Our Top 3 Most Reported Challenges to Embodying DEI Work in 2023

What were teams’ most reported challenges to embodying diversity, equity, and inclusion? We looked back over a year’s worth of reports to give you a sense.

Lauren Benetua, StaffApr 15, 2024 1:45 PM

What were teams’ most reported challenges to embodying diversity, equity, and inclusion? We looked back through a year’s worth of reports to give you a sense.

Each month, our members submit a survey to keep us informed of their progress. We’re curious about many things. What breakthroughs have they made? What challenges have they reached? What are they hearing from the community, collaborators, and partners? Below are some quotes (lightly altered for anonymity) from our member insights in 2023.

In no particular order, the top the most reported challenges are:

  1. Getting used to a new way of working. DEI work often requires deep reflection followed by dismantling, unlearning, rebuilding, and then relearning. We felt this when one member shared, “we collectively are still trying to jump to solutions or make decisions for next steps on our own instead of doing more listening with potential partners. It’s been tricky for the group to decide how to move forward when things are still feeling abstract.”

  2. Resourcing and preparing staff for the work. Related to the above, if big changes are looming, then big support may be required. Otherwise, the friction gets real–we heard from one member organization, “Working in a values-led way seems obvious, but it means diverging from the status quo, which meets resistance. …Folks are just terrified that this is going to make more work for them…”

  3. Split organizational priorities. We often hear this coupled with the usual, ‘time, capacity, energy, and momentum.’ We get it—the work doesn’t stop even though you’ve just completed one of the busiest programmatic seasons of the year. This often sounds like one member’s experience who described, “We have so much other work in the org! There are some internal challenges that we are needing to focus on, too, but we hope this work can be integrated as much as possible…”

Do any of the above sound familiar to you? You’re not alone. Discover more about our flexible-structured Change Network program designed to support you in driving inclusive change at work.


Talk with our team about the Change Network

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