Here’s Why You Need One
In June 2021, The Board of Child Care debuted an official Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion statement to our community which demonstrated our commitment to maintaining a safe and purpose-filled workplace. Our statement reads:
The Board of Child Care is committed to honoring differences, acknowledging uniqueness, and amplifying all voices. A culture of inclusivity empowers individuals at every level to enrich communities, one family at a time.
Our statement set the tone for how we expect our organizational culture to grow and develop and left our leaders asking the following questions:
- How do we bring this statement to life?
- How do we create buy-in from leadership to make this statement true?
- We have a statement, but what now?
The answer to all these questions is…Create an EDI Strategic Plan! A strategic equity, diversity, and inclusion plan can help an organization make the most of its diversity by creating an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable culture and work environment. Workplace diversity is the collective mixture of differences and similarities that include individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, life experiences, and behavior. While diversity creates the potential for greater innovation and productivity, inclusion is what enables organizations to realize the business benefits of this potential. Equity refers to fair treatment in access, opportunity, and advancement for individuals.
Creating strategic plans, program models, data models, etc., are all done to ensure that an organization is meeting its outcomes. The same effort must be put into ensuring that diversity and inclusion initiatives are being prioritized within an agency. The only way to bring about positive change and positively boost organizational culture is to assign ownership. Leaders in the diversity and inclusion industry all credit the success of an organization’s advancement in diversity and inclusion to the buy-in and involvement of leaders from every part of an organization. This work is personal, so it only makes sense that people get involved to push these initiatives forward. Look at the example that BCC provides in its EDI strategic plan.
Goal 1: Enhance Engagement & Intercultural Development
BCC provides accessible and culturally diverse learning experiences and resources for individuals of all backgrounds.
Objective 1.1 Expand professional development opportunities among staff to enhance their knowledge, skill, and capacity relating to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Benchmark and co-sponsor quarterly ALL Staff events, educational workshops, and activities to raise awareness on issues including (but not limited to) inclusion, diversity, equity, biases, and microaggressions.
Once you have identified your goals and objectives, it is imperative to focus in on who or what team of people can push towards the milestones. Remember, giving people ownership creates buy-in and goal achievement. This is also the perfect opportunity to ensure that there is representation in decision making.
Check out these tips for getting started on your EDI Strategic Plan:
- Align your EDI strategic plan with your organizations mission, values, and objectives.
- Verify commitment from the Top. The CEO, executive team, and board of directors must back the plan and have active involvement.
- Leveraging Employee Diversity. Make use of individuals who want to lend their skill and knowledge base in plan implementation.
- Strategic Alliances and Partnerships. Creating these formal relationships between two or more parties who remain independent while working together to achieve a specific goal or to enhance an element of the strategy.
- Measurement and Accountability. Identify tools that will be used to determine if EDI efforts have achieved the desired results and if not, who will be responsible for correcting methodology.
Creating your EDI statement is the first step in the right direction for your organization’s EDI journey. Now the real work begins, and your agency has been tasked with the hard work of making your EDI statement true which calls for progressive planning and actions.