Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Strategies for Building an Inclusive Organization

Date and Time
Previously Recorded
February 15, 2024 1:00 PM
Webinar Length
On-demand Recording
30 days
CEU Amount
CEU Type
General Learning
Portia James, M.A., BCBA
Genius Operations
Webinar Description

This continuing education event focuses on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by addressing systemic racism and racial bias in the workplace. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of systemic racism and racial bias on access, trust, effective communication, and overall well-being.

They will learn about key areas for promoting diversity and inclusion, including hiring practices, promotion and advancement opportunities, performance evaluation, compensation and benefits, and complaint procedures. The event will also cover the process of conducting an audit to identify biases and discriminatory elements within organizations, involving steps such as reviewing current practices, engaging employees through surveys and focus groups, and evaluating representation and inclusion metrics. Attendees will be encouraged to hold themselves and their teams accountable for perpetuating emotional and mental violence toward people of color in the workplace. The event aims to provide actionable insights and strategies to foster an inclusive work environment and support the ongoing journey towards DEI.

Learning Objectives
  1. Understanding the impact of systemic racism and racial bias
  2. Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace
  3. Conducting an audit for systemic racism and racial bias
  4. Holding oneself and others accountable in promoting DEI

This presentation is worth 1.5 BACB CEU Learning Credits.

This presentation is 1.5 hours in duration.

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Webinar Summary

Effective DEI Strategies for Building an Inclusive Organization: Insights from Portia James

In the rapidly evolving workplace, the dialogue surrounding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) has transitioned from an ancillary concern to a central pillar of organizational strategy. Drawing from Portia James's critical insights in the "Strategies for Building an Inclusive Organization" webinar from the Motivity Mentor Series, this article will delve into the essence of DEI Strategies, highlighting their indispensable role in combating systemic racism and bias while cultivating a workplace where every employee feels valued and included.

The Critical Role of DEI Strategies in Modern Organizations

DEI extends beyond the surface-level engagement of recovery from discriminatory practices to the deep-rooted fostering of inclusion and alignment with organizational goals. With over $8 billion invested in DEI initiatives globally, and 41% allocated towards technological tools for inclusion training, it's clear that organizations are recognizing the importance of making DEI a central part of their operational and strategic ethos. But what drives this shift towards a more inclusive workplace?

At the heart of DEI lies the distinction between equity and equality. Equity, as opposed to equality, focuses on providing resources and opportunities based on individual needs, thereby nurturing an inclusive environment where every employee has access to what they need to succeed. Portia James poignantly states that "the main goal of inclusion is not fairness - it's belonging." This sentiment is exemplified by initiatives like Behavior Genius’ D.I.V.E, which prioritizes access to quality behavioral healthcare for all, demonstrating a commitment to inclusion through the hiring of neurodiverse individuals and fostering their professional development.

Implementing DEI Strategies for Organizational Inclusion

Creating an inclusive organization requires a multifaceted approach, focusing on several key areas:

  1. Recruitment and Onboarding: Making job descriptions accessible and utilizing diverse recruitment channels ensures a wider, more inclusive talent pool. Inclusive onboarding programs are crucial for making new hires feel welcome from day one.‍
  2. Talent Development and Training: Equitable learning opportunities and diverse training materials cater to the varied needs and backgrounds of employees, while mentorship programs foster a sense of belonging and growth.‍
  3. Workplace Communication: Accessible communication platforms and practices, along with multilingual resources, ensure everyone is heard and understood, irrespective of their linguistic background.‍
  4. Performance Reviews and Feedback: Objective criteria and regular feedback sessions promote fairness, while inclusive recognition programs celebrate diversity in achievements.‍
  5. Advancement Opportunities: Diversity in leadership and transparent promotion processes ensure that advancement opportunities are accessible to all, reflecting a true meritocracy.‍
  6. Inclusive Benefits: Comprehensive health benefits, family-friendly policies, and creative time-off policies address the diverse needs of the workforce, contributing to overall well-being.

From Diversity to Inclusion: The DEI Strategy Pathway

The journey from recognizing diversity to achieving true inclusion involves several steps: starting with diversity, moving through DEI initiatives and practices, to developing DEI strategies, and finally, fostering an environment of inclusion. Metrics play a crucial role in this process, with organizations encouraged to track diversity representation and the effectiveness of hiring and retention strategies through innovative and transparent data collection methods.

Implementing Inclusive Practices and Continuous Improvement

Inclusive recruitment and hiring, employee engagement, learning and development, pay equity, and supplier diversity are all critical components of a robust DEI strategy. However, as Portia James highlights, a significant step that many organizations miss is directly engaging with diverse groups to understand how to serve them better. This feedback loop is essential for continuous improvement and genuinely inclusive practices.

While February is a time for special recognition, the mission of DEI, particularly in addressing the needs and challenges faced by Black employees and other marginalized groups, is a year-round commitment.

DEI Strategies are not mere corporate buzzwords; they embody a commitment to social justice and the creation of an environment where everyone, regardless of background, feels a sense of belonging. As highlighted by Portia James's insights, embracing DEI Strategies requires continuous engagement, reflection, and action. By integrating these strategies, organizations can move beyond compliance to embody the true spirit of inclusion, offering every individual the chance to thrive.