Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a crucial component of an inclusive workplace environment and corporate culture, both during Black History Month and throughout the year, and it must start with education and intention from the top down
As Black History Month begins tomorrow in the United States and Canada, many organizations will commit or recommit to internal DEI efforts and employee resource groups (ERGs), share inspirational and notable stories of Black excellence, and contribute to Black-led causes and initiatives to demonstrate support for the Black community. These are commendable short-term actions, says global HR research and advisory firm McLean & Company, but long-term impact, both internally and externally, requires intentional education and commitment from senior leadership and organizational leaders year-round.
“Every member of an organization is responsible for DEI, but senior leadership and executive members need to lead by example,” says Cinnamon Clark, practice lead, DEI Services, at McLean & Company. “Leadership must be fully engaged in the education process of the organization’s employees and committed to ongoing efforts to foster an environment that models an inclusive workplace. Cultivating diversity long-term requires leadership buy-in – without it, DEI initiatives run the risk of falling short of their goals or becoming performative.”
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As one of the world’s leading HR research and advisory firms, McLean & Company works with clients across the globe, many of whom seek to implement forward-looking DEI policies and initiatives within their organizations. However, before execution must come education, intentional planning, and strategy building.
“HR plays a significant, powerful role in leading the way for organizational culture change,” says Karen Mann, vice president of HR Research, Learning Solutions, and Advisory Services at McLean & Company. “Challenging pre-existing norms and serving as a guide for the DEI journey is integral to HR’s function within an organization. Creating a culture that is authentically inclusive, leverages diversity, prioritizes equity, and fosters a sense of belonging helps an organization strengthen its ability to attract and retain talent in an already challenging labor market. Shifting workplace culture doesn’t happen overnight, so there is no better time than the present to make DEI an intentional organizational priority.”
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To support organizational and HR leaders seeking both to learn and to educate employees about DEI during Black History Month, McLean & Company will be sharing research-backed resources throughout February. These timely resources can be accessed via social media and through the firm’s member newsletters, which will focus on key steps and elements of DEI in the workplace.
To kick off the initiative, McLean & Company is proud to share its publicly available blueprint Create a People-First Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy. Members can also enjoy two targeted training resources, How to Be an Ally and Build Trust as a Leader.
The firm emphasizes that DEI is a continuous, never-ending journey of intentional and committed learning that requires organizations to prioritize what truly matters to employees belonging to historically marginalized groups in order to build better workplaces. Through data-backed industry resources, McLean & Company aims to empower organizations to shape a workplace where everyone thrives.
McLean & Company provides its members with various levels of support designed to meet organizations’ unique HR needs, including DIY toolkits, guided implementations, workshops, and dedicated consulting.
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