Diversity Best Practices Steps

What are Diversity Best Practices?

Diversity Best Practices refer to the strategy, plans, and actions in implementing a diversity initiative.


diversity best practices

What are Top 10 High Impact Steps in Implementing Diversity Best Practices?

One of the most common approaches to rolling out a Diversity & Inclusion  program today is forming a diversity committee, implementing Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and providing diversity training (e.g., Unconscious Bias training). This a common sense approach to getting the initiative up and running given that other colleagues and acquaintances have likely done the same. You are simply following their lead.

The problem is that the diversity and inclusion profession has not been scrutinized as much as other professions, such as human resource management.  The practices and research data supporting the utility of their use are limited. This state of affairs requires turning to well-established professional practices such as organizational development, cultural psychology, and human resource management to glean insights into how to go about D&I work effectively.

After nearly 20 years of training diversity professionals, consulting, and writing about cultural competence, I have found that the following list offers a set of best practices that increases the likelihood of a successful initiative — at least to the degree that the steps are implemented strategically.

  1. Getting Leadership Diversity & Inclusion Commitment
  2. Getting Resource Commitment
  3. Relying on an Expert D&I Leader (or develop in-house talent)
  4. Developing a D&I Communication Plan
  5. Conducting an Inclusion Gap Analysis
  6. Developing a Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Plan Based on an Organizational Change Strategy
  7. Developing a detailed Balanced Diversity Scorecard
  8. Developing a Project Management Systems
  9. Rolling Out the Action Plan in Stages
  10. Measuring Success

The above list indicates that designing, developing, and implementing a high impact D&I initiative requires utilizing a strategic approach and putting systems in place to carry out the action plan. This presents a major challenge for D&I professionals who have not had the formal training needed to think strategically, design a data-driven strategic plan and deploy an action plan that measures results.


As the saying goes “You don’t know what you don’t know”. Getting educated and committing to continuous learning the hallmark of leadership. This may be more important for diversity professionals given that most of us harbor prejudice and diversity work tends to be political in nature, and filled with landlines.

Other Resources

Work/Life Diversity Practices Internationally

About the author: Billy Vaughn, PhD CDP is director of the Diversity Executive Leadership Institute and senior managing partner at Diversity Training University International (DTUI.com). He can be reached through the contact form below.

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