5 Steps to Launching Internal DEI Initiatives


Live events are at the forefront of promoting diversity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging – everywhere.

In our profession, we can amplify support for all cultures and backgrounds in many ways, from the first communication and continuing in themes and content to the selection of supplier-partners and onsite activations and local community outreach. Building a truly diverse and inclusive industry requires thoughtful, long-term commitments to just doing better, and that often begins with getting your house in order.

Employee-led DEI initiatives, like the one at LEO, have the power to drive meaningful action by looking inward for shortcomings and avenues for improvement. And while we still have work to do in our organization, we’re committed to establishing a long-term plan of action to which we can be held accountable in the coming months and years.

Looking to launch your own DEI initiatives? Here’s how to get started:

  1. Benchmark
    Leadership starts with listening. Create a DEI-focused survey and send it to your team for anonymous responses. This provides critical feedback for analysis, and you’ll likely discover a couple of trends. You may also consider ensuring you have representation in each area of the business from different demographics such as age, race, ability, veteran status, and more. Also, consider identifying all your diverse-owned partners and suppliers and quantifying revenue spent with those partners each year.
  2. Set Goals
    After evaluating survey feedback and benchmarking other relevant data, identify actionable goals for improvement within the company. LEO’s employee-led DEI Committee identifies primary goals each year to cultivate the agency’s efforts in education, hiring practices, content creation, and client/vendor procurement.Goals will vary for each company, but some of our goals have included:

    • Providing DEI education, guidance, and information to team members
    • Increasing diversity in our vendor and partner portfolio
    • Identifying, attracting, and retaining diverse team members
  1. Find New Networks
    Connect with DEI-focused networks related to your industry. Having robust and diverse affiliates and accreditations provides your company with valuable education, resources, opportunities, and so much more. Some of our favorite networks are:

  1. Connect with Like-Minded Partners
    When companies invest in supplier diversity, they help increase the pool of potential partners, promote healthy competition, and benefit the economy, leading to better products and improved experiences. Look into creating a supplier diversity portal to expand supplier relationships and connect with other companies with similar values.
  2. Evaluate Goals
    At the end of the year, evaluate the goals that you set in Step 2. Where did you excel? Where can you improve? Set another benchmark and strategize your plans for the next year!

While the DEI committee leads the charge at LEO, we work hard to ensure that all LEOs feel empowered to help us reach our DEI goals.

Interested in learning more about LEO as an agency partner? Contact us.