West Michigan employers are recognizing the importance in diversifying their workforce to meet current and future talent needs, understand business’s evolving consumer bases, and establish new markets. As a result, many companies are creating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officer positions or delegating this important responsibility to their human resource leaders.
Various publications exist documenting the business case as well as research findings that demonstrate positive correlations between a diverse workforce and an organizations overall performance outcome. However, very few publications exist documenting the most important competencies of a successful DEI officer.
An Innovative New Project
Talent 2025 has partnered with the Talent Innovation Network of West Michigan (TalNet) on a Diversity and Inclusion Framework research project. This project will organize and document the essential roles and responsibilities of D&I leaders, detailing what they need to know and be able to do to be effective in their roles. The research component has two parts and began with a regional leading practice scan. The second part of the research project involves utilizing a human-centered design approach to conduct a series of interviews with highly regarded D&I officers representing various industry sectors from companies small, medium, and large across the region. A draft list of nationally recognized leading practices will also be created. The top competencies will be published in a guidebook that will be available in December of 2020.
Informed by Regional Leaders
The TalNet D&I framework will expand on the existing regional D&I efforts. It will be guided by an advisory committee comprised of West Michigan senior D&I officers and human resource leaders representing the business community, education sector, and government. The project is designed to be collaborative and inclusive so that the results are a valuable resource for leaders across all communities in West Michigan.