UYD D&I Council

This is a recommendation from UYD (Use Your Difference) on structuring a D&I Council.

What​ ​makes​ ​a​ ​diversity​ ​council​ ​effective?

The​ ​diversity​ ​council​ ​must​ ​be​ ​intimately​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​both​ ​the​ ​overall​ ​diversity​ ​initiative​ ​and​ ​to​ ​the overall​ ​organizational​ ​business​ ​strategy​.​ ​They​ ​also​ ​must​ ​work​ ​well​ ​as​ ​a​ ​team​ ​and​ ​value​ ​the diverse​ ​perspectives​ ​represented​ ​in​ ​their​ ​membership.​ ​To​ ​ensure​ ​the​ ​diversity​ ​council​ ​is appropriately​ ​formed​ ​and​ ​guided,​ ​the​ ​following​ ​principles​ ​must​ ​be​ ​adhered​ ​to:

  • Senior​ ​leadership​ ​must​ ​embrace and support​ ​the​ ​process
  • Clear​ ​delineation​ ​of​ ​roles​ ​and​ ​responsibilities
  • Thorough​ ​selection​ ​process​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​the​ ​appropriate​ ​mix​ ​of​ ​skills
  • Representative​ ​membership
  • Effective​ ​teamwork​ ​skills
  • Appropriate​ ​infrastructure
  • Focus​ ​on​ ​trends​ ​and​ ​long-term​ ​change,​ ​not​ ​individual​ ​issues
  • Diversity​ ​must​ ​be​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​other​ ​organizational​ ​initiatives
  • Structured​ ​two-way​ ​communication​ ​with​ ​council
  • Adherence​ ​to​ ​these​ ​principles​ ​greatly​ ​enhances​ ​the​ ​likelihood​ ​of​ ​a​ ​meaningful,​ ​successful diversity​ ​council.

Proposed Role of the D&I Council

The ​role of the D&I Council diversity ​council ​serves ​as ​an ​advisory ​body ​to ​help ​senior ​leadership ​understand ​the complexities ​and ​nuances ​associated ​with ​diversity ​success. ​Although ​senior ​leaders ​often make ​decisions ​based ​on ​the ​lens ​through ​which ​they ​see ​the ​world, ​that ​lens ​is ​often ​skewed due ​to ​a ​lack ​of ​diverse ​representation. ​A ​diversity ​council ​can ​serve ​as ​the ​leaders' ​eyes ​and ears ​to ​help ​all ​the ​organization's ​diverse ​stakeholders ​experience ​the ​value ​of ​diversity. ​An effective​ ​council​ ​is​ ​also​ ​a​ ​visible​ ​sign​ ​to​ ​the​ ​organization​ ​that​ ​senior​ ​leadership​ ​is​ ​sincere about​ ​its​ ​commitment​ ​to​ ​diversity​ ​success.​ ​The​ ​council​ ​can​ ​serve​ ​to​ ​suggest​ ​actions pertaining​ ​to​ ​diversity​ ​success,​ ​gain​ ​insights​ ​from​ ​the​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​organization​ ​on​ ​their perceptions​ ​of​ ​the​ ​diversity​ ​effort,​ ​and​ ​monitor​ ​progress​ ​of​ ​the​ ​diversity​ ​initiative.​ ​The​ ​council will​ ​frequently​ ​sponsor​ ​events​ ​that​ ​help​ ​to​ ​celebrate​ ​diversity​ ​and​ ​further​ ​educate​ ​the organization​ ​on​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​diversity​ ​to​ ​the​ ​success​ ​of​ ​the​ ​organization.

Formal​ ​Structure

  • Volunteer​ ​Representative​ ​Membership
  • Elected​ ​Diversity​ ​Council​ ​Officers
  • Diversity​ ​Council​ ​Mission​ ​&​ ​Vision​ ​(Proposed​ ​by​ ​council,​ ​should​ ​include​ ​company wide-input,​ ​and​ ​leadership​ ​approval)
  • Council​ ​Led​ ​Activities​ ​Calendar
  • Allocated​ ​Budget
  • Council​ ​Meeting​ ​Agendas
  • Council​ ​Communication​ ​Manual​ ​(For​ ​Newsletters,​ ​Memos,​ ​Emails,​ ​Flyers​ ​&​ ​Events​ - Should​ ​include​ ​approval​ ​process​ ​directives)
  • Develop​ ​strategies​ ​for:
    • Proposing​ ​Continuous​ ​D&I​ ​Education​ ​Efforts
    • Supporting​ ​recruiting​ ​&​ ​partnership​ ​events
    • Reporting​ ​Metrics

