What we do
We co-create DEI strategy with our clients to create mid-range action plans that bolster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion for the entire organization. In many companies accountability for diversity initiatives fall on underrepresented groups which can create undue burden on the individuals most impacted by unconscious bias and inequity. In other organizations difficult conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion stay in closed conversations among leadership.
Truly inclusive companies understand that when all employees are accountable for the DEI journey there will be real progress. Embedding DEI practices and mindsets within the company culture is critical to making DEI work stick. All employees play a role in upholding culture and thus should be engaged when designing the DEI strategy.
DEI Strategic plan
A strong business case for designing a DEI strategy has already been made for various industries around the world. Our commitment is not to rehash the general research that exists but to actively work with your organization in creating a strategic plan specific to the needs of your workplace. Our comprehensive approach enables leadership at multiple levels and individual contributors to take bold action toward advancing DEI goals.
Through our strategic design process, we help companies to advance diversity through building a diverse workforce, generating a more inclusive environment in your organization, or aligning your business strategy with the latest insights in the diversity, equity, and inclusion world.
Our methodology for DEI strategy work uses inclusive process consultation and action-learning techniques. These two approaches allow us to demonstrate the behaviors of inclusive and equitable practice while guiding a diverse team to carry out the work.
We believe that while many of our challenges as humans are shared the solutions should be as diverse as we are. So, the Hyphens and Spaces team works within an organizations existing system and workflow to understand needs and opportunities, collaborate on identifying goals, and offer insights, resources, and education to enable team members to carry out the change work themselves. We offer high-touch interventions that exemplify co-creation.
Hyphens and Spaces supports in the short-term to build the capacity of the team to carry out the long-term work.
Comprehensive approaches to DEI Strategy includes:
Our inclusion and belonging assessments use both quantitative and qualitative data-gathering techniques including surveys, observations, focus groups, listening circles and interviews.
Experiences of inclusion can vary across leadership level and identity category. We delve beyond the surface of diversity to understand experiences across gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, race and ethnicity among other identity factors to help clarify disparate experiences.
The assessment uncovers the team’s experiences, perceptions of DEI, and DEI change readiness at your organization. The assessment provides the basis for action planning as it clarifies areas for development and prioritization.
DEI is an active process of creation. Designing a vision for the future should not only land with leadership, it must include the people who will be most impacted by the policies and initiatives.
That is why we work with staff at all levels when creating a diversity intervention, from the maintenance crew to the board chair – because everyone’s voice is valuable when improving inclusion in the workplace.
We know from experience that every DEI journey must keep inclusion and equity at the center of its practice. We use inclusive decision-making practices to co-create a vision for the future of diversity, equity and inclusion at your organization, set concrete goals to get there, then generate measures to mark success.
Our research-backed interventions include staff and stakeholder experience analysis; internal and external diversity, equity and inclusion programs; equitable HR protocols, inclusive communications plans and more.
We help companies develop these initiatives to function within the organization while advancing the culture. We do this by learning the culture through in-depth interviews and focus groups, turning staff meetings into workshops, surveying stakeholders and facilitating ideation sessions.
Often times diversity consulting efforts leave companies with high-level recommendations without insights on how to apply them. We take the time to outline concrete actions, KPIs and timelines to ensure that the DEI strategy we designed addresses the specific pain points in your workplace.
Process Equity Audit
Process audits are designed to take a deep dive in a selected area uncovering ways to increase diversity where appropriate, infuse equity and mitigate bias.
We first assess your processes using observation, interviews, self-assessment and document review. Then, we generate a report that includes not only recommendations but also our analysis and the rationale for analysis. This robust report becomes a teaching tool in itself.
We follow the report up with coaching calls for process owners to design an action plan for implementation. Subject areas for our processes equity audits include but are not limited to:
• Inclusive Branding
• Recruiting and Hiring
• Learning, Development and On-boarding
• Performance Management and Rewards
• Board Governance and Structure
Using action-learning principles we build capacity by scaffolding either a four to six-part series of strategy implementation sessions with action learning teams (task forces).
So that employees feel ownership over the progress made in the action stage we assemble a task forces with both individual contributors, leadership, and decision makers. This supports accountability. Developing a more diverse workforce requires diverse teams. We honor the diversity of the task force team by employing practices of equity in order to increase experiences of inclusion.
Under the guidance and coaching of a Senior Consultant, a core team of employees will learn while implementing the DEI initiatives, process changes and revisions born out of the audit or strategic action planning stage.
For teams with mature DEI organizational structures or those seeking ongoing support we offer the opportunity for a flexible partnership where we listen, advise and coach during key moments of transformation to give perspective and bolster existing plans.
Our process is designed to uncover nuances to ensure strategies work for you. We support in the short-term to build capacity for your team’s long-term work.
To learn more about our services and pricing, please fill out our 2 minute Services Overview Request Form. Upon completion you will receive an automatic response email with a link for you to download the PDF. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] and one of team members will be happy to help.