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I noticed that my work doesn’t have a DEI committee, and I wanted to try to get something started. How can I go about this successfully? Elaine Varelas advises

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) initiatives are not only important for organizations to have, but they are also the right thing to do. Elaine Varelas advises on how to best start DEIB initiatives while keeping in mind that it should be a continuous and ongoing process.

Ask the Job Doc.

Q: My organization doesn’t have a DEI committee or initiatives and I think it’s important that we do something and at least generate awareness of the importance of DEI. How can I bring this up and get my company on board?

A: Seeing the need for your organization to have DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) initiatives is of great value to your firm. You don’t mention what your role at the company is, and that will have an impact on who you want to start these conversations with.

DEIB is not a one-day training program, but a cultural imperative for leadership to embrace. Countless studies have shown that organizations are more successful and more profitable when there is a diverse population in leadership and throughout the organization.


What’s the history of any kind of new initiatives that are welcomed successfully? Do they have to come from leadership, or are grassroots efforts welcomed? Has your organization done any kind of DEIB training or development work in the past?

Understanding the history of your organization will be helpful. Are there obstacles or are people just oblivious? Bringing new ideas to an organization should always come with the outcome in mind, and why this would be a good thing to do. A very prominent Boston-based leader in human resources who initiated a controversial (at the time – and still) process was asked by the CEO, “Why are we doing this?” In response, they said “It’s the right thing to do for the business, and it’s the right thing to do.”

This should not be controversial, and it is the right thing to do. There are many ways to start. The first step should be finding like-minded people who would like to help gather some thoughts about what you have in mind, and perhaps research what other organizations have done successfully. There is a great deal of research available and plenty in current literature.  Forbes has a great article about ways to help your DEI initiatives: 6 Ways To Help Your DEI Initiatives Drive Greater Impact.


However, human resources is where most of these efforts start. Having a conversation with the HR leader about what you’d like to see brought to the organization, and that you and others have the energy to support this initiative, can have a great impact.

HR might start with a committee or offering training about unconscious bias. They may look at a year-long program, or a hiring practice audit. HR has to get the support of executive leadership, as well as the resources to impact company culture. You can read, research, and continue to provide opportunities for the company to grow through a wealth of materials available on how to have a positive impact. But don’t let the organization stop at one event. This should be a continuous effort on your company’s part and not simply a single training or one-day workshop.

Inclusivity and diversity are critical to a successful business. Study after study has proven that the more diverse a company culture is, the better it performs. Whether you are just starting out or if you have a DEIB leader, continue to invest and educate. It is the right thing for the business, and it is the right thing to do.


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