An effective diversity, equity, and inclusion policy is an essential feature for any modern organization.

Diverse workforces enable organizations to better tackle the challenges they face, while a fairer, more inclusive culture contributes to successful recruitment and retention efforts in a competitive marketplace.

As a result, getting your DE&I policy and wider diversity management right is an important business that can fundamentally affect how your people experience their work. Explore our diversity and inclusion policy template below to start improving your organization.

What is a DE&I policy?

A DE&I policy is a diversity, equity, and inclusion policy and reflects your organization’s commitment to recognizing and respecting differences such as race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and more.

Essentially, it captures your commitment to treating everyone fairly across your recruitment, retention, training, and workplace culture activities. It will detail the importance of fair treatment and outline your policies for promoting diverse representation and an inclusive work environment.

For staff, it will provide best practices they can follow when interacting with internal and external stakeholders to establish a stronger future for your company. Additionally, it should showcase the work you’re doing to make sure that everyone can thrive at your organization.

Done right, your DE&I policy will deliver increased innovation and supercharged organizational performance, built on the richer viewpoints and experiences of a more diverse workforce.

Why is it important to have a DE&I policy?

A coherent DE&I policy is the cornerstone of your organization’s efforts to create a fairer and more inclusive workforce and workplace culture.

Here’s how a DE&I policy statement supports a healthier business:

  • Diversity of thought can contribute to more effective idea-sharing at your organization, as teams that can draw on a wider variety of backgrounds and experiences tend to be more innovative and original in their thinking
  • An inclusive workplace environment raises morale among your people, improving retention rates and productivity
  • Effective diversity initiatives support your recruitment and can help you access a wider pool of potential talent for your teams
  • Diverse organizations can be more effective at detecting and resolving discrimination or harassment issues at work, helping your HR teams to maintain a healthy working environment
  • A coherent approach to DEI&B builds your reputation as a forward-looking, dynamic business

<<Embed DEI&B into your company culture with Bob’s people-first DE&I tools.>>

What should a DE&I policy contain?

Your DE&I policy should outline your overall stance on DE&I, detail best practices, and list the stakeholders responsible for each part of your policy. It should also describe the diversity and inclusion metrics you’ll use to measure your performance. Whether these are qualitative or quantitative, including these metrics is important to underpin your policy with effective action and results. 

A DE&I policy doesn’t have to be exceptionally lengthy, but it should give a clear account of what you believe diversity and inclusion to mean, what your guiding principles are, and the guiding framework for how you expect your people to live those beliefs, in pursuit of a healthier, happier environment.

Your DE&I policy example

This sample DE&I policy template includes all the main elements you need to consider.

It’s important to note that while not everything may be relevant to your organization’s specific needs, it’s worth thinking through your attitude and approach to each element listed below.

[Organization]’s DE&I policy

Overall statement of organizational values
The opening of your DE&I policy is an opportunity to capture your company’s unique values and what diversity and inclusion specifically mean to you. This is the place to define diversity and inclusivity—and how these reflect your attitudes toward race, gender, age, religion, and more.

For many companies, it will be the place to explain your pursuit of fairness, of giving people equal voice, and of celebrating differences. Outline your qualitative goals here, and set your sights on the experience you want your people to have.

Outline your policy scope and purpose
To whom does your DE&I policy apply? Define the relevant stakeholders and how you expect them to apply best practices to their everyday, with specific examples of their expected responsibilities. Also, explain why your organization believes in the importance of articulating and promoting a DE&I policy in the first place.

Recruitment practices
As a key part of any diversity and inclusion plan, recruitment is a key area to focus your DE&I efforts. Your policy should reflect your principles to ensure equal opportunities and attract a more diverse workforce.

Retention policies and inclusion
Provide an overview of how you champion a healthy and inclusive workplace environment, from your support for alternative working arrangements to your commitment to equal pay. Similarly, outline the principles you believe support an inclusive environment and your approaches to protecting that space.

Professional development and training opportunities
Next, detail any specific promises you’d like to make that help you reinforce expectations at work, such as providing regular bias training or ensuring equity in identifying opportunities for advancement in the company.

Support structures and reporting mechanisms
Here, you should explain to your people what steps to take if they witness or suspect behavior that fails to uphold this policy. Outline the investigation process, the level of anonymity involved, and how you commit to enforcing your principles.

Consider either establishing one person responsible for receiving reports, an open-door policy with managers, or an anonymous mechanism for more sensitive issues. Whichever you choose, outlining a watertight system builds trust in your commitments.

Where should you publish your DE&I policy? 

If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating a tailored DE&I policy for your organization, it’s important that it’s given the emphasis and placement it deserves.

That means including it in your employee handbook, as a distinct section that stands in its own right. Make sure your DE&I policy has equal billing in your handbook with other policies.

It’s also important to consider the external audience for your DE&I policy, such as potential future recruits and other stakeholders. Making it readily available on your website, under careers or employment, is a great way of showcasing your approach and boosting recruitment efforts.

Implementing your DE&I policy

When it comes to creating and implementing your DE&I policy, modern HR tech is here to help. The best software comes with a built-in DE&I dashboard that gives you a quick and easy view of your main diversity functions and metrics.

Diversity and inclusion software can directly help you implement your policy through anonymous surveys and support for moments of shared celebrations, such as when your teams achieve milestones or when you have new joiners.

Personalized preboarding and onboarding workflows can help you to welcome new hires to your culture. These allow them to define their identity preferences, from preferred pronouns to languages and gender identities, and to join clubs with their peers.

Equally, tracking the data is the best way to measure your progress and the specific impact of each of your policies. It can also help you ensure pay parity among your staff, thanks to an analysis of salary data by things like gender, role, and performance rating.

A fairer workplace awaits

However you go about it, building your DE&I policy is the first step toward a healthier, more inclusive, and more productive workplace environment. For further tips, explore our DE&I audit checklist to get started on a regular review of just how well your organization is performing.

Tali Sachs

From Tali Sachs

Tali is a content marketing manager at HiBob. She's been writing stories since before she knew what to do with a pen and paper. When she's not writing, she's reading sci-fi, snuggling with her cats, or singing at an open mic.