29 Dec A Year in Review: The Impact of DEI
As we look to wrap up 2021 and move on to 2022, it’s important that we look at some of the biggest impacts we’ve had throughout the last year. For many companies, 2021 was a year of rebounding, rebuilding, or new beginnings. For Scion Staffing, 2021 was about creating an impact that will last a lifetime. Through the creation and the development of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or DEI, committee, Scion Staffing has created not only an internal workplace where strong morals and values exist but has also been able to extend it to its external work of staffing individuals across different industries. In this latest part of our Year in Review series, we will take a look at exactly how DEI has impacted Scion Staffing and their efforts to create a more inclusive community.
What is DEI?
DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. By definition, they are as follows:
- Diversity: The presence of differences within a given setting. In the workplace, specifically, that means differences in race, gender, ethnicity, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic class.
- Equity: The act of ensuring that processes and programs are impartial, fair and provide equal outcomes for every individual.
- Inclusion: The practice of ensuring that people feel a sense of belonging in the workplace. It should mean that every employee feels comfortable and supported by the organization when it comes to being their authentic self.
DEI recognizes the value of diverse voices, as well as focuses on inclusivity and employee wellbeing as the most critical parts of a business’ success. In order for these values to be taken seriously and brought to life, companies must implement programs, as well as initiatives that make their offices more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
As part of this series, we talked with Scion Staffing’s co-chair of their own DEI committee, Cheryl Nantang, about the impact that DEI has had on Scion in the last year and what the outlook is for the future.
How would you define the impact that DEI has had on Scion in the last year?
CN: DEI has significantly impacted Scion both internally and externally in an incredible way. Our Company, Clients, and Candidates have focused on making it a priority. As a result, we have seen more in-depth internal and external questions being asked about DEI best practices, which is great! Additionally, we have seen many clients ask about our internal practices and what we do to find diverse talent. In turn, this has caused us to honestly look inward and see what our blind spots are to make sure we continue to learn and grow to best serve our staff, clients, and candidates. More companies and organizations partner with us because they know that our firm is genuinely doing the work. Our firm does not view DEI as just “checking a box.” It is an opportunity to do something meaningful and powerful and change lives.
What kind of impact has DEI had on our candidates?
CN: We have seen that more candidates are choosing to go to organizations taking DEI seriously. Data has shown that a diverse labor force can boost innovation and engagement. Candidates are more apt to choose those kinds of companies or organizations. Our recruiters have noted that we are getting more interest in organizations that reflect that they take DEI seriously and show that they are making this a significant focus. Candidates prefer to go to these organizations versus other organizations using DEI as a “check box” on their website to promote “diversity in the workplace.”
After speaking with many different recruiters and Executive Search Principles at Scion, we have found that they have made DEI a considerable focus. We are seeing more diverse candidates being placed, we are seeing more candidates wanting to go to organizations that take DEI seriously, and there has been a big push since 2020. At the end of all this, it comes down to our incredible recruiting process and network that leads to more diverse candidates being placed.
Is there anything that could change about the process in regard to how clients hire diverse candidates?
CN: One thing that I think will change is more education. Many companies and organizations specifically, in their mind, want to hire someone of color, so they are only looking at one piece of the diversity pie. We want to educate our clients that so many people are diverse, not just what they see on the surface. Many things are not seen, so in regard to DEI and hiring, it is essential to educate clients on how to recruit with a DEI lens.
Some of our clients are at different points of their DEI journey. Some are just starting, and others are deep in it. It is essential to understand where our clients are in the journey. We often have to consult with them to ensure that they understand that there is much more to it than what meets the eye.
What is the basic definition of Scion’s DEI strategy going into 2022?
CN: The strategy for Scion going into 2022 is trying to see where we can push the needle. Scion has done the work gathering the data, but it will be about what we do with that data. How do we move forward with this data? How do we continue to push in the right direction? So going into next year, it will be about putting more things into place so we can track more data and take action.
We genuinely want to be experts in this space. Our goal is to place even more diverse candidates and focus on recruiting with a DEI lens and continuing education on DEI best practices.
What is the biggest accomplishment for the Scion DEI Committee in 2021?
CN: There were so many significant accomplishments over the year that it is hard to narrow it down to one. One of the most significant accomplishments would have to be our DEI audit. It was one of the most challenging things to complete but one of the most helpful things we did. It helped Scion get an idea of what our blind spots were and figure out where we could go. The creation of the DEI committee itself was another huge win for Scion.
Another significant accomplishment was our firm partnering with SPARK as our DEI consultant. We had spoken to many DEI consultants, and SPARK stood out to us; and they have been so helpful with all of our learning sessions and the knowledge they have imparted within our company. We have seen incredible engagement from our staff, and the feedback we have gotten has shown that they are excited about every session. The work can be uncomfortable, but SPARK has an energy about them that’s so engaging and open; they truly have helped us navigate and unpack DEI in a way I never imagined. We truly appreciate them and all of their work to help us as a committee and company.
Scion’s DEI Accomplishments in 2021
Here’s a detailed look at Scion’s DEI accomplishments in 2021:
- Creation of DEI Committee
- Hired SPARK, interview process creation
- Created a mechanism to gather demographic data of internal staff
- Engagement survey
- DEI Audit
- 1st SPARK Learning Session
- Added Juneteenth to our calendars
- SPARK Learning Session: Microaggressions 101, DEI and Belonging Wheel, Top 10 Questions from clients
- Sub-Committee Charter Creation
- Charter completed
- HR joined the committee
- HR meeting with SPARK to review and integrate DEI into HR and DEI practices
- Sub-committee worked on Recruiting DEI Practices Guide
- Co-chairs established along with governance page outlining timeline/term limits for co-chairs and members
- DEI Committee Application created
- 90%+ engagement on sessions and employee engagement surveys