Curious about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coaching? Join the conversation with Tracey Cooper!

– Thoughtful DEI work connects companies to more talent, markets and innovative solutions than traditional business activity alone.

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    My Experience & Focus

    These definitions of DEI emphasize the individual in relation to the community whole. This is an important distinction which alludes to our shared responsibility in acknowledging, appreciating, and co-creating an environment that either accelerates or hinders full incorporation of others.


    Diversity refers to the collection of differences in social identity as defined, recognized, privileged, or minoritized in our interpersonal experience.

    This frequently includes categories of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, and perspective. Diversity is a fact of our existence in a connected world and does not exclude participation of the social power majority.

    It is in the context of our normative inclination to value one social identity over another which leads to marginalization and creates the need for diversity practitioners to bring awareness and action on behalf of populations that have been-and remain- underrepresented in power and privilege within the broader society.


    Equity is the ideal of promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.

    Equity in practice requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society and accounting for the influence of these discrepancies in the approaches used to drive future equality.


    Inclusion is a behavioral practice that empowers people across all social identities to feel a sense of interpersonal belonging.

    Inclusion outcomes are met when people, processes and policies are truly welcoming and equitable to all.  The degree to which all individuals can fully participate in and contribute to the community decisions, development, and opportunities is indicative of the level of inclusion in that community group.

    My Fire and Frequent Refrain: Employee Resource Groups (ERG)

    Employee Resource Groups are voluntary, employee-led groups whose aim is to build an inclusive workplace aligned with their company mission. Most ERGs are initiated and led by employees who share a socially minoritized characteristic – whether gender, race/ethnicity, ability status, or sexual orientation – and serve as a safe space for employees to bring their whole selves to work. Alternatively known as Affinity Groups, ERGs create a sense of community support and mature programs prioritize fostering a network for career and leadership development. Allies are welcome to support their colleagues as participants and leaders of ERGs, and executive engagement with these groups has become a standard approach to building widespread allyship and cultural transformation.

    When structured under the guidance of a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) office, ERGs are a formal way to encourage employee engagement and invest in a pipeline of diverse future leaders. Through events focused on education, awareness, and community service, ERGs can be a powerfully democratic way to disseminate inclusive practice across employees at every level.

    By nature of their expansive reach to employees in various capacities, ERGs have a unique avenue to advocate for their respective communities, promoting a sense of pride and cultural contribution while simultaneously engaging in leadership practice in a low-stakes environment.

    ERGs can make significant contributions to a company ROI in the form of talent development, targeted recruiting and – when supported at the right level of leadership – the opportunity to leverage the power of diverse perspectives to drive innovative problem solving for the organization.