This is a recommendation from UYD (Use Your Difference) on structuring a D&I Council.
What makes a diversity council effective?
The diversity council must be intimately linked to both the overall diversity initiative and to the overall organizational business strategy. They also must work well as a team and value the diverse perspectives represented in their membership. To ensure the diversity council is appropriately formed and guided, the following principles must be adhered to:
- Senior leadership must embrace and support the process
- Clear delineation of roles and responsibilities
- Thorough selection process to ensure the appropriate mix of skills
- Representative membership
- Effective teamwork skills
- Appropriate infrastructure
- Focus on trends and long-term change, not individual issues
- Diversity must be linked to other organizational initiatives
- Structured two-way communication with council
- Adherence to these principles greatly enhances the likelihood of a meaningful, successful diversity council.
Proposed Role of the D&I Council
The role of the D&I Council diversity council serves as an advisory body to help senior leadership understand the complexities and nuances associated with diversity success. Although senior leaders often make decisions based on the lens through which they see the world, that lens is often skewed due to a lack of diverse representation. A diversity council can serve as the leaders' eyes and ears to help all the organization's diverse stakeholders experience the value of diversity. An effective council is also a visible sign to the organization that senior leadership is sincere about its commitment to diversity success. The council can serve to suggest actions pertaining to diversity success, gain insights from the members of the organization on their perceptions of the diversity effort, and monitor progress of the diversity initiative. The council will frequently sponsor events that help to celebrate diversity and further educate the organization on the importance of diversity to the success of the organization.
- Volunteer Representative Membership
- Elected Diversity Council Officers
- Diversity Council Mission & Vision (Proposed by council, should include company wide-input, and leadership approval)
- Council Led Activities Calendar
- Allocated Budget
- Council Meeting Agendas
- Council Communication Manual (For Newsletters, Memos, Emails, Flyers & Events - Should include approval process directives)
- Develop strategies for:
- Proposing Continuous D&I Education Efforts
- Supporting recruiting & partnership events
- Reporting Metrics
Activities of the D&I Council
- Create an internal business case for diversity and set diversity expectations for seniormanagers
- Lead efforts in defining what Diversity and Inclusion means to Spring (with companywide employee input)
- Lead efforts in Diversity & Inclusion workshops
- Establish affinity and employee resource groups
- Institute required diversity trainings
- Develop a calendar for the 2017/2018 reflecting diversity related events and themes
- Work with HR to welcome potential new hires and refer potential candidates to therecruiting team
- Establish events that help celebrate diversity and further educate employees in the company on the importance of diversity to the success of the organization
- Work with leadership to formalize a process for diversity representation at the seniorlevel, and develop plans for establishing a mentoring program
The diversity council is not the sole owner of the process. All organizational stakeholders must play a role in diversity success. Senior leadership, managers, human resources, employees and all others designated to impact the organizational culture should have identified roles in the diversity journey. The members of the council must openly and honestly represent their viewpoints; however, they should keep the organizational agenda as top priority while serving on the diversity council.
To avoid pitfalls impacting diversity success, the council must realize their role is not to:
- Advocate for personal concerns related to issues of inclusion
- Substitute for the critical role leadership plays in the diversity/inclusion process
- Implement activities and programs independently
- Act as the sole owner of the diversity process
- Act as a "complaint body"
- Make policy
To help avoid possible pitfalls, new members and non-members should be encouraged to attend
meetings, and council membership should be rotated every 12 to 18 months to ensure that fresh viewpoints and ideas continue to flow as part of the council efforts.
Officers within the Diversity Council
- Ensures that the Diversity Council mission is executed.
- Leads the Diversity Council officer team.
- Sets meeting agenda and presides over Diversity Council meetings.
- Assists with special assignments as requested by the President.
- Performs the duties of the President in the absence of the President.
- Reviews all committee chair’s reports and activities.
- Maintains all Diversity Council records and ensures their accuracy. Performs all duties relating to meeting logistics, including conference calls.
- Sends out meeting reminders one week in advance, including distribution of the minutes of the prior meeting.
- Prepares and provides minutes of all Diversity Council meetings and conference calls.
- Maintains and preserves the history of the Diversity Council (publications, scrapbooks,
Election of Officers
- The officers shall be elected by members of the Diversity Council
- The officers shall serve a one-year term, and elected