Diversity North Group is a collaboration of professionals with deep, science-based expertise in strategy, DEI applications, data collection and analysis, and management for People and Culture (HR). We reject "cookie cutter" approaches and will build a solution, with you, for your organization, that accounts for where you are right now, and what your goals are prospectively. Contact us to discuss how any of the projects below, or a custom project, can become your next step.
Assessment & Strategy
Diversity North's social science team will design an expert data collection and analysis plan so you can viably assess your DEI position. An archival review, interviews, focus groups, listening and dialogue sessions, and an organization-wide survey are options to learn about the beliefs and experiences of your key stakeholders (e.g., staff, leadership, board, customers/clients/visitors). Good data leads to strategy making on key, selected goals including decisions regarding metrics, milestones, and needed resources.
DEI and the Employee Lifecycle
Diversity North will partner with you using an 8-stage employee life cycle model to identify how diversity, equity, and inclusion can be built into your organization’s attraction to exit employee engagement process. Our SHRM-certified staff can share practical, hands-on techniques to create candidate pools, structure performance reviews, and conduct exit interviews so that your organization has reliable data in hand for strong and targeted decision-making. The HR process is core to instituting a DEI-sensitive organizational culture.
Your DEI Lexicon
The words and expressions we use as individuals and organizations are of deep importance to our people and to wider audiences. Words can impart bias and cause exclusion to a high degree. They can also create community and give a widely drawn sense of direction and clarity while building camaraderie. Diversity North tailors lexicons for organizations by sector (e.g., biotech, arts and culture, financial services) giving your organization a common language for internal HR and policy setting, for communication with external audiences through PR and crisis management, and for leadership in speech-giving and social media outreach. For example, when should the word “Asian” be used, and when is it inappropriate? Words matter. Get it right.
Learning and Dialogue Sessions
Organizations committed to DEI values understand that getting their people together (employees, boards, international groups) on a regular basis to learn and dialogue on common issues for understanding is a meaningful investment in organizational culture. We have created over 50 learning modules and multiple session designs that we will tailor to your organization’s needs: no cookie cutters. We are experts in integrating learning, dialogue, data collection, and feedback using a range of methods—technological and otherwise—that we deliver online or in person. We have collective decades of experience in curriculum design and delivery. Sample topics include:
Inclusion/Exclusion: The Asian and Asian American Experience
Inclusion/Exclusion: The Black American Experience - A Dialogue on Racial Equity
Inclusion/Exclusion: What’s Age Got to Do With It?
Inclusion/Exclusion: The Spectrum on Ableness
Employee Engagement and Inter-Cultural Responsiveness
Board Best Practices for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Executive Team DEI Priorities Dialogue
Your Social Location and Unconscious Bias - Managing and Embracing Your Bumbling
Language Matters for Inclusive Organizations
Generative Interaction as the Basis of DEI in Organizations
Building Your Organization’s DEI Commitment Statement
Bystander Awareness and Allyship
We’ve All Got Something to Learn
Understanding Your DEI Data – How to Use It, Why and How to Protect It
Employee Exit Interviews
The process of collecting data on the employee experience from exiting staff is standard, but an organization is very unlikely to get reliable data if they conduct the interviews themselves. There’s too much on the line to be candid (for example, the need for future job references). Or, if the employee is disgruntled, a situation where really understanding what’s gone on can be crucial, it is too difficult to learn much within the emotions. Diversity North can design and deliver an episodic or standing exit interviewing protocol for you that integrates concerns with diversity, equity, and inclusion. Strong data leads to better decisions and a stronger reputation online and otherwise.
Building a DEI Commitment Statement
Like any mission-like statement, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commitment Statement can mean everything, or nothing. It’s how it’s done, who’s engaged, what structuring has been provided, and what final decision-making looks like. We often suggest the crafting of a DEI Commitment Statement as an early step in building out a DEI strategy. Your organization—and your collective people base—can learn a lot about what matters to people, and what their expectations, experiences, and aspirations are.
