Session: Meaningful Impact: Making the Case for DEI Programs
I spend a lot of time and energy promoting psychological safety and diversity to business audiences, and I work to execute programs that achieve equity and inclusion in meaningful ways. For those people who don’t have the perspective that I do, or who only ever see the performative programs run in some organizations, I think it’s fair to lay out the case for why a well-run DEI program should be a key part of every organization’s strategic objectives. I want to answer the question: “Why do we take it for granted that this work should be done in a professional environment?”
I’ll start by talking about the first principles: why should this work be done? Then I’ll speak about effective diversity work in a professional context, both what it is and what it is not. From that I will take time to address the most pointed criticisms leveled at the work from both the leftmost and rightmost arms of the political spectrum - to establish that the value in this work is outside of any political ideology or affiliation. I’ll conclude by talking about what you need to do if you want to avoid the pitfalls that lead to performative programs, and set your organization up for sustainable success.
- There is a case for DEI work, from both an ethical and business perspective, that should be lined out for leaders engaged in the work
- DEI programs do not automatically have meaningful impact; they require a specific kind of activity and structure
- DEI programs do not belong to either end of the political ideology spectrum. They are another realization of stakeholder capitalism.
- Key guiding principles that will help guide your DEI program to success and meaningful impact.
Sabrina is a Senior Product Manager in Morningstar’s Enterprise Data Platform team, where she focuses on delivering data through innovative technology solutions. She has led leadership training for managers, with emphasis on creating psychological safety and inspiring innovation. Sabrina is also the President of the Americas chapter of Morningstar’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group and served as the Lead of DEI for Morningstar Canada for the last 6 years. She has an MA from McMaster University, and joined Morningstar in 2011.