Big Promises, Small Rewards: Why Talking about DEI Doesn’t Work

The ability to follow through on a commitment is a desirable quality both in business and in life. There is a level of effort required, often unknown; a responsibility to ensure that something happens. When a commitment is made, both parties trust that the outcome will meet an expectation.  

We see organizations becoming increasingly transparent in their diversity and inclusion efforts. Sephora’s “We Belong to Something Beautiful” brand platformReitman’s “Diversity is the Fabric of Canada” and Mastercard True Name® Feature are just some examples of employers who are speaking publicly on their efforts to improve and spotlight diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the industries that they are a part of.  

Every year billions of dollars are invested on ERGs, external partnerships, recruitment and employer branding, learning and development – to name a few – with the goal of building a magnetic employer brand that attracts the best talent that aligns with the values of the business and drives its growth over time.  

These are big commitments; campaigns that are built on a DEI Value Proposition DVP; a set of promises made to inspire, engage and energize people to take action and embrace the DEI Value Proposition (DVP). But it goes beyond words; it requires meaningful action with clearly outlined goals and outcomes.  

Performative Diversity: Over-Promising, Under-Delivering 

Measurable results are a key component to managing the outcomes of your DEI initiatives. However, promises with unclear or unattainable goals leave people – especially the diverse or marginalized populations – feeling left behind, forgotten, or lied to. Campaigns and announcements become a façade; a promise made for the face value of the intention; not the results.  

Surface Inclusion: Doing the Bare Minimum 

As an organization falls into performative diversity, employees can begin to experience diversity fatigue and frustration, and the diverse talent groups may feel an intensified lack of belonging. It is clear that the organization is aware of the issues within the culture but unwilling to make continuous efforts to ensure that it helps the people it was intended to.  

When we look at Blu Ivy’s formula for a better DEIB strategy, a successful implementation goes beyond what the organization promises in words. It calls for dedicated awareness and involvement in the ongoing impacts and engagement that the strategy puts in place. It asks the organization to care about the impacts of its DEI efforts on an ongoing basis; to stand behind the promises that it made and take ownership of what still needs to be done – and potentially even acknowledging that mistakes were made.   

To learn more about how we can help you create a more effective employee experience for your organization, or for additional research insights or inquiries on how to build an award-winning employer brand, please contact Stacy Parker at sparker@bluivygroup.com 

About Us  

Blu Ivy Group is a global leader in employer branding, organizational culture, and recruitment marketing. We help organizations across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors build extraordinary employee experiences, magnetic employer brands and high-performance cultures.     

From C-Suite to Employer Brand and Talent Acquisition leadership, we partner with our clients to transform their organizations and design the most compelling workplaces of the future. 

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