HERO DEI 2024 APR10 SustainableStrategiesBelonging

Building Sustainable and Strategic DE&I Initiatives - DE&I Exchange

Organizations can create a resilient and sustainable DE&I strategy that goes beyond compliance to foster a culture of inclusion and contribute to long-term organizational success. This meeting explored the crucial intersection of resilience, sustainability, and strategic DE&I initiatives. Members shared innovative approaches to DE&I that contribute to organizational resilience and belonging.

Meeting Highlights

Strategies for DE&I Success: Mitigating Risks and Maximizing Impact

Screenshot 2024-04-12 111348

 Eric Davis, Creative Director & Senior Editor at i4cp delved into best practices for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives currently facing risks. He highlighted various initiatives that have been targeted, such as hiring, promotions, mentoring programs, and more, which have faced challenges or scrutiny. He also discussed findings from i4cp’s recent Resetting DE&I survey brief, reviewing types of risk, what factors are helping corporate DEI programs to move forward, and where respondents will be focusing their DEI efforts in light of recent pushback. 

Redefining DE&I: The Role of Belonging at Krispy Kreme

Christopher Bylone van Sandwyk, Global Head of Belonging; Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility at Krispy Kreme shared their strategic shift from focusing on DE&I to prioritizing belonging. The discussion emphasizes the need for more inclusive language and actionable strategies to foster belonging within the organization and their consumers.

                                     Screenshot 2024-04-12 105549


  • Evolution of Language: Consider adopting terminology that emphasizes "belonging" alongside diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. This shift aims to enhance universal understanding and inclusivity, particularly in global contexts where DE&I terms may not resonate as effectively.
  • Belonging as Priority: Follow Krispy Kreme's lead in prioritizing belonging within your organizational culture. By foregrounding belonging, you can cultivate environments where every individual feels valued, embraced, and empowered to contribute meaningfully.
  • Equity in Action: Clarify the distinction between equity and equality, focusing on actionable steps to remove barriers hindering the success of underrepresented groups. Implement policies, practices, and procedures that promote fairness and provide equitable opportunities for all employees.
  • Accessibility for All: Extend the concept of acceptability beyond internal practices to encompass the accessibility of your products and services for consumers. Prioritize creating inclusive experiences that accommodate individuals with disabilities, ensuring that everyone can fully engage with your brand.

Navigating the Language of Diversity: Insights and Strategies from DEI Leaders

Participants used the findings of a Harris study to touch on various perspectives on whether to alter wording within organizations and the potential implications of such changes. They emphasize the need to focus on the work and outcomes rather than getting distracted by divisive rhetoric or constantly changing terminology.  However, many still recognize the need to adapt language depending on the audience while maintaining consistency in the core principles of DE&I.  

Comments We Heard

"While words hold power, our focus must remain steadfast on the work itself and the tangible outcomes we aim to achieve. Constantly altering terminology may distract from our mission of fostering inclusion and belonging within our organizations." 

"Language evolves, but the essence of our work remains unchanged: to create environments where all individuals feel valued and empowered to contribute. Adapting language to resonate with different audiences is important, but it should not detract from our commitment to meaningful action."

Mentimeter Poll Recap: 

View the full results of the meeting polls and add your own anonymous responses!

How are you measuring belonging within your organizations?

Screenshot 2024-04-12 173343

Click here to participate in live poll through 04/19/2024

What are other strategies?


Screenshot 2024-04-12 173424

Click here to participate in live poll through 04/19/2024


View resources mentioned during the call. PPT slides can be found on the event page.


This meeting is exclusively for members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Exchange. If you'd like to participate, please contact us to see if you qualify. If you are an i4cp member, please log in to access the registration/meeting details.
log in
This event is approved for certification credits.