20 June 2023 |

3 Steps to Crafting a Powerful DEIB Strategy


It’s one thing to say your organization supports diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. It’s another to build a strategy that brings that vision to life. 

While investing in this work is rewarding — and challenging — at any stage, a critical time to jump in is when your organization is at the early stages of development and growth.

The first step: Focus on the outcomes you want to achieve, then work backward to build out your action plan.

Array, a fintech company, implemented its DEIB Strategy three years after its establishment. Their Head of DEIB, Leena Kulkarni, is now sharing their tactics after six months of implimentation. They have three primary objectives that you can either follow or use as inspiration to create your own DEIB strategy.

#1 Collect and measure DEIB data.

Why? Organizations can only know where they’re going if they know where they’ve been.

Knowing where to invest time, support, and resources in any DEIB strategy is contingent upon having reliable data on your people and your processes. While seemingly straightforward, this step is critical, complex, and often overlooked.

Two of Array’s core operating principals are to work with a focused curiosity and take ownership. Collecting DEIB data can support ongoing action, transparency, thoughtful analysis, and accountability.

Actions Array took in the first six months:

Implemented voluntary self-ID campaigns. Ensured the data is set up to perform thoughtful, intersectional analyses.

As a next step, Array will…

Evaluate whether the data categories and variables accurately capture dimensions of diversity of our workforce population.

#2 Create ongoing opportunities for amplification, recognition, learning, and engagement.

Why? Keep your people at the center of this work.

As one of its primary DEIB initiatives, Array embarked on acknowledging monthly cultural and heritage celebrations to amplify Array’s dynamic and diverse community, increase learning, awareness, and empathy, and deepen the connection between our internal workforce and our external community of clients and customers.

Central to these efforts is ensuring that people feel celebrated without being burdened by the weight or responsibility of educating others about their identity or lived experience (unless that is something they choose).

Actions Array took in the first six moths:

Stood up monthly heritage and cultural celebrations, learning events, and employee spotlights based on the needs of Array’s diverse community.

As a next step, Array will…

Expand professional development opportunities.

Strengthen relationships with external partners seeking to empower and uplift various communities within your organization, particularly those who belong to historically excluded or underrepresented groups.

3. Ensure that DEIB is integral to — and not separate from — culture.

Why? A culture that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging benefits everyone.

Organizations at the beginning of their evolution and cultural development have the flexibility to build the culture they’d like to see. This practice can allow you to ensure that the principles of DEIB are foundational to the culture you hope to build.

Actions Array took in the first six months:

Embed principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging into a new cultural framework.

Array’s Cultural and DEIB Framework

As a next step, Array will…

Continuously collect workforce sentiment data to understand the impact of cultural initiatives

The road to ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist 

And the path towards where we want to go is long and winding. Marching towards positive change starts with understanding the value fintech organizations are striving for with our collective DEIB efforts, and ultimately taking the first step to creating the change we want to see.

Array is continuing to prioritize initiatives that are going to help them to grow, as well as retain great talent. Internally, they’re focused on building a rewarding and respectful culture and one where there are equitable systems for growth and development.

Progress isn’t passive. To move forward, organizations must be honest and reflective about their progress, keep their goals at the forefront, and maintain an active commitment to this work.

Proud to work with Leena Kulkarni on this report! I’d love it if you checked it out! 
Grab your copy here. I hope you use it to write stories, post on social media, discuss the steps over coffee with a colleague or peer, and advocate for DEIB strategies in your company to help people and profits.