In recent years, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace has transformed from a mere nice-to-have into a tangible competitive advantage. The evidence supporting DEI’s positive impact is becoming increasingly compelling, showing that diverse companies outperform homogenous teams by 35%, create more innovation revenue and 80% of employees prefer companies who actively foster inclusivity.
However, the industry faces setbacks. Reports show that diversity trainings often lead to worsening the conditions and on top of that people who are not directly affected from discrimination don’t feel included – which is absolutely necessary to create lasting change in an organization. DEI efforts are often approached with a ‘one size fits all’ mentality, which fails to account for the complexity of the matter and can sometimes backfire.
“Incorporating a Design Thinking lens in our work highlights that diversity and inclusion is not only an economic opportunity for organizations but also a responsibility we have as humans.”
As the core of Design Thinking is finding innovative solutions to complex and multi-layered problems, while also putting people first it seems to be a natural fit to deal with the aforementioned challenges DEI work faces. Through human-centered methods pain points, needs and desires of employees can be identified and aligned with business goals. Inclusion of the people who are directly affected, as well as allies, in solution development is key. However, it’s important to note that Design Thinking requires hard work and is more than just fun and games. Divergent thinking is an unusual practice for many people in business, therefore we’ve developed a framework to help you do it right.
Our human-centered DEI loop combines the best of both worlds and is a step by step guide that is individually adaptable for your DEI project, either on a personal or structural level. In 5 steps the framework gives you concrete action points to move from awareness to action to successfully master your DEI journey.
Our 3 core principles for human-centered DEI
- Innovative – redefining problems and their solutions
- Human-centered – make people feel seen and understood
- Uniqueness – each case is different