DEIB Policy Template

A Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) policy outlines a company’s commitment to fostering a workplace that values diversity, promotes equity, ensures inclusion, and cultivates a sense of belonging for all employees. It serves as a framework to guide every employee’s actions, behaviors, and decision-making processes in creating an environment where every individual feels respected, supported, and empowered.

January 24, 2024
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Halah Flynn
Senior Content Marketing Manager
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What a DEIB Policy Should Include

A comprehensive DEIB policy should cover various aspects to ensure a supportive, fair, and inclusive work environment. Here's an outline of what a DEIB policy should include:

  • Introduction and Purpose: A statement of commitment to DEIB principles, and explanation of why DEIB is essential for the company's success and culture.
  • Definitions: Clear definitions of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging tailored to the company's context, and an explanation of how these elements contribute to a positive workplace culture.
  • Company's Commitment to DEIB: A strong statement expressing the organization's commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and belonging workplace.
  • Scope and Applicability: Explanation of who the policy applies to (e.g., all employees, leadership, contractors, vendors) and in what contexts (workplace interactions, recruitment, promotions, etc.) and clear delineation of the responsibilities in upholding the DEIB policy.
  • DEIB Initiatives and Strategies: Detailed outline of specific initiatives, programs, or strategies the company will implement to promote DEIB in the workplace. Examples might include training, mentorship programs, diversity recruiting efforts, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), etc.
  • Reporting Procedures and Non-Retaliation: Clear procedures for reporting instances of discrimination, harassment, or violations of the DEIB policy. Should include assurance of protection against retaliation for reporting concerns in good faith.
  • Compliance with Laws and Regulations: Statement ensuring the DEIB policy complies with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Accountability: Mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of DEIB initiatives. Includes a commitment to regularly review, update, and improve the DEIB policy based on feedback, changing needs, and best practices.
  • Conclusion: Reiteration of the company's commitment to DEIB and encouragement for all employees to actively participate in creating an inclusive workplace culture.

Creating a comprehensive DEIB policy requires collaboration among HR, leadership, and relevant stakeholders to ensure its effectiveness and alignment with the company's values and goals.

Why You Need a Formal DEIB Policy

A formal DEIB policy, when effectively implemented, becomes an integral part of HR strategies, contributing to a more equitable, inclusive, and successful organization. An official DEIB policy is essential to:

  • Demonstrate Commitment: Showcase your company’s dedication to creating a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and belonging workplace.
  • Set Expectations: Establish clear guidelines and expectations for all employees' conduct and interactions.
  • Attract and Retain Talent: Attract a diverse pool of talent and retain employees by fostering a supportive and inclusive environment.
  • Drive Innovation and Performance: Encourage diverse perspectives, leading to innovation, creativity, and improved performance.
  • Support Employee Wellbeing: A supportive and inclusive work environment contributes to employees' overall well-being, mental health, and satisfaction, fostering a positive work culture.
  • Align with Organizational Values: Aligns HR practices with the company's core values, fostering consistency and authenticity in organizational culture and operations.

DEIB Policy Template

Disclaimer: This sample policy is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Consider it a starting point, not a final draft. It is a generic template that may not suit your specific circumstances, and should therefore be customized to fit your company’s specific needs, culture, and policies. When adopting or revising a policy, consult legal counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

This DEIB policy template provides a comprehensive framework for supporting a diverse workforce by creating and ensuring a safe environment that prioritizes fairness, inclusion, and a sense of belonging. This policy balances employees' need for belonging in the workplace and the company's operational requirements for compliance and accountability.

By providing detailed guidance on DEIB, this policy outlines our dedication to creating an environment where every individual feels respected, supported, and empowered.

1. Defining Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

For the purposes of this policy, this is how our company defines diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.  

  • Diversity: Acknowledging and embracing differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, abilities, and more.
  • Equity: Ensuring fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all individuals.
  • Inclusion: Creating an environment where every individual feels welcomed, respected, and valued.
  • Belonging: Fostering an environment where everyone feels a sense of connection and acceptance within the workplace.

2. Our Commitment 

At [Company Name], we are committed to cultivating a workplace that celebrates and values diversity, promotes equity, ensures inclusion, and fosters a deep sense of belonging for all employees. Our commitment to DEIB is foundational to our culture, guiding our actions, policies, and practices. We believe that a diverse and inclusive environment drives innovation, enhances employee engagement, and fuels our collective success.

