In working with C-suite and executive leaders across different agencies, this question comes up often: "Is the company ready to commit to DEI?"
I think it is a very fair question to ask, but it also tells me that leadership has some fear or hesitation about committing to DEI. Or, they may be unsure about what the process entails.
As a DEI practitioner, you may have a hard time getting leadership to push past this fear and take the first step. You may also be frustrated after trying for so long that you're starting to wonder if it's worth it to keep trying and you begin to get hopeless.
Here are four questions to gauge the level of "readiness" across a company. This isn't an exhaustive list (I actually came up with 10), but these are the four I think should be at the top of the list.
1. Budget. Is leadership willing to create a budget that will allow us to hire a full-time team of DEI practitioners (Chief Diversity Officer or VP of DEI, DEI Manager, DEI specialist) and speakers year-round and not just during commemorative months
2. Decision-making power. Will we allow our Head of DEI to sit on the executive team, listen when they suggest something and give them authority to make decisions?
3. Introspection. Is the company willing to look through or start collecting HR data that will help us create a DEI strategy, no matter how "bad" it will make us look?
4. Making tough decisions. Is the CEO and other leaders willing to remove people from the leadership team who do not want to commit to DEI?
🎁 Bonus question: Does the executive team have a clear understanding of how they want to define diversity for the rest of the company? If not are they willing to get on the same page and figure it out?
These questions will help you as a DEI practitioner determine if the company will actually take the steps to commit to DEI.
**Curious about what to do once all of these questions have been answered? Apply to join DEI Blueprint™ where we talk through the actionable things you can lead the company in doing once they've answered these questions.