In the face of a pandemic, economic downturn, heightened racial unrest and related social injustices, the leadership of a medium-size, Midwest-based technology company that specializes in hardware/software systems felt compelled to act. Their sense of urgency was further exacerbated by their employee engagement survey that hinted to some potential opportunities. In addition, their mostly homogenous (Caucasian) talent pool led to challenges with recruiting and retaining diverse employees. The opportunity was to help them move from being a “Midwest Nice” company that was comfortable with the status quo to one that could more readily embrace change and sit with the uncomfortableness of difficult conversations knowing that it would ultimately lead to a more robust approach to achieving greater diversity and inclusion. At the most basic level their team also needed to increase their literacy of diversity and work on refreshing their business strategy so that it could better leverage and support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
DILAN engaged in a robust discovery process that included a series of stakeholder interviews and an in-depth analytics review of secondary data from all business functions including HR, Finance, and Procurement. Our goal was to understand their current state and set a baseline for assessing progress in the five following areas: Diverse Workforce, Engaged and Inclusive Culture, Accountable Leadership, External Partnerships, and Market Visibility. Following a user-centered design approach, together, we reviewed the data, identified opportunities, identified actionable goals and agreed on a process and timeline.
We worked with our client to revamp their organization values and agreed on ways to better embed them in their leadership approach, daily processes and systems. We also facilitated a series of meetings to rework their organizational strategy so that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion could be embedded in their company’s enterprise level objectives and tactical approaches to achieving business goals. In addition, we architected a series of custom in-person and on-demand workshops that were rolled out to the entire enterprise. The goal of the workshops were to create a shared understanding of DEI as well as to establish a shared language that would enable them to have productive conversations around DEI. Lastly, in order to make the work sustainable, we worked together to create a new senior leadership role focused on championing DEI and ensuring accountability
“Every uncomfortable moment was worth it!”- VP of HR