The Five Stages of DEI Maturity | Harvard Business Review

Leadership & Culture

This HBR article describes the five stages of an organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) journey. The five stages and their descriptions include: 1) Aware. DEI is new to my organization, and we are just becoming aware of its importance. 2) Compliant. DEI in my organization is focused on compliance with EEOC and other legal requirements. 3) Tactical. DEI has been connected to business initiatives and outcomes in pockets of the organization. 4) Integrated. DEI is part of everything we do as an organization; we have both internal and external efforts on DEI. 5) Sustainable. DEI efforts are best in class and remain strong over time through our efforts to continuously improve and evolve. According to the researchers, nearly a third of organizations are stuck in the compliant stage. The article includes questions (for each stage) that leadership teams can ask themselves to determine the best DEI actions to take. As a bonus resource, I am resharing this 63-page report by ADP Research Institute titled, Measuring the “I” in DEI. It provides a 12-item index (page 12) for measuring employees’ sentiment of inclusion via a Connection XPerience Score.