The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Playbook:
A Strategy for Leaders to Integrate DEI into their Businesses
Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?
Diversity is an imperative for leadership. It is a direct driver to increase innovation within an organization and reduce risks in implementing technology solutions. Technology adoption cannot be controlled. Hence, the full life cycle of technology implementation from ideation to design to testing significantly benefits from the insights of a diverse team to help mitigate unintended biases as well as to fully represent the customer base by which the technology solution or service is designed to support. 1
25% Women make up only about 25% of technology workers, with even fewer Black (9%)and LatinX (7%) workers holding tech jobs. 2
35% Companies with more than 30% of women executives were more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10 to 30, and in turn these companies were more likely to outperform those with even fewer women executives, or none 3
How Can Leaders Take Action?
Organizations should ensure that there are diverse voices at the table when decisions are made and create a safe place for those voices to be heard. Diverse representation includes diversity of thought and experiences – in addition to racial, ethnicity, gender, age, and other factors of diversity.
“…we need to leverage the idea that, in the not-too-distant future, every job will be a tech job. And we need to think about how today’s Hispanic workforce and consumer base will drive economic growth, how the new mainstream Latino economy will drive not just consumption, but also innovation.”
HITEC | From Consumers to Makers: New Mainstream Latinos: Building the Tech- Empowered Future of America 4
Many executives recognize that DEI is critical to implementing technology and integrating into their business’ operational processes. Not only because it is profitable, but leaders recognize that it is simply the right thing to do. Yet, they need a playbook to show them how to effectively integrate DEI with proven outcomes.
Bain and Grads of Life have collaborated and identified proven DEI strategies that have been successfully implemented across industries. There are no quick solutions, and it is an evolving process. However, it is possible to integrate DEI with measurable results to assist leaders in making decisions that impact their businesses.
Their study includes a list of evidence-based DEI actions, based on their review of more than100 research sources, primarily academic literature, and informed by experiences supporting clients and engaging with DEI thought leaders. Bain and Grads of Life have identified recommended actions 5
for leaders to utilize and invest in to connect to their firms’ DEI Strategy and outcomes.
Figure 1: Proven DEI Strategies – Source: Bain & Company and Grads of Life 5
These proven DEI Strategies that Bain and Grads of Life have identified consistently leverage these three components that enable firms to utilize tactical steps:
Figure 2: DEI Actions for Executive Leaders – Source: Bain & Company and Grads of Life 5
Connect and Learn: Consider joining a local or national business coalition committed to adopting actions. One Ten, the Business Roundtable’s Multiple Pathways Initiative, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, and the New York Jobs CEO Council are all examples of corporate coalitions that Bain and Grads of Life have identified in their analysis that focused on taking action to increase equity through employment. Several engage in frequent peer learning, knowledge sharing, tool development, etc.
Assess and Invest: Explore which of the key actions that Bain and Grads of Life have outlined in their research analysis are applicable for your business. While these actions are defined to be universally applicable to companies of various sizes and industries, DEI looks differently at every company, and each company is at a different place on its DEI journey. Individual context remains essential to determine the best path forward approach for an organization. Leaders are encouraged to conduct a self-assessment of their business’ progress to determine which evidence-based actions should be applied to their organization. Bain and Grads of Life have provided the Opportunity Identifier, a tool that businesses can utilize to complete their self-assessments. 5
Measure and Report: Similar to most business strategies, DEI comes with continuous learning and improvement. There is still much to discover about the nuanced approaches to these actions that are most effective in driving results. Leaders should intentionally measure outcomes of intervention and report on those outcomes to staff, researchers, and the industry at large to expand the knowledge of applying. DEI practices across businesses. 5 Sample KPIs are available in the Gartner report 6 to assist businesses in identifying metrics and creating transparency in reporting.
Details for each strategy from their research analysis can be found here: Proven Actions to Advance Diversity,Equity, and Inclusion | Bain & Company 5 (Note: The most relevant strategies have been included for TechPACT stakeholders. Additional strategies are noted in the research paper for review.)
What Additional Organizations Are Successfully Implementing DEI?
In the wake of 2020, several additional firms intentionally prioritized implementing DEI processes and hiring talent as part of their workforce. More examples include:
• Google: Google aspires to create technologies that are as diverse as their workforce. Last summer, the company intentionally addressed racial inequity created from unintended bias through establishing a diverse team dedicated to making core products like Search and Maps more inclusive, expanding over 500+ product suggestions.
• Amazon: As an innovation thought leader in DEI, Amazon continues to make progress in building a more diverse workforce. Amazon tracks the representation of women and underrepresented communities because they know that diversity helps them build better teams that obsess over and better represent their global customer base. They have increased the number of women in tech roles and today women lead many of their biggest and most important businesses.
• Accenture, Deloitte, IBM: These firms leverage apprenticeships to provide under served groups greater access to innovative roles and opportunities to build skill sets.
Google Annual Diversity Report 7
What Organizations are Available to Partner with
Executive Leaders to Implement DEI Strategies?
Executives should not address DEI alone. Several organizations focus on partnering with firms to help them identify and source talent, integrate DEI processes, and provide DEI thought leadership to complement their operations.
• Grads of Life: https://gradsoflife | Collaborate with leading
employers to create inclusive talent strategies that deliver
both social impact and business benefits
• AnitaB: https://anitab.org/ | Focus on recruitment of women
• HITEC: https://hitecglobal.org/ | Targetrecruitment of LatinX
professionals in technology
• Information Technology Senior ManagementForum
(ITSMF): https://itsmfleaders.org/ITSMF| Focus on
recruitment of black and brown professionals in technology
• nPower: https://www.npower.org/ | Create pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities
• OneTen: https://oneten.org/ | Focus on hiring, promoting, and advancing one million Black individuals who do not have a four-year degree into family-sustaining careers over the next 10 years
• Per Scholas: https://perscholas.org/ | Provide skills training and access to employer networks to individuals often excluded from tech careers
• YearUp: https://www.yearup.org/ | Focus on closing the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education
Grads of Life partners with OneTen to support employers in adopting inclusive practices and building new talent pipelines. OneTen has a comprehensive PartnerDirectory that businesses can also leverage: https://oneten.org/coalition-partners/.
Thought Leaders in DEI: Research Analysis
- Amazon | Helping Customers Find and Buy From Small and Diverse Businesses
- Amazon | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Deloitte Insights | Innovating for All: How CIOs can leverage diverse teams to foster innovation and ethical tech
- Google | 2021 Annual Diversity Report
- HITEC | From Consumers to Makers: New Mainstream Latinos Building the Tech-Empowered Future of America
1Deloitte Insights | Innovating for All: How CIOs can leverage diverse teams to foster innovation and ethical tech
2Deloitte Insights | Recruiting and Retaining Women in Tech
3McKinsey | Diversity Wins
4HITEC | From Consumers to Makers: New Mainstream Latinos Building the Tech-Empowered Future of America
5Bain and Grads of Life: Proven Actions to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion |Bain & Company
6Gartner | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Metrics to Track and Report
7Google | 2021 Annual Diversity Report