Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

During the 30 years that Karen Snyder has worked as a consultant, trainer, and coach, she has observed that the organizations most effective in accomplishing their goals exemplify inclusive leadership. Organizations that are not focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion are losing a competitive edge in meeting their objectives, and so Karen has embarked on bringing her expertise as a DEI consultant to her clients.

Inclusive organizations have leaders that want every person to have a fair and equitable chance to succeed in their association. It means that the leadership seeks talent only after casting a wide net and ensuring diverse applicants apply, that the selection process is based on actual job skills rather than on unconscious biases, and that once hired, all employees earn a fair and equitable salary. Additionally, work within the organization has to occur in order to make sure that all employees are treated with respect at all times and that microaggressions are handled promptly, seriously, and effectively.

When Karen works with your organization to develop your DEI initiatives, your team is making a long-term commitment to ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion are a significant part of the culture. Your organization will support employees who volunteer on the DEI task force and will understand that — with Concordia Consulting’s leadership and guidance — it is the employees who must change the policies and procedures of the organization; that work cannot be done by an outsider. Once Karen concludes her work, your organization must be ready and excited to take over the endeavor and the programming that will be established.

Karen has extensive experience collaborating with boards of directors, CEOs, senior executives, and HR directors to create customized support and constructive solutions. She recognizes that every day we interact with individuals who are different from us in terms of cultural background, primary language, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, education, political affiliation, and abilities. Karen views every working relationship as an opportunity to create long-term, systematic progress with your team. This transformative, ongoing development creates widespread change to improve workplace culture.

A Description of Concordia Consulting’s Approach to DEI

Concordia Consulting approaches diversity, equity, and inclusion in a transparent and non-threatening manner through discussion, engagement, and openness. Karen Snyder will work with your organization as a business partner and customize the initiative to fit your organization’s needs.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion work does not ever end or finish. The purpose of the work with Concordia Consulting is for the activities of the DEI initiative and the work of Karen Snyder to remain in place in order to create a cultural shift and a new normal.

All shareholders feel respected and valued, regardless of their cultural background, primary language, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, education, political affiliation, or abilities. Karen starts a dialog to address workplace conduct, especially as it relates to unconscious bias, microaggressions, and other sensitive topics, and allows for flexibility in addressing specific questions or concerns that likely arise. Participants become more self-aware and empathetic towards one other and that insight transcends to other aspects of their professional and personal lives. The goals of Concordia Consulting’s comprehensive DEI program include:

• Understanding unconscious bias and uncovering some of your own.
• Identifying the filters through which colleagues view and interpret themselves and others.
• Discovering the implications of unconscious bias in your workplace.
• Becoming a positive role model by inspiring others to listen to and appreciate differing points of view.
• Motivating staff to have discussions regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion by introducing the topic in a positive and inclusive manner.
• Creating guidelines in the organization to increase inclusivity and equity.
• Developing an understanding of how to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all employees as well as the public.
• Applying this knowledge to everyday work and personal experiences, including starting individual and organization-wide action plans for the ongoing efforts needed to maintain a thriving DEI program.

An Example of Concordia Consulting’s Recent DEI Work

In the past year Karen Snyder has worked closely with a client to build a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program.  An open and welcoming task force, along with subcommittees, was created as a space for sharing experiences, making recommendations, addressing DEI concerns, and educating the organization as a whole.  A DEI employee survey was developed and rolled out to create both a blueprint and benchmark for the work.

A DEI Mission Statement and Code of Conduct Statement were crafted and prominently placed on the organization’s website, and additional language was added to discuss the DEI task force, the components of an effective corporate diversity program, and outward-facing goals.

A regular DEI newsletter was designed to facilitate discussion, education, and awareness by involving all staff and recognizing a wide-range of cultural events and celebrations.  Numerous staff presentations and trainings were developed, involving respected experts in the field, as well as the creation of podcasts to discuss disparities encountered in minority populations.

Specific DEI verbiage was added to job postings, and distribution was expanded to include a variety of nontraditional sources designed to reach minority populations.  Guidelines were established to promote greater representation of minorities in the applicant pool for all open positions.  Specific outreach bolstered underrepresented minorities in leadership initiatives.  Processes and best practices for the annual performance review were implemented to recognize the importance of and focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.  An audit program was developed describing twelve definable levels of achievement by which to measure the success of DEI objectives.

External DEI events were sponsored, and key staff participated in DEI certification programs.  The organization joined a collective DEI action group to assist in increasing creativity and innovation, promoting higher quality decisions, and enhancing economic growth.