Pub. 11 2020 Issue 4

Pub. 11 2020 I Issue 4 Winter 11 West Virginia Banker knowing those who are supportive is critical to the program’s long-term success. Third, take note of the organization’s current statistics and consider a culture survey. Measure the number of women and diverse stakeholders in leadership at each location or branch and each department. Identify where there are gaps in the representation of diverse stakeholders. Set the baseline and re-measure periodically. Let your employees know you are do- ing this. Doing so proves to them that the organization values diversity and equity. Talk to employees and ask them how they feel about their work and whether they feel valued and includ- ed in the organization’s success. Do not wait for an employee’s exit interview to find out what the employee thinks. Asking the workforce for input is a simple way to build inclusion. Fourth, audit the organization’s existing policies and adopt modifications or new policies that promote DEI. Do you have an anti-harassment policy, and is it broad enough? What is your parental leave policy? Allow for remote and flexible work options. As part of your ongoing culture survey, evaluate whether these policies are applied fairly and consistently and look for negative stigma associated with them. Consider adopting a comprehensive DEI plan and more discrete annual action plans. Set a budget for DEI programming. These efforts further demonstrate the organization’s commitment to DEI. Finally, educate all stakeholders about the organization’s DEI program, starting with orientation, and include regular reminders in the form of DEI updates, learning opportunities, Ashley Hardesty Odell serves as the Diversity Partner at regional law firm Bowles Rice. Practicing from the firm’s Morgantown office, her work focuses on employment law and first-party/extra-contractual insurance defense. A 2019 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and Chair of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity Working Group, she regularly counsels organizations and clients on DEI in the workplace. Contact Ashley at 304-285-2522 or . and celebrations of DEI related events. Educate all stakehold- ers on implicit bias and how it impacts everyone’s decision making and judgment. Require implicit bias training for supervisors, recruiters, and anyone responsible for compen- sation decisions. Cultivate awareness of events like Martin Luther King, Jr. ’ s Day of Service, Equal Pay Day, Juneteenth, Pride Month, and Disability Awareness Month. Ensure your marketing department is thoughtful about incorporating and highlighting diversity and diverse stakeholders in internal and external communications. Keep the conversation going — DEI is a long game. Again, the ways to incorporate and build DEI into the work- place are wide-ranging. This article outlines some foundation- al ideas for developing DEI. But there is no single, static DEI program that will work in every organization. DEI programs will (and should) vary from organization to organization. They will (and should) evolve. They will (and should) transform the industry and business community, all for the better. 