Launching our DEI strategic planning efforts

Today, we launched a new page on our website, one focused on sharing our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) journey. In this fiscal year, the OMNI Institute is initiating efforts to formally and systematically integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization, and throughout and thereafter, to institutionalize and sustain practices that reflect an understanding of DEI as intrinsic to every aspect of our work - who we are, what we do, and how and why we do it.

To be clear, we have a long way to go, which is why we view this year as just the start. While our staff are all committed to the practices of equitable evaluation in our work and to incorporating and hearing the diverse voices in the communities and clients we work with, we acknowledge that currently, our staff is comprised predominantly of white, cis-women. A formal and strategic approach as a firm to diversity, equity, and inclusion has long been a gap in our organizational strategy -- one that we can no longer wait to fill.

To understand the primary components of our work and where a DEI strategy is critical to supporting the organization, we have developed an internal framework to guide a holistic approach to how we assess and improve our business. They include:

  • Systems

    • All internal policies support a diverse and inclusive team and the implementation of DEI principles

    • We develop diverse pools of talent through recruiting and our hiring processes is inclusive and fair

    • Our talent operations and human resource systems and procedures are inclusive and equitable

  • Team

    • Each staff member is engaged and feels respected as an individual at OMNI

    • Our team is diverse and is comfortable engaging in culturally competent conversations and continually learning

    • Leadership is aligned with our team, leading the DEI work, and supportive of our ongoing DEI journey

  • Clients

    • We choose clients that are aligned with our values and mission

    • We have the skills and tools to deliver diverse, equitable, and inclusive research and evaluation

    • We have the tools to engage with and push clients to see DEI in their work and we’re open to learning from clients how to be more inclusive with their stakeholders.

Our journey begins this year with some groundwork laying that will include the following components.

  1. We believe that the Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmark (GDIB) will provide a framework to engage our entire team at OMNI in assessing where we are today and where we would like to be in the future. Later this fiscal year we are planning an organization-wide exercise to complete the GDIB assessment with our full team, which will serve as the basis for our roadmap forward.

  2. While our executive team is fully committed to the leadership role necessary to move this work forward, and our staff is excited to engage with it, we believe it is important for us to find external expertise who can guide and support us through this endeavor.

  3. We have already taken several steps to improve our recruitment practices and have specific plans for further improvements with each hiring process through the coming year.

  4. We will continue to build on our extensive internal resources and best practices for equitable evaluation in all aspects of our work and continue to make shared learning a priority in our research.

Fundamentally, we believe that having a diverse staff and inclusive environment leads to the range of perspectives required to deliver excellent work and fulfill our purpose of accelerating positive social change. And we believe that fully living our core values of Inquiry, Agility, Connection, and Excellence requires it.

We will continue to reflect on our DEI journey through our blog, sharing our learning and insights as we move through this process.