What is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee?

  • By: Adam Wire
  • May 22, 2023
DEI Committee
Reading Time: 4 minutes

A DEI committee seeks to create an inclusive work environment through the creation of policies and procedures. Learn more about its responsibilities.

In today’s interconnected and diverse world, organizations across various industries recognize the importance of creating inclusive environments where all individuals can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives. In this pursuit, many companies and organizations have established Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committees as a proactive step toward fostering a more equitable and diverse landscape.

The board of directors supports the DEI committee in creating a committee charter and fulfilling its mission. Read on to learn more about a DEI committee and its profound responsibilities.

What is a DEI Committee?

A DEI committee consists of employees from every division of an organization who take charge in fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. They assist in explaining, promoting, and encouraging the DEI objective, to ultimately ensure everyone within an organization feels included, respected, and supported. Some committees make major decisions, while others serve primarily as consultants to leadership. 

Having a DEI committee in your organization is important to fostering an inclusive atmosphere and supporting equity in the work environment. Furthermore, diverse perspectives and experiences drive innovation and creativity. Statistics show companies with diverse leadership teams outperform their less diverse peers.

DEI Committee Responsibilities

Executive committees often establish DEI committees to promote a harmonious working environment, address systematic imbalances, and enhance the workplace ethos within the organization. However, the responsibilities of these DEI committees vary from one organization to another. Common DEI committee responsibilities include:

Audit Diversity Practices in Recruiting and Hiring

More than three-fourths of employees and job seekers state that a diverse staff is a significant aspect when assessing companies and job offers. Your business’s DEI committee must make a coordinated attempt to establish measurable progress in recruiting for diversity. In addition, the DEI committee should assist in implementing policies and procedures that prevent prejudices from influencing candidate assessment.

Create a Forum for Employee Feedback

DEI committees are responsible for enacting reform and ensuring everybody feels represented. They can accomplish this by organizing frequent open discussions or focus groups where employees can contribute their thoughts and suggestions on improving DEI. Many DEI committees also use online platforms or suggestion boxes to allow for anonymous feedback, so everyone feels safe sharing their concerns.

Relay Feedback to Senior Management Team

DEI committees typically collaborate with management to report on work environment climate, inclusion, diversity, and equity concerns. Their reports will offer suggestions and advocate for short- and long-term initiatives to fulfill the organization’s current and prospective staffing requirements—for instance, successful hiring, recruiting, and training techniques.

Influence Policy Development

DEI committees frequently influence the establishment of new practices and policy measures to promote DEI efforts, as well as the adjustment of procedures and regulations that may be detrimental to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. They will establish and revise measurable DEI targets and actively track success against DEI KPIs.

How to Join a DEI Committee

Policies and practices on how to join a DEI committee will vary from one organization to another. First off, know the board term limits, so you’re ready when a position becomes available. If there are no immediate openings to join the DEI committee, consider volunteering or participating in related initiatives within the organization or community. 

Once an opening becomes available, express your interest by submitting an application, sending an email expressing your passion for diversity and inclusion, or reaching out to the committee’s designated contact person.

OnBoard Powers Effective Committees

Ultimately, DEI committees aim to establish environments where difference is valued and individuals can thrive. Whether you’re on an executive board, corporate governance committee, or DEI committee, leveraging the right tools and technologies streamlines operations and maximizes impact. 

By leveraging OnBoard, DEI committees can enhance their communication, collaboration, and documentation processes. The software allows committee members to access meeting materials, agendas, and resources securely from any device, ensuring everyone stays informed and engaged—no matter their location. Intuitive survey and feedback capabilities enable DEI committees to gather valuable insights and feedback from employees, creating a forum for open dialogue and continuous improvement. 

OnBoard empowers DEI committees to navigate the complexities of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion with efficiency. As a result, DEI committees can drive meaningful change, create inclusive environments, and foster a culture of belonging.

Download our free board meeting template agenda to bring structure, clarity, and efficiency to board meetings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How Do You Structure a DEI Committee?

    Your DEI committee should include sufficient representation for all people within your organization. To structure a DEI committee, determine the committee's goals and focus, assign clear roles and responsibilities to members, and establish a regular meeting schedule.

  • How Do You Facilitate a DEI Committee Meeting?

    To facilitate a healthy and successful DEI committee meeting, you must start by creating and distributing an agenda in advance, so all members arrive prepared.

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About The Author

Adam Wire
Adam Wire
Adam Wire is a Content Marketing Manager at OnBoard who joined the company in 2021. A Ball State University graduate, Adam worked in various content marketing roles at Angi, USA Football, and Adult & Child Health following a 12-year career in newspapers. His favorite part of the job is problem-solving and helping teammates achieve their goals. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two dogs. He’s an avid sports fan and foodie who also enjoys lawn and yard work and running.