Editor’s note: DE&I

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THE US presidential inauguration in January introduced the first female, first black and first Asian-American vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris. A momentous moment in history and for the diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) movement globally.

In the wise words of long-time DE&I educator and activist Vernā Myers, “Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” And equity, in my view, is about fairness.

It’s one thing for business leaders to embrace DE&I, but how do they integrate it into their teams to form part of the company culture? One way is leading by example and filtering DE&I throughout an organization with clear and consistent communication.

One of the challenges companies face when it comes to DE&I is that individuals may have different mindsets and personal values to the business. While this is diversity in itself, it’s important to have one voice and stance when it comes to corporate communication. When a CEO is invested in DE&I, how is it instilled in a team? The answer: strategic communication.

But communication isn’t the answer to it all. As with many industries, public relations and communications fall short when it comes to DE&I. For a profession that is tasked with forming and relaying company messaging around DE&I, there is an element of ensuring we practice what we preach.

For companies that do get it right internally, how do they let the world know they are serious about DE&I and not just concerned with token gestures or optics? That there is substance over style? Not only business leaders, but companies as a whole need to do what they say they are doing. DE&I should be a real and genuine part of a company and reflected in its brand, workforce, products and services, and in the way a team regards, treats and communicates with one another internally and with other stakeholders externally. 

I hope our Spring 2021 issue of Strategic resonates with you and that you enjoy reading it.  

Until Summer 2021, take care. 

Best regards,