  • Embracing Diversity: We acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of our workforce, which includes differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, background, and more. We recognize that each individual brings unique perspectives and experiences that contribute to our company's success.
  • Ensuring Equity: We are dedicated to creating an equitable workplace where fairness and justice prevail. We strive to eliminate barriers to advancement and ensure equal opportunities for growth, development, and success for all employees.
  • Promoting Inclusion: We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where every employee feels welcomed, respected, and valued. We encourage open dialogue, actively listen to diverse viewpoints, and create spaces where everyone can contribute and thrive.
  • Cultivating Belonging: We aim to create a workplace culture where every individual feels a sense of belonging, where they can bring their authentic selves to work without fear of discrimination or bias. We prioritize creating a supportive and nurturing environment for all.

At [Company Name], we recognize that our commitment to DEIB is an ongoing journey that requires continuous learning, reflection, and action. We encourage every employee to actively participate, champion inclusive behaviors, and contribute to creating a workplace where diversity is celebrated, equity is upheld, inclusion is practiced, and belonging is felt by all.

We stand together, united in our commitment to DEIB, as it is integral to who we are and what we aspire to become.

3. Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to all employees, contractors, vendors, and any interactions within the workplace.

  • Company Roles and Responsibilities: HR will oversee the implementation and monitoring of DEIB initiatives. Leadership and managers are accountable for modeling inclusive behaviors and fostering an inclusive work environment.
  • Employee Participation: All employees are expected to actively contribute to an inclusive workplace culture.

4. DEIB Initiatives and Strategies

Company-wide strategies

The company will commit to building and maintaining the infrastructure necessary to uphold these strategies: 

  • Diverse Hiring Practices: Implement unbiased recruitment strategies, diverse candidate sourcing, and inclusive hiring practices to attract and retain talent from varied backgrounds.
  • Equitable Compensation and Benefits: Regularly review compensation structures to ensure fairness and equity across all demographics, providing equal pay for equal work.
  • Training and Education: Conduct regular DEIB training sessions for all employees, including leadership, to raise awareness, challenge biases, and promote understanding of diverse perspectives.
  • Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Establish and support ERGs to provide a platform for employees to connect, share experiences, and advocate for diversity and inclusion within the company.
  • Inclusive Workplace Culture: Foster an inclusive culture by encouraging open dialogue, valuing diverse opinions, and promoting a sense of belonging for all employees.
  • Career Development Opportunities: Provide equitable access to training, mentorship, and career advancement opportunities for all employees, ensuring fairness in promotions and career growth.
  • Performance Evaluation: Review performance evaluation processes to prevent biases and ensure fair assessments based on merit and contributions rather than subjective judgments.
  • Diversity Metrics and Accountability: Implement measures to track diversity metrics and hold leadership accountable for meeting DEIB goals and objectives.
  • Community Engagement: Engage with diverse communities through partnerships, sponsorships, and initiatives that support and reflect the company's commitment to DEIB.
  • Non-Retaliation Policies: Establish clear policies that prohibit retaliation against employees who report DEIB-related issues, ensuring a safe environment for reporting concerns.
  • Supplier Diversity: Encourage diversity in supplier relationships by partnering with diverse vendors and suppliers, promoting economic equity in business operations.
  • Transparency and Communication: Maintain transparent communication about DEIB efforts, progress, and challenges within the company, fostering accountability and trust among employees.

Employee participation and expectations: By actively engaging in these practices, employees play a vital role in upholding and promoting a culture of DEIB within the workplace.

