How the WDE&I Working Group Connects with ILD Lessons

Last Monday’s blog recapped the lessons we learned from Andrés Tapia at the Inclusive Leadership Development (ILD) event. Those lessons all have connections with the work that Talent 2025’s Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group is focused on.


CEO Commitments

Starting last fall, the WDE&I Working Group began collecting CEO Commitment pledges. These pledges require that CEOs:

  • Complete the Benchmarking Survey,
  • Choose a DE&I Metric to improve on,
  • Share their diversity commitment and business case with their organization,
  • Attend an ILD Event, and
  • Either:
    • Participate in a Community of Practice,
    • Contribute best practices to the DE&I Toolkit, or
    • Spread the word about their commitment to at least three other organizations.

These CEO Commitments ensure that employers are taking steps to include DE&I in their talent attraction, development, and advancement strategies. And, as the pledge urges employers to share their commitments to diversity with their organizations and other businesses, the CEO Commitment helps to initiate a dialogue about DE&I and start an open and honest conversation. To date, we’ve received 58 signed CEO Commitments. 


Benchmarking Survey

Last year, the WDE&I Working Group partnered with the Greater Cleveland Partnership to pilot a Benchmarking Survey. This survey is a practical tool for measuring the impact of a company’s efforts, offering comparability by industry and company size.


Data collected by the Benchmarking Survey also helps provide insight on West Michigan’s growing populations of minorities in the workforce, as Andrés was correct in saying “diversity is upside-down.” Keeping track of DE&I progress through the Benchmarking Survey will help ensure companies are recognizing and addressing the needs of minority workers.


At the ILD event, Andres recommended leaders pick a metric to focus on to track DE&I within their organization. Not only can the Benchmarking Survey be used for self-assessment, but also for employers to track progress over the years. Picking a metric to improve on is also the first step of the CEO Commitment. 


Future ILD Events

In addition to the January 30th event, Talent 2025 will hold additional Leadership Development events in the future. These events help to inform employers and business leaders as they implement new DE&I strategies, teach new information from industry experts, and foster a dialogue about DE&I among local leaders. It is important to continue learning as minority populations grow and “new blends” emerge.


Employer Toolkit

This spring, Talent 2025 will introduce an Employer Toolkit. This virtual tool will offer a dynamic, searchable website of leading practices and West Michigan resources for organizations of every size, segmented by categories found in the benchmarking survey. Utilizing the Toolkit will allow employers to improve their existing strategies or implement new practices to ultimately become an inclusive and equitable workplace.


More information about the WDE&I Working Group can be found here.

 Let us know how your organization plans to take action based on what you learned from the ILD Event on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn

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