The Role of DEI in driving social impact

In today's corporate landscape, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become more than buzzwords - they're powerful building blocks of a future where every employee feels valued and empowered to thrive. Not only that, but DEI efforts are also propelling a ton of social impact.

In a recent episode of the Social Impact Show, host Amy had an inspiring conversation with Katherine Longhi, a leading diversity and inclusion consultant. Katherine has guided many global brands through their DEI journeys, sparking meaningful discussions on how to create learning, growth and impact opportunities for all. This post dives into the heart of Amy and Katherine’s conversation, providing actionable insights for social impact professionals who want to drive inclusive change.


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Read what we discussed:

Defining diversity, equity, and inclusion

Katherine defines DEI as humans treating humans like humans, creating a workplace where everyone holds equal value. Diversity is about acknowledging and appreciating differences, while equity involves creating systems and processes that allow diversity to flourish. Inclusion, often the most challenging aspect, is the culture change that creates space for everyone and allows organizations to tap into the full potential of their diverse workforce.

Measuring the success of DEI initiatives

Here’s something to think about: DEI should not be seen as an “extra”or a nice-to-have. It’s a key part of hitting business goals, so that’s how we should be measuring it. Katherine says it’s not just about ticking boxes or keeping score of our differences. It’s about seeing the real difference DEI makes on our ability to move us forward together. 

The role of employee resource groups

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) play a crucial role in fostering connection among employees based on shared experiences. They serve as a catalyst for broader organizational change and can influence policy. Katherine encourages organizations to view ERGs as mini businesses, with clear objectives, plans, and teams.

Navigating DEI in the remote work era

The shift to remote or hybrid work has brought new challenges and opportunities for DEI. Katherine believes technology has been a boon for ERGs, enabling them to become more engaging and inclusive. It’s essential for organizations to adapt their DEI strategies for the virtual environment, leveraging technology to maintain (or even advance) community and inclusion.

In conclusion, the conversation with Katherine Longhi really spotlighted how important a good DEI strategy is in driving social impact and shaping the kind of future we all want to work in.  When a company  truly embraces diversity, make equity a priority, and champion inclusion, they’re building a culture where every employee feels valued and plays a part in the organization’s shared success.