How L&D Leaders are Adapting D&I Efforts

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Have you looked around lately? We’re in a people crisis. In response to widespread calls for social justice throughout the country amidst a global pandemic wreaking havoc on our mental health (anything else?), many companies are taking a more people-centric approach and have newly committed to creating initiatives and openly discussing diversity and inclusion in the new remote workplace.

Some companies have made public declarations: in a note from Moody’s CEO and Leadership, Moody’s has made a $1 million commitment over the next five years to promote equal justice and advancement of the Black community.

Other companies are taking smaller but mighty approaches to begin or further the D&I conversation in today’s new reality.

In this article, Linda Devonish-Mills, CMA, CPA, CAE, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), and DK Bartley, Chief Diversity Officer at Moody’s Corporation share their insight into how their companies are taking charge of D&I efforts among the pandemic and unrest.

Creating Opportunities for Inclusion

How can companies stay committed to inclusion during challenging economic times and moments of crisis?

Inclusion starts with communication.

“Leadership should create a safe space for meaningful conversation and posit the organization as a place where Black people and people of color can feel supported” – CLO Media.

Wharton management professor Stephanie Creary says, “Grounding these conversations in evidence and good intentions is better than not talking about race at all.”

RELATED READING: How to Begin Talking About Race in the Workplace

IMA has always considered itself as an inclusive company, Linda said, but are taking it a few steps further to continue innovating and evolving the conversation:

  • IMA is now encouraging employees to take diversity training to ensure the highest level of inclusivity
  • For the first time ever, IMA held its global Town Hall at 8 p.m. to accommodate staff and members in different countries
  • They’ve expanded their offerings of free courses to members, created new trial memberships to assist different members, and developed a Jump-Start Kit to educate and guide organizations through D&I implementation. This kit includes their top 10 rules of engagement, key questions to ask before embarking on a D&I initiative, and KPIs/metrics that can be used to measure D&I efforts.
  • IMA even assessed their own progress and identified areas of improvement by using a D&I assessment tool from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

On a different scale, along with their $1M commitment to promote equal justice and advancement of the Black community, DK shared that Moody’s also donated $100,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a non-profit providing education on racial and economic injustice.

“Through our Diversity & Inclusion team and their employee-led Black Inclusion Group, Moody’s will identify additional opportunities and ways to support racial justice organizations, including pro bono and employee activities,” DK said.

Leveraging Relationships with Strategic Partners (Both Internally and Externally)

This pandemic has played a major part on Moody’s D&I efforts–especially with their internal Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). “Our ERGS have allowed us to effectively focus on work/life balance, by sponsoring programs that have allowed us to be very effective in our employees adjusting to the new normal of working from home five days a week,” DK said.

Externally at IMA, they’ve been working with ASAE on their Power of A Awards which showcase how associations are leveraging their unique resources to solve problems, advance industry or professional performance, kick-start innovation and improve conditions around the world. This year, for the first time, ASAE has added another category to recognize D&I initiatives and how companies are trying to diversify product lines.

RELATED READING: Why Partnerships are Essential to Advancing Diversity & inclusion

How is your company adapting work life to be more inclusive for employees? We’d love to chat further and share your best practices!

Imagery: "School diversity many hands held together" by Wonder woman0731 is licensed under CC BY 2.0