How can your organization put together the right diversity, equity, and inclusion mission statement? For the forward-thinking, global organizations of the modern working world, a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion isn’t just a box to check or something to pay “lip service” to. Today’s companies must show that they have a genuine commitment to these principles—not only for the betterment of their company’s bottom line but for the world around them.
The first place to show your organization’s pledge to support these principles? A well-crafted diversity, equity, and inclusion mission statement is a wonderful place to start. But what needs to be in your diversity, equity, and inclusion mission statement?
Let’s break down what each one of these statements needs to be successful.
The top elements that make for a successful diversity, equity, and inclusion mission statement? Clarity, purpose, and authenticity. In your statement, clearly explain what you are attempting to accomplish with your organization’s DEI goals. Outline your commitment to the principles of DEI, and use strong, concrete language that affirms your support for the purpose of putting out the statement. One more tip: be authentic. Don’t just write something for your website because “you should do it.” Write it because you mean it. The best mission statements are strong, clear, bold, and decisive; this isn’t a spot to use a lot of “corporate speak” or hedging, non-committal language.
Another important consideration for a mission statement that makes an impact? Be sure to write with a global focus. Don’t just limit your statement to the actions you may be taking in your headquarters or home-base country; talk about your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in all of your locations and/or target markets. Tackling diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in different countries can be extremely complex; make sure you speak about your work in detail, to let everyone know of your commitment to DEI on a global scale.
Don’t be afraid to go into the details of your diversity, equity, and inclusion action plan! The more you can detail the steps, the more effective the statement will be. How are you approaching recruiting and hiring through the DEI lens? What sort of continuing education and training are you providing your current employees? Are you working with outside diversity, equity, and inclusion consultants or organizations that can provide you with helpful input? What kind of assessments or online tools does your organization employ to help boost diversity, equity, and inclusion? What kind of internal action groups or employee organizations gives input for your DEI initiatives? Collect all of this information, develop them into strong bullet points, and include those alongside the language described above.
Speaking of internal parts of your organization, try not to craft the diversity, equity, and inclusion statement in a vacuum; after all, it doesn’t make much sense for a statement on inclusion to exist without the input of others throughout the company. Talk to the key stakeholders throughout your organization to get your input on what the diversity, equity, and inclusion statement should look like; get the review of the executive staff, board membership, any outside consultants you employ, and the thoughts of some key employees (if there’s an active diversity, equity, and inclusion working group or employee group in the organization, their thoughts are a must).
Finished with your diversity, equity, and inclusion mission statement? Checked it with all of the necessary stakeholders with the organization? Comfortable with the language and the steps the statement details? Congratulations! Now comes the second part of creating your diversity, equity, and inclusion mission statement—making people aware of it. Your organization should make every effort to detail your new mission statement to the public (and prospective employees). Try detailing your new mission statement in a blog post on your website, on a press release, or on your social media feeds. Additionally, make sure your diversity, equity, and inclusion mission statement exists at a place where prospective employees can see it; put it on a prominent place on your jobs or career page, for example, so the next generation of talent gets exposed to your full diversity, equity, and inclusion plan.
Here are a couple of standout examples from around the world:
University of California, Davis