DEI Leaders Connect Meeting Discusses Sustainable DEI Strategies and Progress Toward Creating a Diverse Workplace

The Dallas Regional Chamber’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leaders Connect group met virtually on Tuesday, June 8, to discuss implementing DEI strategies in the workplace and recruiting from diverse pools of talent. The session kicked off with a presentation from Dinaz Jiwani and Erin Eisner, Founders of work/REFINED, on developing a data-driven roadmap framework to drive meaningful outcomes. The group also discussed their organization’s progress, obstacles, and pressing needs in diversifying their workforce.

Here are a few takeaways from the session:

      • work/REFINED noted that a sustainable and successful DEI strategy needs to be tailored to the organization and no two frameworks look the same. They also noted the importance of leadership commitment and accountability in successful DEI strategies. DEI should align with and elevate the business needs of the organization, just like other business imperatives. Ultimately, the main goal is to weave DEI practices into all operations and become embedded as a standard in the overall organizational culture.
      • When discussing efforts to increase diversity, attendees shared that they are focused on addressing bias within the hiring team and talent acquisition staff and are leaning on employee resource groups (ERGs) to assist in sourcing from more diverse talent pools.
      • Attendees also noted the cultural challenges that hinder the success of employees from diverse groups. Emphasis was placed on ensuring that newly hired employees are welcomed in an environment that allows them to thrive.
      • The most pressing needs to advance diversity were budget, staffing, data, and tools. Respondents also expressed a need for external partnerships with colleges and community organizations to reach a talent pool from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
      • The DRC and Accenture shared that they are working on a Diversity in Tech Hiring Toolkit to address the gap in recruiting and retaining diverse tech talent. The toolkit will feature sourcing and hiring best practices from leading employers, highlight talent pipeline organizations and professional groups focused on tech workers, and catalog tools to help recruit from more diverse talent pools. The toolkit is planned to be completed in late summer.
      • The DRC also encouraged attendees to attend the inaugural State of DEI on June 22. During the event, Amy Liu, Vice President and Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program will discuss her report, “From Commitments to Action: How CEOs Can Advance Racial Equity in Their Regional Economies”. The event will also create intentional space for businesses and community partners to meet, engage, and strategize ways to advance equity in the Dallas Region. Learn more and register.