Activities of the D&I Council

  • Create an internal business case for diversity and set diversity expectations for seniormanagers
  • Lead​ ​efforts​ ​in​ ​defining​ ​what​ ​Diversity​ ​and​ ​Inclusion​ ​means​ ​to​ ​Spring​ ​(with​ ​companywide​ ​employee​ ​input)
  • Lead​ ​efforts​ ​in​ ​Diversity​ ​&​ ​Inclusion​ ​workshops
  • Establish​ ​affinity​ ​and​ ​employee​ ​resource​ ​groups
  • Institute​ ​required​ ​diversity​ ​trainings
  • Develop​ ​a​ ​calendar​ ​for​ ​the​ ​2017/2018​ ​reflecting​ ​diversity​ ​related​ ​events​ ​and​ ​themes
  • Work​ ​with​ ​HR​ ​to​ ​welcome​ ​potential​ ​new​ ​hires​ ​and​ ​refer​ ​potential​ ​candidates​ ​to​ ​therecruiting​ ​team
  • Establish​ ​events​ ​that​ ​help​ ​celebrate​ ​diversity​ ​and​ ​further​ ​educate​ ​employees​ ​in​ ​the company​ ​on​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​diversity​ ​to​ ​the​ ​success​ ​of​ ​the​ ​organization
  • Work​ ​with​ ​leadership​ ​to​ ​formalize​ ​a​ ​ ​process​ ​for​ ​diversity​ ​representation​ ​at​ ​the​ ​seniorlevel,​ ​and​ ​develop​ ​plans​ ​for​ ​establishing​ ​a​ ​mentoring​ ​program


The ​diversity ​council ​is ​not ​the ​sole ​owner ​of ​the ​process. All ​organizational ​stakeholders ​must play ​a ​role ​in ​diversity ​success. ​Senior ​leadership, ​managers, ​human ​resources, ​employees ​and all ​others ​designated ​to ​impact ​the ​organizational ​culture ​should ​have ​identified ​roles ​in ​the diversity ​journey. ​The ​members ​of ​the ​council ​must ​openly ​and ​honestly ​represent ​their viewpoints; ​however, ​they ​should ​keep ​the ​organizational ​agenda ​as ​top ​priority ​while ​serving on the ​diversity ​council.

To ​avoid ​pitfalls ​impacting ​diversity ​success, ​the ​council ​must ​realize ​their ​role ​is ​not ​to:

  • Advocate ​for ​personal ​concerns ​related ​to ​issues ​of ​inclusion
  • Substitute ​for ​the ​critical ​role ​leadership ​plays ​in ​the ​diversity/inclusion ​process
  • Implement ​activities ​and ​programs ​independently
  • Act ​as ​the ​sole ​owner ​of ​the ​diversity ​process
  • Act ​as ​a ​"complaint ​body"
  • Make ​policy

To ​help ​avoid ​possible ​pitfalls, ​new ​members ​and ​non-members ​should ​be ​encouraged ​to ​attend

meetings, ​and ​council ​membership ​should ​be ​rotated ​every ​12 ​to ​18 ​months ​to ​ensure ​that ​fresh viewpoints ​and ​ideas ​continue ​to ​flow ​as ​part ​of ​the ​council ​efforts.

Officers​ ​within​ ​the​ ​Diversity​ ​Council


  • Ensures​ ​that​ ​the​ ​Diversity​ ​Council​ ​mission​ ​is​ ​executed.
  • Leads​ ​the​ ​Diversity​ ​Council​ ​officer​ ​team.
  • Sets​ ​meeting​ ​agenda​ ​and​ ​presides​ ​over​ ​Diversity​ ​Council​ ​meetings.

Vice​ ​President

  • Assists​ ​with​ ​special​ ​assignments​ ​as​ ​requested​ ​by​ ​the​ ​President.
  • Performs​ ​the​ ​duties​ ​of​ ​the​ ​President​ ​in​ ​the​ ​absence​ ​of​ ​the​ ​President.
  • Reviews​ ​all​ ​committee​ ​chair’s​ ​reports​ ​and​ ​activities.


  • Maintains​ ​all​ ​Diversity​ ​Council​ ​records​ ​and​ ​ensures​ ​their​ ​accuracy.​ ​Performs​ ​all​ ​duties relating​ ​to​ ​meeting​ ​logistics,​ ​including​ ​conference​ ​calls.
  • Sends​ ​out​ ​meeting​ ​reminders​ ​one​ ​week​ ​in​ ​advance,​ ​including​ ​distribution​ ​of​ ​the​ ​minutes of​ ​the​ ​prior​ ​meeting.
  • Prepares​ ​and​ ​provides​ ​minutes​ ​of​ ​all​ ​Diversity​ ​Council​ ​meetings​ ​and​ ​conference​ ​calls.


  • Maintains​ ​and​ ​preserves​ ​the​ ​history​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Diversity​ ​Council​ ​(publications,​ ​scrapbooks,


Election​ ​of​ ​Officers

  • The​ ​officers​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​elected​ ​by​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Diversity​ ​Council
  • The​ ​officers​ ​shall​ ​serve​ ​a​ ​one-year​ ​term,​ ​and​ ​elected