By prioritizing the well-being and growth of its employees, Mastercard communicates its understanding that an inclusive workforce is essential for driving business success and societal change.

Person in Woods

5. REI

  • Tagline: Building an Inclusive Workplace
  • Statement: At REI, we believe the outdoors is for all. While we have worked to build a more inclusive co-op and outdoor community, the reality today is that outdoor culture and the outdoor industry are still not welcoming to or representative of all people. As one of the largest players in the outdoor industry, we recognize that to drive the change we want to see in our industry and our society, we must start from within the co-op.

REI’s diversity and inclusion statement serves as one of the most compelling examples of impactful change due to its authentic acknowledgment of the existing challenges in the outdoor industry and its commitment to addressing them. The statement begins with a powerful assertion that “the outdoors is for all,” setting the tone for inclusivity. Then, by openly admitting that the current outdoor culture and industry fall short of being welcoming and representative, REI demonstrates self-awareness and a genuine desire to improve. While longer in length, REI’s DEI statement still remains engaging and well-articulated.

REI’s statement is also impactful because it speaks to a higher purpose – fostering inclusivity in outdoor culture – and aligns this purpose with internal actions. Thus, making it clear that the company isn’t just paying lip service to diversity and inclusion. By directly addressing the issues and outlining the organization’s role in rectifying them, REI’s statement effectively communicates a commitment to making meaningful change.

How to Incorporate the DEI Statement into Organizational Culture

Transforming a DEI statement from words into actions is crucial because it signifies a commitment to genuine change within the organization. While the statement articulates ideals, it’s the actionable steps that drive tangible progress. By translating these words into initiatives, policies, and practices, an organization can ensure that their DEI statement becomes a guiding force for meaningful transformation and lasting impact.

Coworkers in DEI Statement Meeting

Communicating the DEI Statement

Effectively communicating the DEI statement to all stakeholders requires a strategic approach. We suggest leveraging diverse communication channels to ensure a broad reach and collective understanding.

To start, initiate this process within internal meetings. This enables leadership to underscore the statement’s significance. Plus, provide context and foster open dialogue. Then, follow-up with communication via emails. By doing so, you ensure that all employees receive a written record of the commitment.

Additionally, consider creating an intranet to serve as a central hub for in-depth information. This can be a place to house the full DEI statement, FAQs, and resources. By also placing your DEI statement on your company’s website and in job postings, you can showcase your dedication and transparency to both employees and external supporters.

Furthermore, utilize social media platforms to reach your broader audience. By integrating your channels, the DEI statement can become a frequently-used resource that is communicated with all stakeholders.

Translating the DEI Statement into Practice

To effectively translate the DEI statement into day-to-day practices and behaviors, organizations must establish clear guidelines and concrete initiatives. Each initiative should align with the commitments laid out in your statement. Tangible practices can include:

  • A DEI committee comprising of diverse voices to drive strategy and implementation
  • Regular training sessions, workshops, and resources to educate employees on DEI topics such as bias awareness, cultural competence, and inclusive communication
  • Mentorship and sponsorship programs to foster career growth for underrepresented groups
  • Diverse interview panels to ensure equitable hiring processes
  • Employee resource groups (ERGs) to offer safe spaces for marginalized identities to connect, share experiences, and provide feedback
  • Performance evaluations that incorporate DEI metrics
  • Partnering with community organizations and supporting causes that align with the statement’s values
  • Regular audits and surveys to help gauge progress and refine strategies as needed

Ultimately, by weaving these initiatives into the fabric of the organization, the DEI statement becomes a living, impactful guide for the actions and behaviors of all members.

Employees Giving Feedback

Monitoring, Reviewing, and Updating the DEI Statement

Regular monitoring, reviewing, and updating of the DEI statement is paramount to ensuring its continued relevance and effectiveness within both the organization and wider society. The world is constantly evolving, and organizations must remain adaptable.

Internal shifts such as leadership changes, workforce demographics, and evolving organizational goals need attention and updates over time. Similarly, societal changes and events may require adjustments to address emerging issues and perspectives.

Overall DEI effectiveness can be measured through quantitative and qualitative metrics. For example, track diversity metrics at various levels of the organization, representation in leadership positions, employee satisfaction surveys, and retention rates. Regular audits can be used to identify gaps and areas needing improvement.

Additionally, engagement with employee resource groups and feedback sessions can provide qualitative insights. Overall, if initiatives are not meeting employee’s needs, don’t be afraid to make adjustments and try something new.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in DEI Statement Creation

When crafting a DEI statement, organizations can fall into common pitfalls that can undermine the statement’s authenticity and impact. One such mistake is the use of vague language that lacks specificity. This can lead to ambiguity and skepticism about the organization’s intentions. To avoid this, ensure the statement includes concrete commitments and actionable steps that reflect measurable goals.

Additionally, failing to outline clear and achievable goals is a misstep that can render the statement hollow. To rectify this, articulate tangible objectives and timeframes that demonstrate the organization’s dedication to progress.

Ignoring input from diverse voices is another significant error. Creating a DEI statement in isolation can perpetuate tokenism and overlook important perspectives. To overcome this, actively engage employees from various backgrounds and levels of the organization in the drafting process.

Furthermore, neglecting accountability mechanisms is a pitfall that can lead to inaction. To address this, establish regular reviews, audits, and reporting processes to hold the organization accountable for its commitments.

Lastly, separating the statement from actionable initiatives can render it meaningless. To prevent this, ensure that the DEI statement is seamlessly integrated with tangible programs, policies, and training.

Workplace DEI Statement

Take the First Step Towards a Stronger DEI Commitment

In summary, DEI is essential for the success of all companies and industries today. By crafting and implementing a meaningful DEI statement, companies can authentically create workplaces their employees love and better the culture of their industry and beyond. Start crafting your DEI statement today with purpose, utilizing these tips and five examples from some of today’s top companies!

Looking for more guided activities to amplify your DEI efforts? If so, then Unexpected Virtual Tours & Training has you covered! Our menu of inclusive virtual programming is loved by teams at UPS, The Home Depot, the Gates Foundation, and more. Get started today with our dynamic lineup of live, interactive programs.

For more ways to amplify your DEI efforts, browse our blog posts diving into virtual diversity and inclusion activities, ideas for diversity training, and examples of effective diversity training!

Connect with us below to learn more and discover the perfect session for your team. We can’t wait to hear from you!