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Steering Toward Inclusion: Navigating through the Storm of Complexities Facing DEIB

Kanarys Staff

06/30/2023

The recent Supreme Court decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. (SFFA) v. President and Fellows of Harvard and SFFA v. University of North Carolina that overturned Affirmative Action underscores the importance of a DEIB strategy that combines input from legal, communication, and data experts. The strategic integration of these practices can ensure your organization thrives in the face of potential DEIB challenges. To help organizations navigate this new landscape, create comprehensive strategies and ensure their DEIB initiatives comply with federal and state laws, Kanarys has partnered with FordHarrison, a top labor and employment law firm, and Project Mockingbird, an industry-leading PR firm that specializes in DEIB communications. 

DEIB programs are not one-size-fits-all, and certain programs may face more legal scrutiny than others. During these uncertain times, it’s critical to develop comprehensive strategies to support DEIB while minimizing the risk of litigation for your organization. In order to effectively address emerging legal and political challenges, a cross-functional integration is not only critical but also urgent. Here’s why.

Mitigate Political Backlash and Legal Challenges

We are witnessing a significant political backlash against DEIB initiatives, with legal challenges emerging as a result. By adopting a comprehensive legal strategy within your DEIB approach, you can proactively navigate potential legal obstacles. More importantly, legal expertise will help you understand the evolving legal landscape, adapt your initiatives accordingly, and mitigate risks associated with legal challenges. A robust legal framework ensures your efforts comply with applicable laws while continuing to champion inclusion.

Incorporate the Power of Strategic Communications 

In the face of political scrutiny and legal challenges, the power of effective communication cannot be overstated.  A comprehensive communications strategy enables you to craft and deliver messages that address concerns, counter misperceptions, and showcase the value of your inclusion and belonging initiatives. By adopting a proactive and transparent approach, you can build public understanding, engage stakeholders, and demonstrate your organization's unwavering commitment to fostering an inclusive culture.

Leverage Data-driven Insights for Evidence-based Responses

Particularly when faced with political backlash and legal challenges, data is a vital tool in navigating the complexities of inclusion and belonging in the workplace and across the business landscape. A comprehensive data-driven approach empowers you to gather, analyze, and leverage data to inform your DEIB strategy. By utilizing data analytics, you gain evidence-based insights that can be used to shape your responses, demonstrate the positive impact of your initiatives, and dispel misconceptions. This approach provides a solid foundation for defending and advancing your DEIB efforts in the present and as you evolve into the future.

Strengthen Employee Engagement and Retention

HR and DEIB leaders understand the value of inclusion and belonging initiatives and their impact on hiring and retaining employees. Especially now when DEIB initiatives are being challenged, engaging and empowering your employees is critical. A comprehensive DEIB strategy fosters an inclusive culture where employees feel valued and heard, reinforcing  a company’s commitment to DEIB despite the legal or political backlash. By involving employees in the DEIB process, incorporating their perspectives, and celebrating their contributions, you can strengthen their engagement and retention. This, in turn, enhances teamwork, productivity, innovation, and ultimately, the bottom line.

Build and Reinforce Resilience and Future-proofing

Despite the current political climate and negative narrative around DEIB, organizations can continue and expand their DEIB commitments and ensure their inclusion and belonging initiatives are future-proof. A comprehensive legal, communications, and data-driven strategy equips your organization to withstand external pressures, adapt to changing regulations, and align with evolving societal expectations. By implementing a proactive and comprehensive approach, you can confidently navigate the challenges, secure your organization's future, and remain a DEIB leader.

To learn more about Kanarys’ partnership with FordHarrison and Project Mockingbird and how companies can adapt to changing regulations and continue to prioritize their DEIB initiatives while minimizing the risk of litigation, join our exclusive webinar on Thursday, July 13th at 1pm Eastern Time.


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