How Deloitte Ensures That ‘DEI Remains Interwoven in the Fabric of Our Organization'

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Kavitha Prabhakar. Photo courtesy of Deloitte.

Kavitha Prabhakar. Photo courtesy of Deloitte.

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June 20, 2024 at 10:50PM UTC

“DEI is at the heart of Deloitte’s shared values and strategy,” shares Kavitha Prabhakar, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) for Deloitte U.S. “We have enhanced our programs, trainings, and reporting to ensure DEI remains interwoven in the fabric of our organization. From recruiting to building inclusive leaders to increasing representation across the organization, Deloitte prioritizes DEI to advance change within and outside of our organization”

And DEI isn’t only a priority at an organization-wide level, everyone at Deloitte is empowered to help create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace where everyone can excel. “We are challenging our professionals individually to educate themselves and commit to being inclusive leaders,” explains Prabhakar.

This world-class and DEI strategy led by Prabhakar, who is committed to advancing equity and inclusion across all our businesses that create a unique impact on society.

Keep reading for an inspirational look at Prabhakar’s core role in the DEI efforts at Deloitte, how individuals are empowered to make a difference at the organization and how Deloitte strives to make DEI a priority in everything they do.

The multifaceted ways that individuals can help improve DEI at work.

In order to truly improve DEI in a professional setting, everyone should participate in helping to create a more inclusive culture. But how exactly can you make a change? For examples and inspiration, here are a few of the ways that Deloitte team members make an impact as individuals and help improve their workplace …

Join dedicated employee groups.

At Deloitte, one of their five shared values is to foster inclusion inside and outside the workplace; research has shown that an inclusive culture and diverse workforce delivers broader perspectives and enhanced problem‐solving outcomes that benefit their organization, clients, and communities.

One key part of creating such a workforce and culture is through individuals participating in Communities. These groups are an important opportunity for people to meaningfully connect, share their unique experiences, find their place, and discover ways they can thrive at work. At Deloitte, these groups are an important part of creating a culture of acceptance and belonging for many — and helping support employees’ ability to be their authentic selves at work. Deloitte has eight Communities (women, Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle Eastern/North African, LGBTQIA+, veterans, and people with disabilities), which aim to uplift different communities as well as provide a cohort-specific lens to the national DEI strategy. 

In addition to Communities, an important resource for individual action is Deloitte’s Inclusion Council. The Inclusion Council collaborates closely with professionals and allies within Deloitte’s Communities, and enables people from different businesses, backgrounds, identities, and experiences to connect on common passion and interests. Deloitte’s Inclusion Councils and Communities provide people opportunities to connect in ways meaningful to them through events and activities related to culture-building, education and awareness, and development. Regardless of location, all professionals have access to Community chapters and Inclusion Councils, with meetings and events scheduled throughout the year.

How companies can better prioritize DEI.

In addition to action by employees, many companies take big strides in prioritizing DEI — which is something that Deloitte does quite well. Here are a few organization-wide initiatives they have used to drive equitable outcomes. 

Be transparent about where you are and where you’re headed. 

Data and transparency are important ingredients in the process of improving your DEI efforts as an organization. Prabhakar is well aware of this and spearheaded Deloitte’s DEI Transparency Report. This report, “set a new standard for racial, ethnic, and gender data transparency and accountability,” she explains. 

The report offers transparency around Deloitte’s diversity numbers — and particularly around the hiring, retaining, and promoting of a diverse workforce. And the report doesn’t stop at transparency — Deloitte also introduced 13 data-driven, public-facing five-year goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Progress toward these goals is tracked and regularly reported on to ensure that the company will achieve their 2025 goals.

Listen to your employees. 

Making room for employees to comfortably and safely share their stories and experiences is also an important task for companies. And, “over the past two years, Deloitte has rolled out several listening programs to keep the DEI dialogue ongoing, and our most senior leaders remain actively involved by sharing their raw thoughts in intimate and authentic forums,” shares Prabhakar. “Encouraging brave dialogue around DEI remains incredibly important to our progress, which is why we rolled out a new video series in 2022.” 

This video series is called “DEI Chats: Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable” and consists of short videos from Deloitte leaders who provide their perspectives on thoughtful and challenging DEI questions.

Consider DEI from the very beginning.

DEI efforts need to begin before someone accepts an offer to join your team — including talent acquisition in your DEI plans is imperative. At Deloitte, they work with their talent acquisition team to connect with racially and ethnically diverse groups and help to bring unique perspectives and talent into their organization. 

To do so, Deloitte has formed strategic collaborations comprising of 35+ sourcing relationships and alliances that assist in identifying top talent. 

And their efforts don’t stop here either! Deloitte also looks to foster and build relationships with multiple Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and provides support through funding, scholarships, and strategic recruiting programs and events. For instance, two years ago, Deloitte recruited 160+ HBCU students, and their last fiscal year results show a 100+% increase in recruiting.

Deloitte also supports emerging talent and increases the diversity of their talent pool by hiring and upskilling candidates through hire‐to‐train and train‐to‐hire programs, which include their Encore Program Deloitte’s Neurodiversity@Deloitte program, the Career Opportunity Redefinition Exploration (CORE) Programs for transitioning service members and veterans, their Military Spouse Initiative, and the train-to-hire programs in collaboration with providers to help develop students’ technical and business skills.

Deloitte is committed to continuing to be an organization where DEI is a priority at all levels and stages! So, if you’re looking for an organization that really cares, consider joining Deloitte today!

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