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Create a People-First Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy

Build a DEI sustainable strategy by focusing on real people’s experiences to uncover and address systemic inequities.

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is complex and heavily nuanced. This means that every DEI strategy needs to be based on the specific challenges of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
  • DEI is often siloed under HR, but everyone has a role to play as allies, leaders, and champions when it comes to creating an organization that has diverse groups of employees, is equitable, and is inclusive. However, it is not always clear how everyone participates in creating a diverse and inclusive organization.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a continuum – an ongoing journey of unlearning and learning the deeply rooted dogmas that guide the way organizations operate.
  • The DEI strategy is a mechanism through which systemic issues and the ingrained way things are done at organizations can be challenged and changed to build an inclusive and diverse workplace.
  • Creating a scaled and purposeful DEI strategy, upheld by strategic pillars, and customized DEI initiatives kick-starts the journey.

Impact and Result

  • Organizations must create a DEI strategy that is based on their specific organizational DEI challenges. Assess the current state of DEI through organizational data and focus groups, not based on current trends and fads in diversity, equity, and inclusion training.
  • With a DEI strategy project team, identify a clear purpose for DEI that is upheld by defined strategic pillars, carried out by specific DEI initiatives (e.g. inclusive leadership behavior training, implementing sponsorship programs, expanding campus recruitment strategies to more diverse schools), and overseen by a governance model.
  • Implement diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace with initiatives that support all parts of the employee lifecycle.

Create a People-First Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy

2. Determine the purpose of DEI

Define the overarching objective for DEI, determine strategic pillars, and identify goals and metrics.

3. Determine the governance model and select DEI initiatives

Assess DEI maturity and examine the employee lifecycle from a DEI lens to select initiatives to implement.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy

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How to complete this course:

Use these videos, along with the Project Blueprint deck above, to gain an understanding of the subject. Start with the Introduction, then move through each of the Course Modules. At the end of each Module, you will be required to complete a short test to demonstrate your understanding. You will complete this course when you have completed all of the course tests.

  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Learning Outcome

Learners will be able to define a four-step process for creating an effective diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace throughout the employee lifecycle and all areas of the organization.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Recognize the value of having a DEI Strategy.
  • Gather data to understand the current state of DEI in their organization.
  • Determine a tailored purpose for building an inclusive and diverse workplace.
  • Establish a governance model and select DEI initiatives.
  • Plan to launch the DEI strategy and set expectations for all employees.

Course Modules

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Create a People-First DEI Strategy - Introduction: Uncover and address systemic inequities and develop a strategy

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Create a People-First DEI Strategy - Module 1: Conduct a Current State Assessment

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Create a People-First DEI Strategy - Module 2: Determine the purpose of DEI

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Create a People-First DEI Strategy - Module 3: Determine the governance model and select DEI initiatives

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Create a People-First DEI Strategy - Module 4: Plan to launch the DEI strategy


About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Try Our Guided Implementations

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 7 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Conduct a current state assessment
  • Call #1 - Discuss the process to identify the DEI strategy project team and review the D&I assessment.
  • Call #2 - Plan how the organization will assess the current state by identifying data and conducting focus groups.

Guided Implementation #2 - Determine the purpose of DEI
  • Call #1 - Review SWOT analysis and draft overarching purpose of DEI.
  • Call #2 - Define the organization’s strategic pillars and determine how goals/metrics will be measured.

Guided Implementation #3 - Determine the governance model and select DEI initiatives
  • Call #1 - Review recommended governance model and discuss requirements.
  • Call #2 - Discuss and prioritize appropriate initiatives.

Guided Implementation #4 - Plan to launch the DEI strategy
  • Call #1 - Review the plan to execute on DEI.