The Importance of Being Deliberate When Addressing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Recently, THRUUE presented at Hunt Scanlon Media’s Designing a Sustainable Culture Blueprint conference where hundreds of corporate culture leaders, Chief People Officers, business transformation experts, DE&I leaders, chief talent officers, and executive recruiters convened to explore how organizations are designing sustainable organizational cultures.

As a follow-up, Hunt Scanlon released their 2023 Corporate Culture Report, which included key insights from THRUUE Vice President of Leadership and Transformation, Phillipia Hillman, and our How to Lead Growth with Humans at the Center co-presenter, Barrett Values Centre’s Tom Rausch. In the 2023 Corporate Culture Report, Phillipia and Tom discuss post-pandemic organizational culture and how DE&I has been addressed in companies over the past several years:

Nearly three years have passed since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, MN, setting off a wave of protests nationwide and stirring corporate leaders to promise major changes when it came to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Some believe those promises have not been kept. Others say progress has been made, but not enough. “I think what happened is that everybody ran to do something without any data,” says Phillipia Hillman of THRUUE . “Everybody had a ‘Let’s do a training, let’s have a talk, let’s send a speaker, let’s hire someone,’ not really understanding the baseline [data] of their organization or getting leaders ready.”

A lot of corporations felt good, because they checked the box. But nothing really changed,” said Hillman. There was a rush to do something and corporations acted but the executive teams were not having “deep, reflective, and human-centered conversations about where they were in their own DEI journey and that led to where we are today. What you’re seeing now is more deliberative ways of thinking about DEI, in which leaders are asking: How do we look at our strategy through an equity lens? How are we looking at our culture through an inclusive lens? How are we looking at how we attract people around diversity, so it’s becoming infused in the system, as opposed to being done to the system? What you are seeing today is a stepping back, and a re-engaging in a much more deliberate and changing way.” “And in a deeper and more meaningful way,” adds Tom Rausch, of Barrett Values Center. “It’s not just about how many females or how many people of color do we have—although that’s really important, because diversity equals different perspectives equals more innovative thinking, because I’m putting all of those perspectives on the table. So those numbers are very important, but some of the underlying things like, ‘Are we being transparent? Are we sharing information equally, those are kind of systemic, cultural things that have little to do with DEI.”

Think abut it this way,” offers Dr . Hillman, “if you don’t have an inclusive culture, you’re not going to have DEI anyway.  It doesn’t matter if you’re not an inclusive culture, I don’t care what diversity you have in it. And that’s where some of the organizations didn’t stop and take an assessment of where are we, period, before we venture down this road.”


Learn more about the broad and lasting changes to the workplace culture in the 2023 Hunt Scanlon Media Corporate Culture Report here and make sure to check out insights from other experts such as: