At our most recent member conference, Driving D&I Through Metrics and Accountability, we explored the idea of how accountability and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) go hand in hand. Accountability has always been critical, but it is more so than ever before.
Organizations continue to make public commitments to address racism and diversify their workforces in light of COVID-19 business disruption and the Black Lives Matter movement. But in order to truly embed DEI into an organization’s culture, companies need meaningful metrics and the willingness (and courage) to use the data to hold leaders accountable for their diversity goals and results.
Transparency is essential to achieve significant change because without it, there can be no accountability. But it also requires a certain kind of leader to champion DEI while ensuring accountability.
Once a leader makes a public, personal commitment to diversity and inclusion business results, the alignment of the external and internal strategies is most critical. Authenticity is at risk, and it would be damaging for a leader to externally present a commitment to DEI that is not backed up by personal actions, as well as those of the organization.
To put it another way, a leader must “walk the talk” and be held accountable. Through intentional commitment, leaders are able to instill high levels of trust within their organizations, which garners the needed support from managers to create a culture of inclusion and belonging.
They take bold action to integrate DEI into their systems, people and processes to ensure it becomes second nature. And when done right, the collection, analysis and disclosure of data holds the promise of being a powerful lever for progress. But it takes a bold leader to put these wheels in motion.