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DEI: Make the commitment

DEI: Make the commitment

Jen GilbertQ. What is DEI and how should my business communicate about it?  

A. Large companies have been focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for decades, but in recent years, smaller businesses are learning the value of doing so, as well.  

Diversity is about the full range of human differences and similarities. These include personal dimensions like ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age and physical ability. But it can also include things like parental or family status, location and education.  

Equity is about seeking fairness and providing everyone with equal opportunity to succeed. It is different from equality in that different people may require different things to be successful. 

Inclusion is about engaging a diverse population across the wide range of dimensions and welcoming individuals to feel value, thrive and bring their whole selves to work. 

DEI matters to your business. First, the demographics of the U.S. population are shifting. The 2020 census shows people of color now comprise more than 40% of the population. If you haven’t already noticed a corresponding shift in the makeup of your customers, patients and employees, you likely will soon. Second, diversity improves a company’s financial performance by improving innovation, growth, decision-making, customer experience and employee engagement.  

Making a commitment to work on DEI is the first step. You can work a DEI statement into your company’s mission, vision and values, or you can craft a standalone DEI statement. You can also develop an employer value proposition that incorporates DEI. If you don’t know where to start, enlist professional help. Marketing partners like Moxie are experts in talking about allyship.   

When it comes to implementing policies and DEI programs, training and HR organizations are great resources. The key to authenticity is not only “talking the talk,” but also “walking the walk.” 

Jen Gilbert is a senior copywriter at Moxie (a division of VGM Group) and a leader of VGM Group’s DEI Committee. You can reach her at [email protected]

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