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Inspire Others With Your DEI WHY
By Beth Ridley

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. Others will believe the company’s DEI intentions when you are transparent and authentic with sharing why DEI matters to you 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 outlook on DEI will help your why statement resonate because listeners connect with stories emotionally.
  • Provide tangible examples. Examples give credibility to your words. Describe behaviors at work that make you feel a sense of belonging. If your company doesn’t have a lot of visible diversity (e.g. race or gender), speak to hidden dimensions of diversity at work (e.g. life experiences, ideas, skills, communications styles, background, etc.).
  • Be authentic. Sharing your personal experiences 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 Thoughts
  • 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. Here’s how we can help:
  • Watch our DEI and Belonging Basics online course that simplifies diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging concepts in short 2-4 minute videos to make it easy to digest.
  • Contact us to request a facilitated workshop to help your team develop individual DEI “why” statements.
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