Writing your own Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy
Setting goals for diversity, equity and inclusion for your business or organisation helps to underpin your social procurement policy.
A strategy for diversity, equity and inclusion makes your plan clear to everyone in your organisation from managers to front-line staff.
Such a strategy can also show your commitments to potential business partners.
The ideal way to publish a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy is to have the full version for your business or organisation, and a summary version for external partners.
What should be in a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy?
Like all good strategies, a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy has a start and finish date. This gives a defined timeline for action, and at the end of each strategy period you can do a thorough review.
Your strategy should include three main parts.
- Vision: where you lay out your big-picture aims, and connect these to your overall business or organisational strategy. This is your chance to say, ‘we want our business to be…’
- Goals: where you state what you expect the organisation to achieve over the life of this strategy. Your goals should state the change you want, and include measurements of progress and success. The goals must connect to the vision.
- Actions: where you say what you expect your people to do. Actions are very practical, directing team members and managers alike. Actions must connect to the goals.
Tips for writing the three parts of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy
A vision can include:
- Why: give the reason for this strategy. It can relate to internal change in your organisation or business, external community needs or expectations, driving a competitive edge in your business sector. Think about where you operate, and who your clients are, as this can help shape your ‘why’. For example, local businesses in Cairns, Hobart, and Mt Gambier might be working with very different community needs.
- Current state: describe how things are at present in your organisation, and why this needs change.
- Future state: describe your business or organisation’s ideal future, after this strategy has been completed.
- State evidence for your vision. Use internal data and high-quality external data where you have it. The Australian Bureau of Statistics is a good place to begin.
- Describe the cultural and operational changes which are important.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are an important part of our community and our client base, but we are not yet doing enough to include and represent this part of our community in our organisation.
Currently, based on the preliminary 2021 Census-based estimated resident population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians, 3.8% of Australians are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, but in our organisation only 1% of our people are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Our vision is to represent the Australian community, so by 2026 we want 3.8% of our workforce to be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Our leadership team is currently 0.5% Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. By 2026 we aim for our leadership team to be 2.5%.
To do this we need to attract new workers, invest in skills and training, value their contribution, and create a safe, welcoming workplace where everyone can bring their whole selves to work.
We will take a social procurement approach to bring in new contractors and staff as vacancies arise.”
- What: lay out the concrete outcomes you expect of your organisation or business.
- You can break down the goals into steps, typically with a timeline. This helps your teams to see how you expect the work to go forward, and helps your organisation to plan progress reports.
“By June 2024 our workforce will have 1.8% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
By June 2025 our workforce will have 2.5% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with 1.5% in leadership”.
We wish to see our team offer more products and services that are suitable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait members of our community, and to see this community sector doing more business with our organisation.”
- How: lay out how you expect your team to operate to achieve the goals.
- Give concrete examples of actions you expect to see.
- State whether you want teams to come up with their own solutions, and how they go about doing this as part of the plan.
“For upcoming vacancies, our recruitment team will work with Supply Nation to source contractors and ongoing staff.”
“Our organisation will regularly meet and hold discussions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders to understand needs and hear how we can improve our business.”
“Our intern program will prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.”
For more tips on writing a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, contact our team of consultants at Jobsbank.