76% of job seekers and employees say diversity and inclusion are important when considering job offers. For that reason, many companies have a statement to communicate their commitment to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Yet, a company statement is not enough to convincingly convey your organization’s intention to be a welcoming workplace that celebrates differences. As a leader or hiring manager, you must share your own motivations related to DEI to increase the credibility of the company message. Recruits and employees are more likely to believe the company’s DEI intentions when company representatives are transparent and authentic with sharing why DEI matters to them personally.
Take a stab at writing a personal DEI “why” statement to communicate your reasons for supporting DEI. Start with “Diversity, equity and inclusion are important to me because…” Incorporate the best practices below and reflect on the provided questions to prompt your thoughts.
DEI Why Statement Best Practices
- Share a personal story. Stories make words come alive. Retelling an experience that has shaped your point of view on DEI will help your why statement resonate because listeners connect with stories emotionally.
- Be specific. Provide tangible examples of diversity, equity and inclusion at work that you experience and appreciate. Examples give credibility to your words. Describe behaviors at work that make you feel a sense of inclusion and belonging. If your company doesn’t have a lot of diversity in the traditional sense (e.g. race or gender), speak to hidden dimensions of diversity present at work such as life experiences, perspectives, communications styles, strengths, educational background and so forth.
- Be authentic. Sharing your personal experiences and perspectives related to DEI enables you to communicate with more confidence and conviction. Also, your vulnerability fosters trust and your willingness to share inspires others to reciprocate by sharing their own DEI “why”.
Questions to Prompt Reflections for Your DEI Why
- Reflecting on the many dimensions of diversity inherent in everyone, what is something unique about you that others would be surprised to learn?
- What diverse relationships or experiences have positively impacted you?
- When was a time you may have felt like you didn’t belong or had to work hard to fit in?
- When do you feel the greatest sense of inclusion and belonging?
- What are behaviors you see or experience at work that contribute to a sense of belonging?
- How does a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion benefit your work?
Those who communicate their DEI “why” send a clear message that DEI is a priority and set a strong example for others to follow, reinforcing the fact that everyone has a role to play in creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.
To help you craft and communicate your DEI “why” statement, watch our DEI and Belonging Basics online course. The 45-minute course simplifies diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging concepts broken up into short 2-4 minute videos to make it easy to digest.
Email us to request a facilitated workshop to help your team develop individual DEI “why” statements.