Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are integral to business operations and success. As standalone terms, diversity, equity, and inclusion have been used across corporate America for decades. However, prior to 2020, these terms were not always holistically integrated into business operations.

It has been nearly three years since DEI captured the corporate spotlight with the convergence of the pandemic and racially-driven social unrest. This led to very difficult, yet necessary dialogue between colleagues, across boardrooms, within households, and via various media forums. Arising from this was newfound hope and opportunity to dig deeper and drive greater impact through an increased focus on corporate DEI commitments.

Looking ahead, 2023 could very well be the year of reckoning for corporations. Key stakeholders and shareholders alike are recalling previously established corporate DEI commitments and are seeking updates regarding progress and outcomes. That being said, DEI is a journey, not a destination and every corporation’s starting point and pace differ. Ultimately, the key to ongoing impact and evolution is interweaving DEI into the fabric of collective business operations and practices. By embedding DEI as a corporate value and simply “the way we do business,” companies are better positioned to develop action-based models with sustainable practices, all centered around constantly delivering meaningful outcomes.

At Truist, we have a longstanding commitment to DEI. At our core, DEI is rooted in our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. It runs through our values of “One Team” and “Caring”—where every person, voice, and moment matter. While our dedicated DEI leadership and office guide our efforts, these foundational beliefs inspire our more than 50,000 teammates, every day, to share accountability for our DEI execution and outcomes. Despite our best and continued efforts, opportunity always remains to raise-the-bar and drive greater impact.

I am fortunate to oversee DEI at Truist, which is integrated across all areas of our business. From multi-year strategies, to formal governance and infrastructures, to meaningful aspirations, to aligned programs and initiatives, we are intentional about our holistic DEI approach and hold ourselves accountable with measurable actions. This starts with executive leadership and extends across all levels of the organization.

We leverage specific efforts to drive impact across all diverse affinities. As an example, we’ve recently placed greater emphasis on ethnic diversity, including senior leadership representation. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made to date and have expanded our focus to also include gender diversity expanding across all leadership levels. Additionally, we’ve implemented an annual pay equity review process as part of our keen focus on building an equitable company. Furthermore, we elevated our commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through tangible investments in their students, the institutions, and surrounding communities. Our HBCU efforts have included diverse talent recruitment, student scholarships, infrastructure investments, sponsorships, financial literacy education, networking events, and more. Whether ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, veteran, and/or other demographics, we have various DEI program and efforts anchored in embracing all diversity, driving greater equity, and further fostering inclusivity.

As we embark on 2023, I look forward to witnessing the continued evolution of DEI. Corporations have a unique opportunity to further translate verbalized intentions into concrete actions to challenge status quo and bring about meaningful change. If you’re in the position to influence the evolution of DEI priorities at your workplace, I encourage you to explore how to operationalize it in all aspects of the employee and business lifecycles; it’s imperative to continued success. However, it is important to remember that success is never final. We must always explore new ways to build on our momentum to ensure our DEI commitments reflect and positively impact the communities we serve we serve, now and into the future.


0 comment

You may also like