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How to Create an Authentic DEI Brand

3 min read.


Lois Payne Lois Payne



Employer Branding, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

If you missed our recent webinar on creating an authentic DEI with Steering Committee Member of InterInvest and passionate DEI advocate Tristan Davies, and employer brand expert Julie Randall, here are the key takeaways. 

Why is DEI important?

While commitments to DEI have waned recently, with roles being axed and efforts scaled back in response to public criticism, the case for authentic DEI work remains.

Morally, it's the right thing to do, but it also makes for a more robust business: better challenge for your ideas, greater innovation and a stronger bottom line.

And interestingly, when diversity in a company rises, so do happiness levels. Diverse companies are more fun and offer an enriched working life.

With this in mind, it doesn't make common sense or business sense not to invest time and effort in DEI.

Top Tips for Embedding DEI into your Employer Brand Strategy

• When putting your messaging out into the market, use language your employees and audience can relate to, the language they use. People won’t resonate with stiff corporate speak.

• Shift your mindset. Understand that you can’t slap a sticking plaster on DEI. It can’t be confined to a single campaign or initiative. It is an ongoing, long-term commitment.

• Set yourself realistic targets to stoke enthusiasm. DEI is a group effort, and, as with most things, if people feel they are reaching for an unattainable goal, motivation will dwindle.

• Authenticity is crucial. You can see when it's not there and that undermines your entire strategy internally and externally.

• Look for things the business is already doing and see how you can embed DEI. Find opportunities in everything you do in your daily work life.

• If you haven't got employee resource groups, think about creating them.

• Just do one thing. It can be anything, start small. Doing one thing is better than doing zero things.

• There’s no one-size fits all approach for DEI. Your best move will vary depending on the existing values, priorities and aspirations of your organisation. It’s essential, though, that you listen to your employees and get to the truth of what’s currently working well, and where there might be gaps.

• Don’t underestimate the discipline needed to see stuff through. Make a plan, be aware there could be setbacks, and be okay with that.

• To get buy-in from C-suite, understand that DEI work should contribute to wider business priorities. It’s another tool to shape the culture of the organisation to be more innovative and successful.

• Vary up the ways you gather insights. Workshops are good. So is talking with employee resource groups. But one-to-one interviews, or using platforms like Remesh that allow workers to give real-time, anonymous feedback are great for drawing out honest thoughts from the less vocal.

Ways to Undermine your DEI Efforts

Play the numbers game

If your targets sound like, “we want 50% women by 2025,” but there's no reason behind them beyond making the company look good, people will see right through it.

Numbers are fickle, they go up and down. Building out a robust, research-backed strategy will ensure your work isn’t hollow.

Generic messaging

We see a lot of boilerplate messaging around DEI – it’s an easy pitfall when you feel the need to say “something” as an organisation.

But really, who cares if your content calendar if what you’re putting out is a carbon copy of your competitors’ messaging. Or makes your employee resource groups cringe?

That’s not authentic content.

It doesn’t represent the lived experience of your employees, which is essential because if your employees can’t connect with your DEI efforts, neither will your talent audience, and your efforts won’t stick.

To Sum Up

It doesn’t matter where you are on your DEI journey because it is just that – a journey.

It’s helpful to think of DEI as something you never really “complete” or accomplish. By that logic, it doesn’t matter where your starting point is, as long as you start somewhere.

Want a clear step-by-step plan for integrating DEI into your employer brand strategy?

Download the report

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