Be authentic while communicating diversity

How do you communicate your organization’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) strategy in an authentic way? Instead of using standard DEI statements, get to the heart and soul of your organization’s commitment to DEI. Provide a truthful account of where you are and where you want to be. You need to communicate at two levels within the organization: the organizational and at the personal, human level.

Here are some tips to communicate your DEI initiatives honestly and with full transparency:

1. Stay true to your brand values

Adhere to your brand guidelines. Let the look and feel convey consistency, truth and transparency. Messages must be clear and cohesive.

2. Be specific and intentional

Every message should have a clear purpose and identity. DEI information is raw, boring and incomprehensible with acronyms and hard words like implicit bias, micro-aggression etc. Keep messages simple, interesting and transparent and easily understood by the rank and file employee. Use graphics with caution- do not clutter it with fancy KPIs and other metrics. At the end of the day, this is a human endeavor and none of us will ever be perfect.

3. Bring people together

Clear DEI communications can bring people together, engage them and emphasize two-way communications. Think of question & answer sessions, coffee meetings, DEI huddles, book clubs and vulnerability sessions where you get the chance to expose your biases.

4. Holistic

DEI communications must inform audiences about short and long-term goals and values of the company. Tie your message to company values, aspirations and where you want to be in meeting your DEI goals.

5. Integrate

The best DEI communications happen when internal, external communications, public relations, marketing, human resources and the DEI department work together in developing and disseminating messaging around DEI. Different perspectives add value in creating clear, crisp and effective communications.


Here’s an interesting blog from Deloitte on this topic.

Global Corporate Gifts Get a Definition

If you are a recipient of  a corporate gift from a Fortune 2000 company at the global level, read the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) guidelines.  CECP’s “The Global Guide to What Counts,” for the first time defines eligible charitable donations across borders. International tax professionals at Deloitte rigorously examined tax laws and related conventions of 17 countries to find out what makes up a charitable gift.

They concluded that any recipient of a corporate charitable gift must meet the following criteria:

  1. The recipient must be formally organized, meaning it should be recognized as a legal entity in the country where it is headquartered. Individuals and ad hoc groups that lack structure are ineligible.
  2. The recipient must exist for a charitable purpose, meaning charity should be its primary purpose. The Guide excludes political parties, business and professional associations, unions and religious entities, except those that fund charitable activities that fall under CECP guidelines.
  3. The recipient must never distribute profits, meaning it should reinvest in achieving the organization’s mission.

The Guide addresses a uniform definition of what constitutes a corporate charitable gift. The yardsticks are similar to those proposed by large Foundations in the United States. However, a standardized check list for charitable entities seeking global corporate gifts is very useful. It creates a level playing field, sort of United Nations for recipients seeking charitable corporate gifts across borders.

The Global Guide tactically avoids religion, politics, labor unions, associations and chambers of commerce. Some of these indulge in corrupt practices, especially in developing countries. However, it offers broad flexibility in defining a recipient of a charitable gift and gives a larger degree of latitude for charitable entities to compete for corporate gifts. Religious organizations that have far-reaching impact on grassroots philanthropy are given some opportunities to seek charitable gifts.  The complete guidelines are available here.