Inclusive ICR, a Regional DEI coalition, announces free assessment for employers
April 14, 2022 | News & Press Releases
Inclusive ICR will launch the DEI Index April 18
Inclusive ICR, a local coalition with a mission to grow diversity and inclusion in workforce throughout the region, has announced the launch of a free Diversity, Equity and Inclusion assessment that will be available to area employers April 18 through May 8 at www.inclusiveicr.org. This assessment is made possible with the leadership of Inclusive ICR along with project investors ICR Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Iowa City Area Business Partnership, and the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD).
The assessment known as the DEI Index is a free, confidential evaluation of a company’s position through the lens of five DEI pillars. After the completion of the assessment, each organization will receive a custom summary identifying the current position and opportunities for growth. Through completion of the assessment by a number of employers, the curator of the assessment will also provide a regional analysis of the strengths and opportunities to grow from a DEI perspective.
Identifying need >>>
Inclusive ICR identified the need to build the DEI index as the result of an annual survey distributed to coalition members and a strategic planning session led by coalition advisory council members. Results concluded that the development of a DEI assessment should be cost effective and accessible for organizations of all sizes and industries who want to understand their strengths and challenges in the DEI space from a neutral third party. A second request included access to local and regional resources that could work with an organization that wants to work on identified growth opportunities.
“From our survey results to the facilitation of very raw discussions, our council concluded that while employers acknowledge there have been steps taken in the DEI space, the impact of work to date and how we can move forward can only be done through an honest evaluation of our strengths and opportunities. Through a third-party assessment, we are able to see what’s working and where we can grow to create positive change as an employer and as a region.”
“This regional data will allow us to provide the right DEI programming and support to our companies through our workforce development efforts in the region. It is essential to build workplace cultures that foster a sense of belonging and engagement to aid in the attraction and retention of diverse talent.” – -Kate Moreland, ICAD President.
Working groups and the build out of the DEI Index >>>
Partners ICR Iowa, ICAD, IC Area Business Partnership, and CRMEA worked with council members of Inclusive ICR in a search for best practices in similar markets to identify a template assessment that would align with the project scope. A contract with Reliant, a third-party assessment firm, was confirmed in August 2021, and discussions with DEI group Mosaic out of Tulsa, Oklahoma on experiences with their assessment gave working groups the tools necessary to build out a customized survey for the need of the ICR region. Results include an assessment that will not only provide an employer with customized results but will provide a collective look at opportunities to strengthen the role of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a region.
Employers ready to take the DEI Index >>>
The DEI Index will be available through an online assessment that will be filled out by one representative per organization. While one individual will be responsible for submitting the assessment, Reliant recommends cross-reference of departments and other team members to ensure all questions are answered as accurately as possible. The DEI Index may be saved and re-opened in case additional information needs to be collected before final submission.
The DEI Index will address five key DEI pillars: Community Outreach (company publicly supports diversity and inclusion work in the Eastern Iowa region), CEO Commitment (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is one of the organization’s stated values and/or priority areas), Diverse Suppliers (Organization has a written diversity supplier statement that is shared on the external website, Diverse People (Organization has programs or efforts in place to recruit diverse candidates, develop a pipeline of leaders, provide targeted development for diverse employees), and Internal Policy (company offers floating time off for employees to observe events of personal or religious significance).
Results and next steps >>>
Employers who complete the DEI Index should anticipate their confidential analysis within six weeks of submission. While this review will be a chance to celebrate where a company is thriving in the DEI space, it will also identify areas in need of attention and opportunities to grow. Beyond the work of building the index and preparing for the launch, members of Inclusive ICR have been working on a resource library, featuring local, regional, and national tools that specialize in one or more of the five pillars. This directory continues will continue to grow as new tools are brought to the attention of the resource committee.
The DEI Index project scope and go live link on April 18 will be available on the Inclusive ICR website www.inclusiveicr.org/index