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Diversity Professional, a long time partner to WBENC, is an interactive international publication with a focus on business, career, and lifestyle, delivering essential information for diverse entrepreneurs and professionals related to business strategies, career development, social trends, and more.
Read a guest post from Ruksana Hussain, Managing Editor, Diversity Professional, on the challenging role of diversity, equity, and inclusion personnel in the workplace.
The Challenging Role of DEI Personnel in the New Workplace
The stories of successes and challenges experienced by those immersed in diversity, equity, and inclusion are all around us, and there is much to learn from these professional journeys. There is even more we can all do on the path to progress, when it comes to our DEI strategies, irrespective of the size of our corporations or the industries we operate in. From including diverse perspectives in our decision-making processes to affecting cultural change in our workplaces representative of our communities, there are practices aplenty we can initiate and nurture when it comes to fully experiencing the power of DEI and its innumerable benefits in our work and lives.
It is imperative we acknowledge great strides have been made in this space. Several experts in the latest edition of Diversity Professional shared some persuasive examples of the resulting benefits they’ve been privy to in embracing their role as trailblazers in their DEI pursuits. From partnerships with diverse suppliers to relationships with anchor clients, whether steering a highly visible board of directors or initiating innovation as an industry thought leader, their organizations have flourished as a result of their decision to incorporate DEI strategies in the workplace. On the other hand, there still remain many scenarios where conversation, leave alone action, in the DEI sphere is minimal, at best, if at all present.
And this is where the lion’s share of transformation must occur. Global events have caused organizations to commit to DEI now more than ever witnessed before. An increasing number of companies are hiring or have hired diversity personnel in recent months. The United States Tennis Association hired a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Pepperdine University is hiring a Chief Diversity Officer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art just named its Chief Diversity Officer, and Apple has announced hiring Intel’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer to begin in that role at its organization next year. On this journey, what are the areas they will focus on, how will these issues be addressed and how committed are people to these efforts?
The commitment toward sustainable practices and improving on company values is a key factor. Doing it through a data-driven lens is essential, in connecting the why behind these efforts and what that translates to for any organization and its members. Starting from the board and senior leadership to ERGs, BRGs and beyond, is there a comprehensive overall strategy and how transparent are organizations in not just disclosing that but also how they measure their metrics and accountability? Hiring diverse talent is only one part of a larger holistic perspective entailing their corporate experience, equal access to opportunities, career trajectories and pay equity, among other aspects crucial in setting them up for success.
The new year (and the new work environments that are now the norm) provides many avenues to address these and other components of organizations’ DEI priorities. Our community truly has its work cut out in affecting strategies now and into the future to ensure progress for everyone involved.
Diversity Professional is an interactive international publication with a focus on business, career and lifestyle, delivering essential information for diverse entrepreneurs and professionals related to business strategies, career development, social trends and more.