Inclusive ICR, a regional coalition with a mission to grow diversity and inclusion in the workforce throughout the region, has announced the launch of a free Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) assessment that will be available to area employers April 18 through May 13. This assessment is made possible with leadership from Inclusive ICR along with project investors ICR Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Iowa City Area Business Partnership, and the Iowa City Area Development Group.
This assessment is a free, confidential evaluation of a company’s position through the lens of five DEI pillars: CEO Commitment, Diverse Supplies, Diverse People, Internal Policy, and Community Outreach. After the completion of the assessment, each organization will receive a custom summary identifying current position and opportunities for growth. Through completion of the assessment by a number of employers, the curator of the assessment will also provide a regional analysis of the strengths and opportunities to grow from a DEI perspective.
“Companies that have been searching for a way to take their DEI initiatives from talk to action have a great opportunity with this project,” stated Doug Neumann, Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “Results can lead to self-discovery and actionable items for businesses that choose to take this seriously.”
Inclusive ICR identified the need to build the DEI index as the result of an annual survey that’s distributed to coalition members and a strategic planning session led by coalition advisory council members. Results concluded that the development of a DEI assessment should be cost effective and accessible for organizations of all sizes and industries who want to understand their strengths and challenges in the DEI space from a neutral third party.
“From our survey results to the facilitation of very raw discussions, our council concluded that while employers acknowledge there have been steps taken in the DEI space, the impact of work to date and how we can move forward can only be done through an honest evaluation of our strengths and opportunities,” stated an Inclusive ICR spokesperson. “Through a third party assessment, we are able to see what’s working and where we can grow to create positive change as an employer and as a region.”
Employers who complete the DEI Index should anticipate their confidential analysis within six weeks of submission. While this review will be a chance to celebrate where a company is thriving in the DEI space, it will also identify areas in need of attention and opportunities to grow. Beyond the work of building the index and preparing for the launch, members of Inclusive ICR have been working on a resource library featuring local, regional and national tools that specialize in one or more of the five pillars. This directory will continue to grow as new tools are brought to the attention of the resource committee.
The DEI Index project scope and go live link will be available on the Inclusive ICR website on April 18 at index.inclusiveicr.org.