Crisis Management & Employee Coaching
Things don’t always go well in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion in practice. Diversity North can expertly consult with your leadership team on a crisis event unfolding internally or externally—either solo or in tandem with your PR team. We also provide one-on-one coaching for employees, board leaders, and senior leadership team members who have acted or spoken in a way that is unacceptable in terms of the organization’s equity and inclusion policy or legal requirements. The goal is to diffuse tension, educate as needed, and support your team in determining next steps.
Diversifying the Board
Gen X and Millennials now make up about 75% of the U.S. workforce with Gen Z coming on strong. Meanwhile, many Boards, particularly of non-profits, continue to be constituted by older Gen X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation. This creates a gulf in an understanding about, and a desire for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Diversity North is experienced in working with Boards to build the argument for, and design a path to accomplish, board diversity over time in a thoughtful and inclusive way. Boards can strengthen in their fiduciary duty to understand and guide their organizations around DEI, values that younger employees generally consider essential.
Integrating DEI into Your Employee Handbook
In our experience, 60-75% of the policies in an Employee Handbook need application of a DEI lens to get them right. Some are generally acknowledged, but in need of modern twists, e.g., parental leave, while others like vacation policy or dependent benefits might not be so obvious. We can review or guide a restructuring of your Employee Handbook with a DEI lens. If you’ve left your Handbook for too long without revision, now’s the time!
Building a Diversity Profile of Your Organization
There’s more to know about your employee base than EEOC requirements require. How can you build a diverse and inclusive group (employees or Board) if you don’t know who makes up your existing team? We are proficient in survey design for creating a custom Diversity Profile of your organization—determining key diversity dimensions that matter, and how to collect that data sensitively and knowledgeably on an annual basis. Build from good data: allow your people to self-identify for meaningful results that are actionable.
Racial Equity Audit
Diversity North Group takes its anti-racism commitment as a core principle in all that we do and many organizations seek to do the same. We perform, with deep client engagement, racial equity audits that illuminate issues to be addressed so that progress can be made. We are committed to centering the people who have been and are being harmed—to understand their perspectives on the right steps to build racial equity, and to integrate intersectionality, to recognize that multiple diversity dimensions intersect in meaningful ways. Undergoing a racial equity audit will support your organization in identifying short and longer-term efforts to be more anti-racist.
BIPOC Listening Sessions
For data gathering, and to provide internal, collegial support, our dialogue leaders can provide BIPOC listening sessions for your staff. These have been used as outreach and connection following crisis incidents internal or external to the organization, as data gathering opportunities for racial equity advancement, and as ERG-style structured opportunities for professional gathering.
Women’s Leadership and Gender Bias
Identifying and addressing gender bias in the workforce continues to be a priority in our culture and workforce. We offer practical support and program design in mentoring, allyship, bias incident coaching, pay equity studies, performance review, and other organizational practices that can move your organizational toward gender equity. Let's talk.
Interviews, Surveys, and Focus Groups to Determine Employee, Board, and/or Senior Leadership
A third-party method to gather data from folks exiting (employees, board members, etc.), members of departments in crisis, new and existing teams, or your middle managers will boost your ability to deliver efforts that attract, retain, and engage staff. 40% of the U.S. workforce is now made up of people under 35 who care deeply about the work environment and DEI.
Developing a Playbook for DEI Action
Our expertise in strategy is professional and academic. We’ve embraced the idea of a “DEI Playbook” over a “DEI Strategy” to focus on early wins and mid-range objectives, and to provide an easier means to integrate your emergent DEI commitments into your overall organizational strategic plan more smoothly. We focus on defining clear goals, tactics, metrics, milestones, responsible leaders, and resources required. The Playbook accounts for not only development of the plan but for the initial and follow-up process whereby the responsible team reconciles their performance with their goals over time.