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Make DEI One of Your Priorities

Learn how to prioritize DEI at work to become more inclusive.

Brief Summary

Prioritizing DEI is a crucial pillar of inclusion motivation, which measures an employee's willingness to engage with the work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). It reflects how important DEI is to an individual and whether they prioritize making time for inclusive actions amidst competing concerns. Being inclusive requires us to turn off “auto-pilot” mode, slow down, and be more intentional in our workplace approach. A low prioritization of DEI can stem from various causes and can hinder the success of inclusion initiatives in an organisation. It is crucial to identify the impediments that are getting in the way of greater prioritization.

The most inclusive organizations ensure that every employee has a personal goal to become more inclusive. If you are in a managerial role, it is even more essential to demonstrate that you prioritize DEI; employees look at the behaviors role modeled, recognized and reward to determine their own priorities.


One of the main challenges to DEI prioritization is the existence of other competing priorities, which can make it difficult to allocate time and resources to DEI efforts. If we only plan to address DEI when there is time, we may never get to it.

If we don’t see a business benefit or aren’t held accountable, it won’t be a priority. Diversity fatigue, or lack of progress in the past, contributes to de-prioritization.

Limited knowledge or experience in DEI-related matters may lead to uncertainty about how to effectively contribute. If leaders are not communicating the priority of DEI in their actions, words, and priorities, there is a cascade effect.


You can start by educating yourself on DEI topics: read articles, attend webinars, or take courses to increase your knowledge and understanding of DEI and how inclusion challenges can lead to less effective teams and business outcomes. Every person needs to be incentivized to set aside time on their calendars for DEI-related activities, such as attending company-sponsored events. engaging in DEI discussions with colleagues, or mentoring others.

When organizations communicate how to get involved and hold everyone accountable for action to support DEI, there is greater prioritization. When the CEO supports DEI, there is greater support among others.

dei progress

Proposed Actions

  • Set aside dedicated time in your schedule to participate in company DEI initiatives.
  • Advance your understanding of how the business benefits from DEI. Educate yourself about DEI through reading, podcasts or webinars; attend training sessions or conferences.
  • Connect with the real and personal stories of exclusion among your colleagues.
  • Set a personal goal that supports DEI on your team; share it publicly and encourage other team members to do the same. Communicate your commitment to DEI to your colleagues and leaders, and seek out support and resources to help you achieve your goals.
  • Connect with colleagues who are passionate about DEI and determine how to collaborate on initiatives.
  • If you are a manager, be visible in your commitment and reward team members doing the work of DEI.

Valued Guidance

Implementation Plan

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