Recent DEI research shows that 78% of American workers believe working for an employer that values diversity and inclusion is important. Meanwhile, 89% of companies have a formal diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy.

So, if your company doesn’t have a diversity and inclusion budget yet, it’s time to create one. Keep reading to learn more about how prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging can benefit your company.

What is a diversity and inclusion budget?

A DEI budget is money that’s allocated to promote projects in the workplace centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion. A good DEI budget sends the message that your company is committed to making positive changes in the workplace to create a sense of inclusion and belonging for all.

No 2 DEI budgets are the same. The most successful diversity and inclusion budgets are tailored to address the unique needs and challenges of your company. This means you need to identify areas you want to improve so you attract top talent to your company. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, Netflix, Amazon, and Paypal are 3 companies known for their successful DEI budgets. These companies prioritize diversity because they know that for customers to be attracted to their products, inclusion has to start from within. 

Benefits of a DEI budget

There are numerous benefits to a targeted budget and effective DEI strategy :

Increased employee satisfaction – By investing in DEI initiatives, you help create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace culture. This leads to increased employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction.

Enhanced reputation – Organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion enhance their reputation, which in turn improves brand recognition and attracts customers or partners with shared values.

Better recruitment – A DEI budget will allow you to improve your recruitment efforts, reaching a larger pool of employees.

Increased innovation – A company that supports its underrepresented employees creates an innovative work environment. Besides fostering creativity, this helps workers develop a growth mindset by making them feel comfortable sharing their ideas and setting them up for success.

Avoiding discriminatory practices – Providing training to employees at all levels will reduce the risk of discrimination in the workplace, contributing to a positive company culture.

Higher employee retention – A DEI budget is an important tool in any employee retention strategy. When all employees feel supported at work, higher employee retention likely follows. 

How to create a diversity and inclusion budget

So now that you know why you need a DEI budget, where do you start? Here’s a list of steps to take:

1. Conduct a diversity audit

Using tailored assessments, diagnostics, and analyses helps you to better understand the demographics of your employees and target potential areas for improvement. This will allow you to re-think policies, discuss new strategies, and tweak your approach. Instead of guessing which areas need to be improved, your DEI strategy will be backed by numbers.

2. Establish goals

Once you’ve pinpointed the areas of improvement, you need to create achievable goals to address them. Involve employees and other stakeholders in the goal-setting process. This ensures the goals you set are aligned with the organization’s values (and are achievable).

Some examples of actionable diversity goals include:

  • Creating employee resource groups (ERGs)
  • Hiring a DEI consultant
  • Developing training programs
  • Creating unbiased job ads
  • Investing in assistive technology
  • Planning recruiting events and attending diversity job fairs
  • Supporting community engagement initiatives related to diversity and inclusion
  • Attending DEI events

3. Allocate funds

Once you’ve listed all your goals, it’s time to allocate funds. Assess your available resources and decide how much you need to spend to achieve each goal on your list. How much money you set aside for DEI initiatives will depend on the specific needs of your organization.

4. Track your progress

After your company has implemented a DEI budget, you need to keep track of the progress being made to achieve the budget’s goals. Because you conducted a diversity audit, you’ll have a baseline to compare your progress. 

Some examples of metrics to keep track of include:

  • Number of employees involved in ERGs
  • Employee retention rate
  • Employee satisfaction rate
  • Employee diversity
  • Job applicant and new hire diversity

5. Review and update as necessary

If you notice that your plans aren’t moving along as you thought they would, it’s time to reassess. The whole purpose of a DEI budget is to promote and celebrate inclusion and diversity of all kinds in your company. So, it’s important to pay attention to areas where the results aren’t living up to your expectations.

Sample diversity and inclusion budget

To help you visualize what your budget should look like, here’s a DEI budget example for you to model your own on:

DEI budget example

Free DEI budget template

To make the budgeting process easier, here’s a DEI budget template you can copy/paste to get started:

[Company Name] DEI Budget 2023

DEI Goal 1

  • Sub-goal #1 (sub-goals should contribute to the overarching DEI goal)
  • Sub-goal #2 (prioritize sub-goals based on the potential impact on DEI outcomes)
  • Sub-goal #3 (include an exact dollar amount for each sub-goal)

DEI Goal 2

  • Sub-goal #1
  • Sub-goal #2
  • Sub-goal #3

DEI Goal 3

  • Sub-goal #1
  • Sub-goal #2
  • Sub-goal #3

Total DEI Budget: [Insert amount]

Why I Wrote This:

Allocating funds to a DEI budget is a key part of the future success of any business. Ongig’s mission is to support diversity and inclusion as a top priority. If you’d like to learn more about how our job description software can help you create more inclusive and effective job descriptions, please request a demo.

This is a guest post from Ida Pettersson. Ida is a Content Writer at Resume Genius who enjoys supporting job seekers as they plan their next career moves. She graduated from New College of Florida with a double major in Philosophy/Chinese Language and Culture. In her spare time, Ida enjoys hiking, reading, and gardening.

by in Diversity and Inclusion