Against a backdrop of world events and increased regulatory interest, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)teams are feeling the pressure more than ever, andare often “victims of their own success”.Not only do they diagnose organisational issues and identify improvement opportunities, they then create and run interventions.At the same time, they continue to diagnose issues, and develop and implement solutions, thus creating a significant body of work, which can be seen as exclusively theirs.
Typically small in nature, many D&I teams are seeking ways to expand their reach while maintaining momentum and managing costs. Here are three ways to scale the impact ofyour D&Iworkwithout having to increase your budget or your headcount.
1. Put the work where the work belongs
The unique contribution that D&I practitioners can make is to help others to learn – not just about D&I topics, but also about work needed to develop a diverse and inclusive organisation.Need an inclusive hiring training for managers?Could the Recruitment team develop and deliver it with your input?Looking to streamline workflows for your employee resource groups (ERGs)?Could theCommunications team develop templates for them to advertise their events and share their successes?Trying to build D&I into the mind-set of managers?Could the Learning and Developmentteam identify an existing management programme and adjust it to suit?
2. Bring passionate allies into the inner circle
Where people have a particular passion for D&I and are able to contribute to the agenda as part of their role, look for ways to bring them more into the work by including them in meetings and training, or extending invitations to conferences and events. It will enable them to learn and understand the work of D&I in a deeper way, and in doing so, identify more opportunities to actively contribute.Colleagues across your organisation care about D&I and want to help - make space for them to share the work.
3. Protect the priority of the work
Even in well-resourced D&I teams, it can seem that much happens through the work of volunteers – be it ERG leaders, D&I committees, or the aforementioned allies.Look for ways to have D&I formally aligned to the work of key functions.Having dedicated points of contacts or liaisons in functions such as Training and Development, Procurement and People Analytics can create formal alignment across departmental objectives, which helps to protect the priority of the work – it becomes part of each teams’ deliverables and allows those who are supporting D&I to be formally recognised for their contribution.
"The unique contribution that D&I practitioners can make is to help others to learn not just about D&I topics, but also about work needed to develop a diverse and inclusive organisation"
Manyregional D&I leaders share the experience of being asked to implement global policies, processes and programmes that made little sense locally.The gift of regionally based colleagues is their ability to enhance global offerings by making them resonate locally.Colleagues who work in teams other than D&I similarly enhance our work.They bring the knowledge and experience of both their field of expertise and their function, and can be the difference between an overloaded D&I team that is trying to do everything, and one which leads cross functionally to deliver comprehensive, sustainable solutions.