What is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant?
The human resource departments of many organizations have complex roles and requirements to ensure proper business operation. Within the last few decades, those requirements have expanded to include a magnified focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Businesses that adapt their company culture to include this focus perform better than those that don’t, thanks to improved retention, higher levels of communication, and expanded profits. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has a booklet describing how diversity can benefit labor-strapped industries.
But improving trends can be a challenge. Only the largest enterprises have the resources to establish dedicated DEI specialists who manage the constant development of these vital business components. What about everyone else?
The solution is a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant. A DEI consultant is an expert who typically holds a bachelor’s degree but may also have a master’s degree. They have a talent for communication, collaboration, and understanding the importance of celebrating diversity.
In this article, you’ll learn all about DEI consultants, what they do, and how you can become one yourself!
Why DEI Consultants are Needed
The modern employee values diversity, equity, and inclusion more than previous generations making it a top deciding factor, along with advancement opportunities, salary, and benefits, when seeking employment. The desire to have a diverse workforce and inclusive workspace isn’t just an essential factor for hiring, but these initiatives benefit businesses by providing things like:
- Better communication – Diverse and inclusive teams don’t let personal hang-ups get in the way of effectively communicating with team members.
- Improved productivity – Feeling involved and accepted boosts pride in an individual’s work.
- Robust retention numbers – Team members who feel like leaders celebrate their personality are less likely to seek other employment.
- Higher candidate quality – Uncover hidden gems by removing systematic biases within the hiring process.
- Increased bottom-line profits – When all the benefits culminate into a higher profit margin, everybody wins.
While DEI responsibilities often reside with the HR department, a DEI consultant brings a new level of experience that many businesses can’t afford to keep on staff. A DEI consultant is beneficial because they offer a cost-effective method of elevating your DEI standing through a partnership with a third-party expert.
Regardless of your organization’s industry, size, needs, and goals, a DEI consultant can engage in inclusion training facilitation, leading seminars, designing training programs, or evaluating how inclusive workplace culture is.
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The Role of a DEI Consultant
The job duties of the diversity consultant role vary depending on the industry and could include a variety of functions within the HR department. Day-to-day operations include managing inclusion and diversity initiatives, project management tasks, leading cultural competency training, or communication logistics for organizational development.
A consultant will have an expert level of knowledge about diversity issues, comprehensive work experience with various stakeholders, and outstanding communication skills. They display a high level of energy for collaboration and team building, along with a healthy desire to boost employee engagement. That robust skill set can translate into related fields of responsibilities but typically include the following:
Event and Programming Organization
Organizations can implement large-scale changes through events, diversity training courses, certification programs, and inclusive environment projects. A DEI consultant will take charge of or train a diversity and inclusion manager in these multi-divisional presentations and training. They also frequently act as facilitators or moderators for these events, acting as the overseeing authority for proper execution.
Consultants can also engage a diverse community of speakers with a high level of education to speak to the organization and highlight the importance that diversity training has on the work environment. Many DEI consultants also design DEI programs and plans for organizations to improve their diversity and inclusion standings.
Companies are increasingly establishing dedicated communities to improve inclusion and equity in the workplace. These communities include committees that support sexual orientation and identity, ethnicity, cultural differences, those with disabilities, and veterans. A DEI consultant will help support committees by helping to secure resources, funding, and buy-in from business leaders.
An expert consultant will also help identify the specific needs of the represented community and help define what actions will help improve conditions. They’ll help committee representatives communicate those needs with decision-makers, so meetings are productive.
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A dedicated DEI specialist would respond to communications from employees regarding concerns, questions, or other issues that arise. Instead, a consultant might help train an HR professional on handling those types of inquiries and how to present them to others within the department or senior leaders of the organization.
DEI consultants can also help train employees on bringing complaints to the HR department while simultaneously working with professionals on creating a safer space by appointing a dedicated communicator. This communicator can mediate and resolve conflicts as well as act as a confidant or employee champion.
Manage Data and Analyze Reports
A consultant brings attention to the analytical part of human resource management. They show HR teams how to write, distribute, and analyze DEI reports, surveys, requests, or questionnaires. After obtaining data, DEI experts compile it and turn it into presentations for diversity officers, including C-suite level decision-makers.
Along with analyzing and creating reports, a consultant can assist in connecting DEI initiatives in innovation, retention, and employee satisfaction with company goals. Based on their strategic findings, they can recommend hiring strategies and success planning to improve company stats. This evaluation helps determine the success of the various diversity and inclusion programs throughout your organization.
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Become a Diversity Coach with Coach Diversity Institute
A DEI consultant provides an additional layer of expertise to your team. They’re incredibly knowledgeable about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and they leverage that knowledge to transform company cultures. With many business leaders recognizing the positive impact a DEI specialist brings to the table, it’s vital to know how best to partner with them.
The best diversity coaches participate in event organization, committee support, employee communication, and detailed analysis, engaging each activity from a place of inclusion and equity for every employee. To better position themselves for these demands, many enroll in professional diversity coach courses that train them to handle these stresses.
Coach Diversity Institute is an industry leader in certified diversity coaching courses, including accreditation from the International Coaching Federation. That accredited backing means every Coach Diversity Institute graduated diversity coach holds the gold standard in certifications. Get started today to make a difference in your organization and millions of others that are now making DEI a priority.