Skip to main content

Key takeaways:

  • Connecting DEI initiatives to your stakeholders goals and highlighting personal benefits builds credibility. Transparency and consistent communication ensure employees understand the wide-ranging benefits of DEI.
  • By using a “people, process, and product” framework, you can integrate DEI efforts into all business operations and secure long-term investment for sustainable growth in your strategy.

Crafting a company culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) helps foster innovation and strengthens the fabric of an organization. However, a significant challenge many DEI leaders face going into 2024 is securing organizational buy-in and highlighting the relevance of DEI to all stakeholders.

During a recent DEI Board panel discussion on 2024 planning, our Board Members shared insights on cultivating credibility and showcasing DEI’s value at the world’s largest companies.

Let’s take an in-depth look at how senior leaders are showcasing the benefits of their initiatives across their companies.

Connect Your DEI Efforts to What Executives Want to Accomplish

During the panel, Ashley Watson, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Danfoss, discussed how you can build credibility by tailoring your DEI initiatives to each stakeholder’s goals in your company. She noted this starts by answering, “What’s in it for them?”

Ashley explained how it’s critical to first understand how DEI affects all employees, and then connect your efforts to what executives want to accomplish.

Along with creating a personal tie in, Ashley said transparency and consistent communication ensure all decision makers understand the direct and indirect value of investing into DEI.

“Whether it’s driving the bottom line, improving employee morale, creating safe spaces, or fostering a sense of community through our ERGs, we ensure our stakeholders understand the value they gain from DEI,” Ashley said.

“We ensure our stakeholders understand the value they gain from DEI.”

– Ashley Watson, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Danfoss

She added that you can build upon the success of your initial efforts by empowering senior leaders to take on active roles in driving organizational change.

“Now we can lay down that plan of how we’re going to put that interest into action,” Ashley said. “This is how you can be an influencer. This is how you can be a champion. This is how you can be a game changer.”

Process, People, and Product: A Framework for Credible, Sustainable DEI Success

In parallel, Jim Chan, Global DEIB and Talent Strategy Manager at Prologis, addressed DEI credibility through his preferred ‘process, people, product’ framework.

1. People

The “people” aspect involves identifying stakeholders, champions, activators, and sponsors while building trust and setting clear expectations.

Central to this step is creating transparency across all levels in the organization and ensuring expectations are clear and shared.

“Part of the journey means we share progress,” Jim said. “But part of the journey means we also share setbacks. We’re transparent and consistent, like Ashley mentioned, in ensuring that we have the people brought along in this journey.”

2. Process

In this step, Jim said he focuses on establishing consistency through trust-building and embedding diversity and inclusion efforts into their natural systems.

One example he shared was the importance of incorporating culture and talent metrics into regular business reviews, alongside traditional business metrics.

“This is as simple as quarterly steering committee meetings,” Jim said. “It could also be a calendar of events. It’s clear expectations. It’s making sure that we have a clear process to have folks involved and engaged with this type of work.”

“It’s making sure that we have a clear process to have folks involved and engaged with this type of work.”

– Jim Chan, Global DEIB and Talent Strategy Manager at Prologis

He explained that this integration demonstrates an organizational commitment to DEI, making it a vital part of the business operations.

3. Product

And “product” pertains to the results and showcasing small successes to demonstrate engagement and impact, even if ultimate outcomes may take time to achieve. 

Jim discussed that this involves showcasing the tangible outcomes of DEI actions. He shared that understanding that DEI is a long-term investment is essential, and showcasing smaller milestones of progress can bolster belief in the end goal.

This framework guides the approach to initiatives and credibility-building at Prologis.

Peer Insights Can Help Guide Your Strategy

During the panel, Ashley Watson and Jim Chan shared more insights on building and maintaining credibility in DEI initiatives and what you should plan for going into 2024.

By highlighting how DEI benefits everyone in your company, utilizing consistent communication, and establishing structural integration, your efforts can evolve to become a critical component in your organizational culture.

As you prepare for 2024, reflecting on these insights and placing them at the core of your strategy can create an effective framework in the ever-evolving landscape of DEI.

And if you lead DEI at a large company, you can get even more insights from your peers in the DEI Board. Our members meet weekly to strategize their top priorities and benchmark their initiatives for future success.

Interested in learning more?

As a leader, your mission is important. We’re here to help you win.

Apply to Join