It's Not Too Late to Start Your DE&I Journey

Two office workers smiling and enjoying themsleves

Amidst evolving discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), some firms are still figuring out how or whether to join in.

If an organization is a party, diversity is getting an invitation to the party, equity is ensuring easy access to the party or that everyone is treated fairly at the party and inclusion is being asked to dance or offered refreshments at the party.

But what if you haven't started planning the party?

Given the various shifts surrounding DE&I over the last several years, many companies hesitate to engage with or even discuss the topic.

After 2020, many organizations felt compelled to act on DE&I, creating a spike of related roles, only for many of these roles to be eliminated.

Ultimately, DE&I work persists. If you're new to DE&I, it's not too late to start your journey. Here are four things to keep in mind:

  1. Understand that DE&I is not just about race, ethnicity, gender or orientation. For example, inclusion is about ensuring all employees' voices are heard. This applies to all of us in one way or another, whether you are a parent, caretaker, a person who is neurodivergent, a member of the military or a military spouse.
  2. Discover where you are before you decide where to go. Data is key. Understanding demographics at all levels and locations, breaking down representation, hiring, promotion and termination trends by group and identifying different sentiments by analyzing employee opinion surveys by race, ethnicity and other factors, such as gender, veteran status, disability, LGBTQ+ identity and the intersection of each, are ways to figure out where you are.
  3. Focus on long-term change with small wins along the way. DE&I training, creating DE&I committees and employee resource groups (ERGs) and implementing DE&I measurements, such as tracking hires, promotions and terminations by demographics, can help you accomplish broader DE&I goals. They are not the end goal but measurable milestones along your journey.
  4. Know that everyone has a part in DE&I. One of the biggest challenges faced by DE&I leaders is that they are expected to create, lead and be responsible for an organization's DE&I practices and achievements when DE&I should be a partnership between all employees, from leadership to the front line. We all have work to do to ensure our coworkers are accepted for who they are.

Perhaps your organization doesn't yet have DE&I programs or policies. That's okay. You can still enjoy the benefits of a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. That is, it's not too late to start your journey.

Visit ADP's DE&I Resource Center