  • Lead By Example: Model inclusive behaviors and attitudes to inspire others and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture. Show respect for all individuals, active participation in diversity initiatives, and creating an inclusive environment.
  • Respect Differences: Embrace and respect the different backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences of colleagues. Use individuals' self-identified pronouns and respect their chosen identities, creating an inclusive and affirming environment.
  • Promote Inclusivity: Actively include others in discussions, projects, and social activities to ensure everyone feels valued and heard. Speak up against discrimination, microaggressions, or exclusionary behaviors respectfully and constructively.
  • Challenge Bias: Recognize and challenge unconscious biases in yourself and others to foster a more equitable workplace. Act as an ally by supporting underrepresented groups, amplifying their voices, and advocating for their inclusion and equal opportunities.
  • Listen Actively: Listen attentively and empathetically to diverse viewpoints and experiences without judgment.
  • Avoid Stereotyping: Refrain from making assumptions or stereotyping based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, or abilities.
  • Support Others: Offer support and encouragement to colleagues, especially those who might face discrimination or feel excluded. Encourage and welcome diverse perspectives in meetings, projects, and decision-making processes.
  • Complete DEIB Training and Education: Participate actively in DEIB training and educational opportunities provided by the company to enhance understanding and awareness. Take the initiative to educate yourself about different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences to broaden your understanding and empathy.
  • Report Violations: Report any violations or instances of discrimination observed in line with company policies and procedures, ensuring a safe and respectful workplace for everyone.

5. Reporting Procedures and Assurance of Non-Retaliation

At [Company Name], we take reports of discrimination, harassment, or violations of our DEIB policy seriously. We have zero tolerance for employees who discriminate against other team members, create an unwelcoming or unsafe environment, or perpetuate inequities against others.

[Company Name] will not tolerate discrimination based on demographics such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, national origin, sexuality, marital status, age, or socioeconomic status. This applies to conduct toward employees, customers, contractors, partners, or online audiences while acting as an employee of the company. We encourage all employees, contractors, and stakeholders to report any concerns or incidents they experience or witness that go against our DEIB principles. We provide multiple channels for reporting to ensure accessibility and confidentiality:

Reporting Channels:

  • Directly to the HR Department: Employees can report concerns to the HR department either in person, via email, or through a dedicated reporting hotline.
  • Through Management or Leadership: Employees have the option to report incidents to their immediate supervisor, manager, or any member of the leadership team or board of directors.
  • Anonymously: We offer an anonymous reporting system where individuals can report concerns without revealing their identity through an online platform or designated mailbox.

Reporting Procedure:

  • Individuals should provide detailed information regarding the incident, including date, time, location, description of the behavior or action, and names of individuals involved or witnesses.
  • HR or designated investigators will conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into all reported concerns or incidents.

Assurance of Protection Against Retaliation:

[Company Name] strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports concerns in good faith or participates in an investigation related to DEIB policy violations. Retaliation against employees for reporting concerns or assisting in investigations is a violation of company policy and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

  • Employees who report concerns, participate in investigations, or support others in doing so, will not face any adverse actions or consequences as a result of their involvement.
  • Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible during investigations, and information will only be disclosed on a need-to-know basis.

6. Compliance With Laws and Regulations

At [Company Name], our DEIB policy is developed and maintained in strict adherence to all applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards pertaining to diversity, equity, inclusion, and non-discrimination in the workplace.

We are committed to upholding the highest legal and ethical standards in fostering a workplace environment that embraces diversity, ensures equity, promotes inclusion, and fosters a sense of belonging for all employees. Our DEIB policy is designed to align with, and often exceed, the requirements set forth by local, national, and international laws and regulations governing equal employment opportunities, anti-discrimination, and harassment prevention.

We regularly review and update our DEIB policy to ensure compliance with evolving legal frameworks, industry best practices, and societal changes. Furthermore, we engage legal counsel and subject matter experts to ensure our policy remains current, robust, and in accordance with the latest legal requirements.

By adhering to these laws, regulations, and industry standards, we affirm our commitment to creating a workplace environment that values diversity, promotes fairness and inclusion, and prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment. We remain dedicated to continuously improving our DEIB practices and maintaining a workplace that respects the rights, dignity, and contributions of every individual.

7. Monitoring, Evaluation, and Accountability

Monitoring and Evaluating DEIB Initiatives 

At [Company Name], we recognize the importance of monitoring and evaluating our DEIB initiatives to ensure their effectiveness and alignment with our organizational goals. To achieve this, we have established the following mechanisms:

  • Data Collection and Analysis: We employ data-driven approaches to gather information on the representation of diverse groups within our workforce, tracking hiring, retention, promotion rates, and employee feedback related to DEIB.
  • Employee Surveys and Feedback: Regular surveys and feedback mechanisms are utilized to gauge employee perceptions, experiences, and satisfaction regarding our DEIB efforts, allowing us to identify areas for improvement.
  • Performance Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): We set specific KPIs and performance metrics related to DEIB initiatives, enabling us to measure progress against established goals.

