DEI: A booming cottage industry

  1. Median DEI manager’s salary: $103,693 (
  2. VP & Chief Diversity Officer (Major public university): $315,000. (Plus sign on bonus, car allowance, and here is the kicker:  2 complimentary season tickets for football, men’s basketball and men’s hockey!) 
  3. Pre-2020 online DEI courses: Hardly a dozen courses existed on Coursera or LinkedIn. Today, hundreds of courses, certificate programs, and micro-credentials are available.
  4. Highly paid DEI consultants: Make between $4,000 and $20,000 per presentation.
  5. Elitist writers: Previously unknown writers with no clue of where and how marginalized communities live now have must read books!
  6. A spin off industry: Sub-specialists in inclusion, implicit bias, micro-aggression and other DEI topics are thriving, not to talk of DEI start ups in San Francisco!
  7. State and federal government mandates on DEI: Mean long-term opportunities for specialists, consultants and academics.
  8. Lived experience experts: Some have ditched corporate careers to start their own boutique operations highlighting their lived experiences.
Sell when you can: you are not for all markets
William Shakespeare (1564-1616). "As you like it."

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.