DEIB in the Workplace
written by: Cori A. Reed, LPC
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) are all becoming or have become buzzwords that we often hear thrown around when discussing company or agency culture. They’re becoming or are the in-terminology that differentiate quality employers from their counterparts. However, what is also important to remember is that they are also best practice. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging are valuable cornerstones of an organization, and can affect various areas of business and service provision. Let’s take a moment to delve into these terms.
Diversity is the most common term we hear. Diversity refers to the idea that each of us is different from each other and that is wonderful. Within our workplace we want to see a variety of people from varying cultures, ethnicities, religions, gender identities, values, and so on. We want our workplace culture to reflect society, and we want our clients to be able to see staff like them when they engage with us.
Equity is often talked about, but one of the most challenging for understanding. It is often mixed up with equality. Equity refers to someone’s ability to assess a situation and provide the support needed for all staff to receive similar outcomes or opportunities. “Equity recognizes each person has different circumstances and needs, and therefore different groups of people need different resources and opportunities allocated to them in order to thrive. Equality is giving everyone the exact same resources across the board, regardless of individuals’ or groups of people’s actual needs or opportunities/resources already provided to them.”1 This is similar to the idea of person-centered care.
Inclusion is defined as ensuring that all staff are valued and respected. It allows and inspires staff to be themselves. Inclusion also refers to making sure that individuals from historically excluded groups are included.
Belonging is the overarching goal. That each and every staff feels they belong, in the workplace. That staff feel heard, and supported. “When a workplace can consider itself a community, where people feel a sense of comfort, connection, and contribution, we see belonging in action.”2
At TrueNorth Wellness, we just unveiled our new DEIB statement, crafted by our Cultural Competency Committee. It is below. Similar to our agency’s mission, vision, and core values, an agency’s DEIB statement provides guidance to the direction the agency is going. It also affirms and reaffirms the agency’s commitment to topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, not just with our clients, but within our staff as well.
DEIB, similar to Trauma Informed Care, is a manner of operation and a goal for the agency, and all programs. It is not a singular statement that is made. It is used to guide the decisions that we make and to reaffirm our values. Therefore, our Cultural Competency Committee is currently working on plans for how to assess, implement, and monitor DEIB initiatives across all departments of the agency. This may include reinforcing and celebrating current initiatives already in place, or implementing new focus areas.
Watch for more information to come and check out our statement below!
At TrueNorth Wellness Services, our mission to inspire hope and healthy living through behavioral health and wellness services goes hand-in-hand with our desire to create an inclusive community which embraces diversity, celebrates differences, and appreciates each person’s unique background, identity and experience.
From the first moment clients, staff and the community connect with us – whether in person, on the phone or virtually – we want everyone to feel seen, safe and respected.
As such, we are committed to continued learning, empowering staff to embrace and evidence our values, and also to engage and invest in the communities we serve.
We see you. We hear you. We support you.
We stand with you.