Join

10 Strategies to Improve Equity in Your Organization

Header Image that reads, How can I improve equity in my organization?

Tips from Black and queer owned DEI consulting firm, Smith & Charles

Kicking off our Equity Lunch and Learn series earlier this year, Daphne Charles (she/her) & Tremaine Smith (he/him) gave a powerful presentation on improving equity in organizations.

The pair were mentee (Tremaine) and mentor (Daphne) in the Spring 2020 Out in Tech U Cohort. Following the spring cohort, they created Smith & Charles, a Black and queer owned diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting firm. They offer anti-racist and implicit bias diversity training to help employees understand and fight systemic discrimination.They also help companies analyze and improve every internal process in their recruitment methodology to attract talent from all backgrounds. Exactly all the things we love here at Out in Tech. 🌟 🌈

Here are their 10 strategies to improve equity in your organization:

1. Transparency

48% of employees believe that respect is the most essential factor for a culture of inclusion. (Quantum Workplace, 2018)

Benefits

  • Creates an employee/employer relationship based on mutual understanding and trust
  • Employees will feel empowered with the knowledge
  • Reduces the possibility of being “blindsided”

Do This

  • Publish annual diversity reports to highlight progress and areas of improvement
  • Standardize salaries across levels and share them within your organization

2. Mentorship & Sponsorship

Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more innovative. (Bersin, 2015)

Benefits

  • Garners an inclusive culture
  • Provides the ability for employees to have larger reach and impact
  • Opens the door for leadership opportunities

Do This

  • Company-wide mentorship program open to everyone
  • Dedicated committee aimed at improving the program and ensuring success

3. Standardized Performance & Promotion Process

78% of employees who responded to a Harvard Business Review (HBR) study said they work at organizations that lack diversity in leadership positions. (Harvard Business Review, 2013)

Benefits

  • Creates metrics of success for employees to measure their contribution
  • Allows employees to know there are growth opportunities within the organization. This improves retention and contributes to a healthy workplace culture

Do This

  • Highlight senior employees of diverse backgrounds
  • Check in with employees to let them know of opportunities for growth

4. Clearly Defined Role Levels & Expectations

Benefits

  • Provides underrepresented groups with a roadmap to career advancement and promotions
  • Allows employees to be proactive in terms of documenting impact

Do This

  • Internally present detailed role descriptions and clear objectives for each level
  • Templates for promotion process where employees can outline evidence of their impact

5. Pay Equity Audits

Benefits

  • Employees have higher confidence that they’re being treated fairly and receiving the same compensation for their work efforts
  • Proves organizational commitment to equity and inclusion

Do This

  • Hire an experienced DEI professional to analyze pay across similar roles and levels to identify areas of bias
  • Make required changes happen expeditiously after results are reported

6. Employee Resource Groups

Benefits

  • Creates space for employees to network with other people sharing similar identities/backgrounds
  • Addresses the ways inclusion can be better done in the workplace

Do This

  • Community specific programming
  • Opportunities and resources directed to these groups

7. Work with DEI Professionals

Benefits

  • Recognize organizational needs when it come to DEI initiatives
  • Emphasizes a workplace value of honesty and wanting to confront DEI issues

Do This

  • (Hire Smith & Charles)
  • Work with your employees to find an organization that will best address your DEI needs
  • Continually provide implicit bias trainings to employees especially to those in management positions

8. Empowering & Encouraging Speaking Out

Benefits

  • Workplaces which encourage brave spaces get better employee satisfaction
  • Creates a better work culture

Do This

  • Organizations should hold open forums where the focus is on hearing and amplifying employee voices
  • Having an ombudsperson that employees can share their experiences anonymously without fear of retaliation

9. Improved Interview Frameworks

Benefits

  • Casts a wider net for the qualified talent you’re seeking out
  • Improves Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Do This

  • Collaborate with other organizations to create pipelines
  • Include black and brown professionals as part of interview process

10. Stop saying what you “can’t” do and start practicing what you “can.”

Benefits

  • Reaffirms company commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Do This

  • Attend more events on DEI
  • Educate yourself
  • Stop thinking that structures have to be one way and recognize that you can change it

We certainly found these practical tips helpful and hope you do to. Currently Daphne and Tremaine are working on a platform to highlight underrepresented voices and provide a way for people to understand the reality of DEI at certain organization. If you are interested in learning more about this, email them at info@smithandcharles.com or check for updates on the Out in Tech Slack.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *