Most major companies have made efforts to be more diverse and inclusive for years to varying degrees of effectiveness. From where we are sitting, though, many are going about it the wrong way. Our company, a digital learning agency that practices and advocates becoming an ally of diversity, has worked on several internal diversity campaigns for well-known brands, and each has come to us with the same uncertainty of where to begin. There’s never been a more important time to redouble those efforts, nor is it too late to get started.
Here are five strategies to rethink and redefine your internal diversity and inclusion initiatives:
There is no quick fix, even though that’s what people want.
Companies are used to moving quickly. When they invest in diversity, it’s hard to set reasonable expectations around how to measure progress and ROI.
“It’s like, ‘If I can create an app for this or if I can overhaul an entire organization, why can’t I challenge racism in my company?,” Dr. Anne Phibbs, founder of Strategic Diversity Initiatives, told me. “We’re talking about changing hearts and minds and really deeply held beliefs that have impacted us.”
We encourage executives and decision-makers to start thinking: I’m not going to finish this in 12 months. There is no quick-fix solution, so you have to start off with the understanding that you are in it for the long haul.