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2 min read

The 5 maturity levels of DEI policies and procedures

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While having a standalone Diversity and Inclusion Policy is a step forward, it's not the panacea to your inclusive policy and procedure needs. Your business-as-usual inclusion success is dependent on inclusive ways of working being built into all aspects of the organization. Suppose you have a separate policy (and procedures) sitting off to the side amongst a collection of other HR and employee experience-related documents. In that case, you'll struggle to get real traction in transforming the way business is done because rather than inclusive decisions and actions being part of the process - it's something extra or an afterthought.

There are varying degrees of integration of inclusive policy in terms of depth and breadth. I have split this into 5 levels of maturity for you.
  1. The organization does not have a diversity and inclusion policy, or there is no evidence of inclusion being addressed in other organizational policies.

  2. The organization has a diversity and inclusion policy, or there is some evidence of inclusion being addressed in other organizational policies.

  3. All/most organizational policies contain a specific section related to inclusion and/or adaptive options in relation to the consideration of the needs of everyone.

  4. Inclusion and/or adaptive options meeting the needs of everyone are integrated into all/most organizational policies. They are not distinguished as separate or in addition to the way business is done.

  5. In addition to full integration of inclusion in organizational policies - all/most organizational procedures demonstrate evidence of inclusion and adaptive options to consider the needs of everyone. 

You may wish to start as you mean to end, aim for full integration (at a level 4 or 5), or approach things more slowly and softly. For instance, perhaps you start with developing a standalone diversity and inclusion policy if you don't already have one (level 2) and then negotiate to have a specific section related to inclusion and/or adaptive options added into all other organizational policies (level 3). 

Your strategic approach will need to consider where your organization is in its inclusion journey and then balance that with the degree of prioritization your organization has placed on achieving business-as-usual inclusion. 

About the Author

Dr. Liz is the CEO and Co-founder of Include, a behavioral scientist and organizational transformation expert with a career focus on assisting businesses, teams, and individuals to be the best they can be. Now known as ‘The Inclusionist’, Dr. Liz is on a mission to create a world where everyone is included. Her innovative, yet pragmatic Include™ approach is creating a global movement of change through the organizations, governments, and institutions we all interact with daily.

Connect with Dr. Liz on LinkedIn



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