DEI = Human Resources. Such is an equation many of us have grown accustomed to, and perhaps for an understandable reason! DEI is, after all, a key component of HR, from diverse hiring to the retention of diverse employees. However, DEI does not have to be limited to only HR departments! What about diverse advertising in Marketing, or pay equity audits in Finance? With that capacious perspective toward DEI in mind, let’s go through a quick list of some general DEI best practices that apply to all departments, regardless of their organizational concentration:
- Include closed captions/subtitles for virtual meetings and videos.
- Demonstrate how to use pronoun options for virtual meetings, e.g. Zoom.
- Through IT, offer name pronunciation audio features for virtual meetings and e-signature software.
- For written content, offer audio versions; ensure there is high contrast between the text and background colors; use easy-to-read fonts (such as dyslexic-friendly typefaces); and avoid regional turns of phrases that may not be understandable to all employees.
- Remember RASCI: Who is responsible (responsibility for particular tasks); accountable (accountability for particular tasks, such as having the final say); supportive (the support network, e.g. providing resources to complete a particular task); consulted (offers advice with regard to decisions); and informed (maintains communication). When it comes to DEI, RASCI helps ensure that a) diverse people have not been overlooked for projects and b) diverse people are not primarily or only placed in supportive roles (rather than having the authority of “R” and “A”). When in doubt, apply RASCI!
And there we have it — multiple ways departments beyond HR can implement DEI into their daily workings. As we can see, there’s no shortage of opportunities! No matter what department one works in, DEI will inevitably help the entire organization flourish.
Dima Ghawi is the founder of a global talent development company with a primary mission for advancing individuals in leadership. Through keynote speeches, training programs and executive coaching, Dima has empowered thousands of professionals across the globe to expand their leadership potential. In addition, she provides guidance to business executives to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and to implement a multi-year plan for advancing quality leaders from within the organization.