Case Study

Co-Creating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Vision Statement Supports Culture of Belonging

Client

An S&P 500 global industrial technology company with 7,000+ employees

What We Did

Partnered with the client on an in-depth, highly inclusive  process to co-create  their DEI Vision Statement with employees globally

Outcome

A vision statement and corresponding visual identity that genuinely resonates with their employees around the world, aligns to company strategy, and supports a more inclusive culture 

Global Team Aligns on Messaging and Visual Identity to Reflect Commitment to DEI

SITUATION

Shortly after launch, a global S&P 500 client reached out for our support in articulating their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) vision statement, and embedding it into their organizational culture and processes. 

Having already crafted DEI strategic pillars, a robust global network of employee resource groups (ERGs), and a DEI Board and Council, the team sought our partnership to create an overarching, authentic, and unique DEI vision statement that would resonate globally while driving business strategy. They wanted to make a bold statement about what they believe and stand for that would inspire internal and external audiences alike.

WHAT WE DID

We conducted an in-depth background materials review, and connected with 85+ global employees (on every continent!) through focus groups and engagement sessions to gather input to ensure we captured employees’ voices, reactions, and lived experiences. We met with the organization’s ERG leaders, DEI Board and Council, leadership team, and key stakeholders across the company to solicit input on the connection between DEI efforts and strategic success, as well as the real-world implications and benefits associated with leading DEI efforts in a diverse, global organization.   

Over the course of this iterative process, we developed key themes that resulted in a highly resonant DEI vision statement, tagline, and in-depth narrative. The team landed on the phrase “I belong here” — a direct employee quote from the engagement sessions that continued to resonate with employees around the world — to represent the organization’s commitment to a culture of belonging. Our in-house Visual Communications team partnered with the client to develop visual assets to bring their vision statement and corresponding visual identity to life — for their internal team, website, social channels, and employer brand.

We also partnered with the client to embed their DEI vision into the mindset and behaviors of the organization’s leaders and employees. Our engagement strategy included launching the DEI Vision Statement to all employees at the annual Leadership Conference as a part of the CEO’s opening remarks, presentations from DEI Council Leadership sharing personal stories and the courage it takes to be an inclusive leader, and internal and external social media content. Over the coming weeks and months, we further activated this strategy through various resources and channels, including a framework on allyship and inclusion, one-pagers with tips on how to put inclusive values into action, a one pager on how to be a more inclusive leader and build diverse teams, and videos featuring ERG leaders sharing what the “I Belong Here” statement means for them and their journey at the company.

OUTCOME 

The DEI vision statement and accompanying visuals resonate with and inspire the global team, giving them a tangible way to drive and align their DEI efforts. We’re continuing to partner with the client on a strategic plan to ensure their vision for DEI is deeply embedded into their company culture, including creating an “Inclusive” core competency that defines these behaviors for employees at all levels. Through all of these efforts, building a culture where every employee can say, “I belong here” is a clear expectation for employees and leaders alike.

KEY LEARNINGS ON CRAFTING DEI VISION STATEMENTS

  • Clearly solicit and integrate the voice of your employees, holding their lived employee experience in mind, and ensuring that the output really feels like “them.”
  • Craft something easy to remember and translatable across languages and regions.
  • Ensure it can be operationalized so that it shows up in the company’s culture, programs, and processes.
  • Note that everyone sees DEI through their own lens, so test assumptions on as many areas of the employee population as possible.

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