Our Ultimate Guide to Sustainable DEI Strategy


Table of Contents

When it comes to DEI, sustainable solutions often feel out of reach. To combat this, Fearless Futures suggest taking a look at the structures underpinning your organisation.

Gone are the days of diversity, equity and inclusion being a compliance driven tick-box exercise. Since 2020, diversity equity and inclusion strategy has become critical for organisational success.

But how can leaders ensure their new ideas succeed?

Many leaders make the mistake of thinking that their new policy will  “do DEI” all on its own. But it won’t.

Sustainable DEI means creating long-term processes that continue to serve employees.

For any DEI strategy to be successful, it’s essential that organisations have the continuous commitment of their senior leaders. Without it, DEI strategies are destined to remain on the page.

Here are our top tips for future proofing your DEI strategies:


Creating sustainable DEI policies

Writing new and inclusive policies is a great step towards sustainable DEI. 

But how can we ensure these policies are both successful and sustainable? And what does this look like at different levels of an organisation?

Leaders must make sure that DEI is baked into the organisations’ DNA. It’s therefore essential they collaborate with the relevant stakeholders at all levels. All areas of the business need to be considered for example, recruitment, talent development, and performance management to start.

Leaders should set clear expectations for behaviour and hold individuals accountable for DEI. Doing so creates a culture where employees actively embrace equity inclusion – this is essential for sustainability.

Continued Professional Development (CPD)

Managers play a crucial role in shaping the everyday experiences of employees, no matter their roles. It’s therefore paramount that they are trained as DEI influencers.

To lead diverse teams inclusively, managers need a comprehensive understanding of DEI. Their training should cover topics like inclusive leadership, active allyship, power, privilege, and conflict resolution. This knowledge is essential for managers to address inequities to create a workplace where every team member feels safe and valued.

Consistency is key with CPD – long-term training means long-term solutions for DEI strategies.

Using data for business decisions

Data is an untapped resource when it comes to DEI business decisions. It’s an extremely powerful tool for identifying areas for improvement – but only when it’s done well. So what does that look like?

Organisations should think about how they are collecting DEI data and their reporting mechanisms. It’s essential they choose an intersectional method of data collection and reporting, such as Fearless Data Solutions, to make sure they are able to analyse trends.

With a data-driven approach, DEI business decisions will be based on objective insights. To create transparency, leaders should report and act where appropriate on data regularly as doing so demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to sustainable DEI and continuous improvement.

Senior Leaders and Champions and Sponsors

As senior leaders set the tone for the culture of an organisation, they must engage deeply with the DEI strategy. 

Leaders can demonstrate their engagement in lots of ways but a great place to start is enshrining DEI in the overall values and objectives of the organisation. Doing so also means that leaders are held accountable for progress.

If leaders are not on board, they risk demoting DEI to an optional intervention. When this happens, the rest of the organisation will echo their leadership. When leaders champion DEI efforts – it sends a powerful message that we are all responsible for DEI.

Embedding DEI in Organisational Culture

Finally, going beyond policies and processes is essential. Diversity, equity and inclusion should be the bedrock of your organisation. Leaders should consider the most effective teams to collaborate with to ensure DEI is firmly on the agenda.

For example, internal communications teams are a great place to start to ensure that DEI messages are communicated effectively. Whereas efficient employee resource groups can serve as powerful allies when leaders want to create a sense of belonging.

The secret to sustainable DEI lies in the hands of those who have the power to craft and implement these strategies. But, if you are not a leader, start with influencing the people around you. When enough people are onboard it’s easier for organisations to turn their attention to policies, processes, CPD, and data.

For DEI to be sustainable in this ever changing landscape, leaders must embrace these principles every day of the year.

For help developing your organisation’s DEI strategy, contact us at hello@fearlessfutures.org.

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