According to Hireology’s latest survey, 86% of employers haven’t made an effort to improve DEI in the past year.
Customers and candidates alike can tell when your organization makes a concerted effort to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into your business practices. All it takes is to look at who you have on staff and what the relationships between employees look like.
Don’t let DEI scare you, however. Think of it this way: DEI simply means doing the right thing by being more inclusive in how you hire, how your business operates, and what causes you choose to support.
Now, we’re not full of hot air when we talk about DEI; in fact, we take it very seriously here at Hireology. We believe wholeheartedly in practicing what we preach, but especially so when it comes to DEI. One’s race, the disabilities they may possess, or who they choose to love at the end of the day doesn’t determine whether or not they are valuable. These aspects are simply what makes them unique, and we believe that you should accept and embrace these differences, as DEI makes a world of difference.
To help support our employees and what they hold dear to their hearts, Hireology created a DEI Council composed of our employees and People team to autonomously lead the way for our DEI initiatives. The members of this council know what they want to support, so it takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out which endeavors would mean the most to our staff.
The best part? A DEI Council is easily a tactic your organization could use to better connect with staff and support your DEI efforts.
To give you a taste of the good that a DEI Council can do for your organization (and local community), we’ve compiled a recap of activities that ours have put together over the past year. Due to our business model, these campaigns are notably flexible, either in location or timing to accommodate our employees who work in-person, remotely, or on a hybrid basis.
Hireology’s DEI Council 2022 Activities
We started the year off warmly with Lasagna Love, an activity that anyone (remote or in-person staff) could participate in. For this event, participants simply made as many lasagnas as they wanted, with the intention of sharing this meal with those around them. Some participants chose to donate this home cooked food to those in their community, while others shared with their family and friends. This event is notable because it covers most of the U.S., along with some of Canada and Australia — plus anyone can participate!
Alliance for the Great Lakes Clean Up
For this activity, the DEI Council capitalized on our annual Connect event in the summer where employees who are able to Chicago for the latest in all things Hireology. This year, the DEI Council partnered with the Alliance for the Great Lakes for a friendly, team-building competition to clean up the shore. We split into teams of three with the goal of which could gather the most litter. Since this clean up was self-led, there was no need for oversight from the Alliance for the Great Lakes and can accommodate large groups. As an extra bonus: you can get outside and enjoy the fresh air!
The Night Ministry
The DEI Council chose to remain closer to home for this next initiative. The group partnered with The Night Ministry to put together sack lunches that would be distributed in the Chicagoland area via the Health Outreach Bus, Street Medicine Programs, and at outreach at their CTA. Employees could either come into the office to package these sack suppers with their fellow staff, or if they were local, could opt to make these lunches at their own home.
The webinars can (obviously) be held virtually and in-person, so everyone on the team can participate. In the past year, the DEI Council has brought in outside expertise on subjects such as disability inclusion in the workplace; they’ve also sought talent from within the organization to share their knowledge, most notably in our Non-Binary Lunch and Learn.
There’s still an unfortunate stigma surrounding therapy — and the DEI Council challenged that head-on this year. The group formed a panel of familiar faces so that employees could ask questions and receive advice on this tough subject. As with the educational webinars, this panel was held both virtually and in-person so it was available to all team members.
This wasn’t an event so much as a resource providing effort. The DEI Council diligently collected the numbers of national and local hotlines and provided them to the company so that anyone, anywhere could access the assistance they needed during dark times.
The DEI Council selected another opportunity for in-person participation for this kit making activity so that our remote folks could participate. During our annual Kickoff event in January, the group of volunteers packed kits for Deborah’s Place, an organization that assists homeless women in Chicago with finding housing and the support they need to heal and move on. While this event was focused specifically in Chicago, the DEI Council consciously chose a time that most staff would be on-location to support this important effort.
Out of the Darkness Walk
A smaller group of staff chose to participate in the Out of the Darkness Walk in Chicago a part of the fight to end suicide. There hundreds of these walks held across cities in the U.S. annually, however, as part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. At these events, coworkers, friends, and family walk beside each other in solidarity and in memory of those lost. These walks aim to encourage participants to open up about their ties to the cause and to help create an environment that is more intentional about mental health. At Hireology, we encouraged remote workers to see if a walk was being held near them and if so, to participate as a way to include them.
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways that your business can incorporate DEI initiatives to support your staff, no matter what causes they support. Whether you chose to host an educational session or gather a team to participate in a walk, the options are nearly endless. We hope that this insight into Hireology’s DEI Council has inspired you to take action in 2023 — and build your best team possible focused on empowering your people.