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DEIB: What It Is (And Isn’t)

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) is a comprehensive approach that encompasses various aspects of human differences. By definition, diversity refers to the range of characteristics found within a group of people. We at RISEQUITY believe these characteristics include a wide range of factors that make individuals unique, such as their cognitive skills, personality traits, cultural backgrounds, and identities.

DEIB recognizes that diversity goes beyond visible differences like race or gender. It includes less visible aspects, such as different ways of thinking and problem-solving. By embracing diversity in all forms, organizations tap into a wealth of perspectives and experiences that lead to innovation and improved decision-making.

Equity is a crucial component of DEIB. It focuses on creating fair systems and processes that ensure everyone has equal opportunities to succeed. Equity is the absence of systemic, group, and individual barriers or obstacles that hinder opportunities or disrupt well-being. It is achieved through taking deliberate actions to eliminate policies, practices, and embedded systems that may create and reinforce unfair outcomes. For example, if individuals with visual impairments are unable to access systems used to obtain information on internal opportunities, it creates inequitable situations that need to be addressed and rectified.

Inclusion is recognizing and celebrating differences when we bring together people with unique backgrounds to meet business objectives collectively and effectively. Inclusion ensures everyone has the opportunity to add value. A handout we share is about how to hold inclusive meetings, which provides suggestions to ensure meetings include those on the team who are internal processors, often left out when extroverts take over discussions without giving time to consider root causes or think about solutions.

Belonging is the element of culture where everyone has a sense of acceptance and psychological safety. Combined with an inclusive culture, those who feel a sense of belonging have a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days.

While DEIB is a grassroots movement at many companies, leaders set the tone for DEIB efforts by taking accountability for improving the subcultures within their functions. They must lead by example, demonstrating a commitment through their actions and decisions. By fostering an inclusive culture where diverse perspectives are encouraged and celebrated, they create an environment where everyone is empowered to contribute their unique talents.

By integrating DEIB into the fabric of their operations, leaders ensure this work is not treated as a separate initiative but woven into the company's core values and practices.

To effectively advance DEIB goals, we work with leaders to develop specific plans tied to their organization's overall business objectives. By integrating DEIB into the fabric of their operations, leaders ensure this work is not treated as a separate initiative but woven into the company's core values and practices. Innovative companies leverage their diverse workforce to create inclusive marketing plans that appeal to new communities, products tested for accessibility, and develop services or product market adjacencies and opportunities that a homogenous team might miss.

RISEQUITY’s approach to DEIB focuses on the power of human capital - the power of talent that drives business success. It is critical to go beyond surface-level initiatives, quotas or targets that rely on representation, and performative solutions and programs. When we bridge DEIB plans to business goals, we create a culture and sustainable organizational structures where everyone can realize their full potential.

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