Assigning Accountability and Setting Measurable Goals for DEIB Progress
We hold ourselves accountable for the success of our DEIB initiatives by assigning responsibility and accountability to designated individuals or teams within the organization. Accountability is established by:

  • Role Assignments: Designating specific individuals or committees responsible for overseeing, implementing, and evaluating DEIB initiatives.
  • Measurable Goals: Setting clear, measurable, and time-bound goals aligned with our DEIB objectives. These goals are regularly reviewed, and progress is tracked to ensure accountability and progress towards our targets.
  • Regular Progress Reviews: Conducting periodic reviews and assessments to evaluate the progress of DEIB initiatives and address any challenges or gaps in meeting our goals.

Commitment to Regularly Review, Update, and Improve DEIB Policy

We are committed to the ongoing improvement and evolution of our DEIB policy. This commitment includes:

  • Regular Reviews: Conducting regular reviews of our DEIB policy to ensure it remains aligned with our organizational values, legal requirements, and best practices in the field of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Feedback Integration: Welcoming feedback from employees, stakeholders, and experts in the field to incorporate diverse perspectives and continuously improve our DEIB practices.
  • Adaptation to Changing Needs: Being responsive to changing societal, cultural, and organizational needs, and updating our DEIB policy accordingly to ensure its relevance and effectiveness.

8. Conclusion

[Company Name]'s DEIB policy is a commitment to creating a workplace that celebrates diversity, promotes equity, ensures inclusion, and fosters belonging. By upholding these principles, we aim to build a more robust, innovative, and inclusive environment for all our employees.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging?

Diversity refers to the variety of differences among individuals in a workplace, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, abilities, and more. Equity involves ensuring fairness and impartiality in policies and practices to create equal opportunities for all. Inclusion focuses on creating an environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and empowered to contribute fully. Belonging goes beyond inclusion and signifies a deeper sense of connection and acceptance within the workplace.

Why is workplace diversity important?

Workplace diversity is crucial as it fosters innovation, creativity, and better problem-solving by incorporating different perspectives and experiences. It also helps attract and retain top talent, improves employee morale and engagement, and reflects the diverse markets and communities companies serve.

How does equity differ from equality in the workplace?

Equality aims to treat everyone the same, providing equal resources and opportunities. Equity, on the other hand, recognizes that not everyone starts from the same place and involves distributing resources and opportunities fairly based on individual needs to achieve equality.

How can employees contribute to fostering DEIB in the workplace?

Employees can contribute by embracing diversity, actively participating in inclusion initiatives, advocating for equitable practices, fostering respectful interactions, and supporting colleagues from diverse backgrounds.

What are unconscious biases, and how do they impact DEIB in the workplace?

Unconscious biases are automatic, ingrained attitudes or stereotypes that influence our understanding, actions, and decisions without conscious awareness. These biases can hinder DEIB efforts by influencing hiring, promotions, and day-to-day interactions, often leading to unintentional discrimination.

What are Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and how do they support DEIB?

ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that provide a platform for employees with shared characteristics or experiences to come together, share perspectives, offer support, and advocate for inclusivity and equity within the organization.

What should I do if I witness or experience a violation of the company's DEIB policy?

If you witness or experience a violation of the company's DEIB policy, it's essential to report it promptly through the designated channels outlined in our policy. You can report to your manager, HR department, or utilize anonymous reporting systems if available. All reports will be taken seriously, investigated promptly, and handled with confidentiality and sensitivity.

How are investigations conducted regarding alleged violations of the DEIB policy?

Investigations into alleged violations of the DEIB policy are conducted thoroughly, impartially, and in accordance with company procedures. Upon receiving a report, HR or designated investigators will gather relevant information, interview involved parties and witnesses, and assess evidence to reach a fair and informed conclusion. The company is committed to respecting the privacy and confidentiality of all individuals involved during the investigation process.

What actions are taken against individuals found in violation of the DEIB policy?

If an investigation confirms a violation of the DEIB policy, appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken based on the severity and nature of the violation. These actions may include counseling, training, written warnings, suspension, or termination, in line with company policies and legal obligations. Additionally, the company may implement corrective measures to prevent similar incidents in the future and promote a more inclusive and respectful workplace culture.