Enhancing DEI in our Nonprofit Enterprise

How can our board best advance our workplace environment and consumer experiences to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)?

It starts with an understanding of the scope and nature of our current state of DEI.

With this understanding of where we are today, we are more likely tomorrow to be better focused and proactive on investing in policies and activities that contribute to a positive culture that empowers and expands our opportunities for higher levels of performance, organizational success and vitality, well as workplace fairness and pride.

Please indicate the perspective you have when responding to these questions. All responses are confidential and will only be reported in aggregate by respondent type:

  • Member of the Board
  • Member of Management
  • Member of Staff

The concept of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI):

How clear is your understanding of what DEI means?

  • I am very confused about the meaning of DEI
  • I am somewhat confused about the meaning
  • I am in the middle
  • I somewhat understand DEI
  • I am very clear about DEI

How do you believe most people describe what DEI is?

(Open-ended question)

How much do you agree or disagree with this statement for this organization?

Everyone here is treated fairly regardless of race, gender, age, ethnic, background, sexual orientation, or other differences.

  • Very much disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat agree
  • Very much agree
  • I do not know

For this organization, how accurate are the following statements on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not at all accurate, and 5 is very accurate?

  • All people have an opportunity to succeed in this organization.
  • People here are managed as if they can always improve their talents and abilities.
  • I trust this organization to be fair to all employees.
  • If I raised a concern about discrimination, I am confident my employer would do what is right.
  • I feel like I belong here.
  • There are leaders here that I can relate to.
  • Senior leadership is prepared to effectively manage a culturally diverse workforce.
  • The people I work with treat each other with respect.
  • Workforce diversity is valued at our organization.
  • I am included in decisions that affect my work.

What could we do to improve diversity and inclusion in our organization?

(Open-ended question)

What additional feedback do you have on our organization’s diversity and inclusion?

(Open-ended question)

Value of board actions to encourage leadership for DEI?

On a scale of 1-5 where 1 is not at all valuable and 5 is very valuable, how do you rate the value of these possible actions for the leaders of this organization?

  • Train managers about the benefits of DEI to organizational success.
  • Educate leaders about the impact of their decision-making on DEI in the culture of this organization.
  • Invite in speakers or mentors on social and DEI issues for expert content and resources.
  • Launch a pulse survey about diversity and inclusion.
  • Hold a focus group with employees.
  • Hold a focus group with our clients/consumers/beneficiaries.
  • Use KPIs to hold leaders accountable for DEI results.
  • Include affected people—minority and majority, frontline employees and managers—in the design and assessment of the programs.

What other actions would be more useful than those listed above?

(Open-ended question)

Indicate the degree you believe that each of these groups are present in the workforce of our organization, where 1 is not very present and 5 is very much present and 6 I do not know:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • White

On a scale of 1-5 where 1 is not at all ready and 5 is very ready, how do you rate your personal readiness to enhance the DEI of this organization?

(Open-ended question)

The data is clear on the value of DEI in organizations: See for example these studies: (1) 2017 study from online decision-making platform Cloverpop found that diverse teams made better decisions 60% of the time. (2) A study in the journal Financial Management found that more diverse cultures enhance future innovation potential. This effect is even stronger in times of economic decline. (3) Boston Consulting Group found that increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to more and better innovation and improved financial performance. In fact, companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation. (4) A McKinsey report from 2018, delivering through diversity, reaffirms the positive connection between diversity and company financial performance. In 2014 they found that companies in the top quartile for executive team gender diversity were 15% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. In 2017 that number increased to 21%. (5) A recent study of S&P 500, companies from Great Place to Work found those with consistently inclusive workplaces earned an annualized return 4x larger than those without a focus on inclusion.


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