Often organizations are left wondering where to start on their diversity and inclusion initiatives. There are many activities that can help celebrate and embrace people’s differences but having a clear mission statement that aligns with the organization allows you to start permeating diversity and inclusion into all aspects of the company culture.
At a high level, a mission statement is a summary of the aims and values of a company. It helps provide an aspirational guiding light towards which the organization is moving.
If your organization doesn’t have a mission statement for diversity and inclusion, you should establish one as a first step. It’s important to understand what your goals and values are around diversity and inclusion. Mission statements can be simple and short, or more involved, but having an easy to remember lead into your statement will help it take hold. To give some context, here are examples of prominent company’s mission statements around diversity and inclusion:
Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. – Microsoft
Uniqueness is powerful. Be yourself. We like it that way. – T-Mobile
Different together. – Apple
Build For Everyone – Google
Advancing Opportunity for All – Facebook
When establishing a mission statement, think about your team’s values around diversity and inclusion. It’s great to get team members involved to give feedback as well. Does your team think that different perspectives and backgrounds create better product, better workplace environments, and better organizational performance? Is your team more focused on the company establishing a strong sense of belonging? Is your company more focused on diversifying leadership and upward mobility? How does this impact your customers, vendors, and brand? All these things may be interesting to your organization, but if there are areas of focus that align well with the company’s overall mission, the mission statement will have more authenticity. We believe it’s also important that your mission statement conveys a sense of unity so that all team members feel a sense of belonging.
After establishing your mission statement, focus on an initial action plan, initial communication, and visibility to launch your D&I initiative into the organization.
Initial steps help to make meaningful change and demonstrate your commitment beyond making a statement to the company. I can’t stress enough how these initial steps establish that you’re taking the matter seriously. There are several key things to consider:
- Establish metrics and goals based on your diversity data. What are you’re going to doing and where you’re going to put more effort? Be careful when establishing goals ensure they align with employment law.
- Consider establishing a portal and making your diversity and inclusion visible on your website. Tools like Diversity Window can make this process affordable.
- Create an initial communication plan for your team to establish your new mission statement and the initial steps you’re communicating as an organization. This can also include physical materials around the workplace.
- Consider forming a Diversity and Inclusion Committee and rolling out Employee Resource Groups.
- Consider adding your mission statement to all your job descriptions and including material to establish your diversity and inclusion values during the onboarding process.
- Consider training management staff as part of this process to help them navigate questions and concerns around diversity and inclusion
- Consider a part-time Diversity Officer to help with these initiatives
- The prominent area on your website for people to learn more about your diversity initiatives should feed into your recruitment pipeline to attract more candidates that care about diversity or have diverse backgrounds.
- Take a serious look at your diversity and inclusion data if available and see if there is an opportunity to make a meaningful move in the organization. Whether that is a diverse promotion that is overdue or establishing the D&I committee.
More and more data is coming out on how candidates care about a company’s stance on D&I and how companies with strong diversity and inclusion are outperforming other companies in the marketplace. These initiatives not only help your teams’ sense of belonging, but helps your company grow.
Navigating diversity and inclusion matters can be stressful and there is a lot of fear of the unknown for business owners and managers. Consider consulting a D&I consultant or chat with us at Diversity Window for a free consultation and evaluate our platform to help small and mid-market companies with D&I initiatives.