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Areas of Expertise

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

We work with business to drive social justice at the individual and systemic level so people from all backgrounds can thrive. In particular, our program focuses on women’s empowerment, racial justice, and LGBTI equality.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Overview


Introducing the Center for Business and Social Justice


Next month, BSR will officially launch an important new pillar of our work to mobilize business to advance a truly inclusive society: The Center for Business and Social Justice.

The new global center will work with companies who are committed to advancing social justice in close collaboration with partners from civil society, academia, government, worker representative groups, and the philanthropic sector.

The Center’s direction, action and voice will be guided by an advisory group, also to be announced soon, which will ensure that the Center’s work is grounded in the communities and people they serve and represent.

Perhaps most importantly, The Center will respond to the need for deeper reflection, action, and leadership by companies, as well as the need to involve diverse voices from across sectors.

More and more companies are expected to take stances on issues such as climate change, voting rights, racial justice, and reproductive health. Businesses are engaging in advocacy and working to address barriers facing their workforce—but too often this activity is occurring with insufficient understanding as to how issues intersect, diminishing its full impact.

The Center seeks to strengthen the focus and impact of these engagements, by providing thought leadership, policy advocacy platforms, and opportunities for collective action to the private sector to take an equity-led, systemic, and intersectional approach to achieving social justice.

We welcome your active participation, and look forward to your engagement. For more information, please contact us.


Business Benefits


Mounting calls for business to address the needs of stakeholders, and not merely shareholders, reflect concerns about the role of business in society and its contribution to ongoing systemic barriers for diverse populations. Companies stand to benefit tremendously from strategic approaches to DEI, including:

  • Talent attraction and retention
  • New business relationships
  • Innovative product and service development
  • Enhanced governance and decision-making
  • Responding to stakeholder interests

DEI at BSR: Definitions

In the past, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have been used interchangeably or associated with compliance-driven, human resource efforts. Today, they are recognized as three distinct tools that form the fundamental building blocks of social justice.

Diversity

Diversity is all the ways in which people differ, including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, language, and socioeconomic status.


Equity

Equity is the strategic distribution of resources so that all groups reach comparable outcomes. It is markedly different than equality—which focuses more on inputs, treating all groups the same, and preserving the status quo.


Inclusion

Inclusion is creating environments in which individuals or groups can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. It is a culture of belonging where every person’s voice adds value.


Social Justice

Social Justice is the systemically fair treatment of individuals by society, in which no one’s identity shapes their opportunities or outcomes. Social justice combats systemic or institutional oppression, which produces disparate outcomes based on identity (ex. wealth gap). Specific subsets of social justice focus on particular identities, such as racial justice’s focus on people of color.



Our Ambition for Companies

BSR works with companies on DEI by providing a range of services in line with BSR’s Act, Enable, Influence framework:

Act

Companies can act within their own boundaries.

Including: diversity recruitment, retention, and employee development; data transparency; pay equity and paying living wages; cultural competency training; governance and decision-making, such as diversifying Boards and executive teams; due diligence, especially integrating racial justice, women’s empowerment, and LGBTI rights into human rights due diligence, or racial equity impact assessments.

Enable

Companies can partner with others to extend their opportunities for impact.

Including: investing in businesses, suppliers, and nonprofits owned and led by people of color, women, and the LGBTI community; building relationships and strategic partnerships with civil society and community organizations working on racial justice, LGBTI rights, and women’s empowerment issues; reviewing the relationship between product development and DEI, such as (1) the type of products developed and how they are developed, and (2) who products are/are not developed for or sold to; sharing best practices on policy, process, and performance to enable improved decision-making by others.

Influence

Companies should use their voice to influence systemic and institutional discrimination and injustice.

Including: integrating racial justice, LGBTI rights, and women’s empowerment more deliberately into public policy and government affairs activities; initiating or joining industry or multi-stakeholder collaboration and collective action efforts; holding peers and their leaders accountable to upholding DEI principles; funding and expressing support for organizations working on DEI issues, such as those promoting criminal legal system reform.


Our Services

BSR works with our member companies to develop DEI strategies and assessments that are globally relevant and encompass entire company value chains.

In that respect, BSR offers companies:

  • DEI impact assessments, with a focus (where relevant) on a specific identity such as gender lens or racial equity assessments
  • Strategy development, including guidance on how to develop holistic DEI approaches that address individual company and system-wide change
  • Stakeholder engagement, input from leading DEI organizations on strategy and programs
  • Guidance on how to embed DEI in governance and management, including advice on how to better embed DEI into decision making and day-to-day operations at companies.
  • Best practices for reporting and transparency, including recommendations on key metrics and narratives to ensure companies are effectively communicating activities, impact, and progress

Our Insights on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Key Ways for Business to Respond to  the Fall of Roe v. Wade

Blog

Key Ways for Business to Respond to the Fall of Roe v. Wade

The sweep of the ruling on abortion is staggering and destabilizing for business in America. Here are seven key points for business to consider.

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Inside BSR: Q&A with Cecilie Jørgensen

Blog

Inside BSR: Q&A with Cecilie Jørgensen

Inside BSR is our monthly series featuring BSR team members from around the world. This month, we connected with Cecilie Jørgensen, a Manager based in Copenhagen.

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Bridging the Supply Chain Gender Gap through Digital Training

Blog

Bridging the Supply Chain Gender Gap through Digital Training

HERessentials, a tablet-based learning app for workers and managers, started as a response to the COVID-19 crisis, but it has the potential to build digital capabilities for all workers. We share three key recommendations for businesses considering how to set up digital training in supply chains.

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Race and Ethnicity: Civil Society Expectations for Business and Recommendations for Company Action

Blog

Race and Ethnicity: Civil Society Expectations for Business and Recommendations for Company Action

Racism and ethnic discrimination is a global problem, and addressing these issues benefits everyone. We conducted interviews among BSR’s 300 member companies to identify common challenges companies face when addressing these issues and the potential opportunities this can represent for businesses. We also interviewed civil society organizations around the world to understand their expectations for corporate action.

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The Corporate Rainbow: Going beyond Pride Celebrations and Creating Lasting Impact

Blog

The Corporate Rainbow: Going beyond Pride Celebrations and Creating Lasting Impact

How can companies combat performative allyship and rainbow-washing? We share ways to support the LGBTQI+ community that create long-lasting impact.

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LGBTI Inclusion in Action: Q&A with Dominic Cole-Morgan of Scotiabank

Blog

LGBTI Inclusion in Action: Q&A with Dominic Cole-Morgan of Scotiabank

Business can help advance LGBTI equality and create more inclusive and equitable workplaces. This includes Scotiabank, which recently announced a significant expansion of gender affirmation benefits for employees and their families. To kick off Pride Month, we connected with Dominic Cole-Morgan, Senior Vice President, Total Rewards, Global Human Resources at Scotiabank to discuss the recent announcement and Scotiabank's broad commitment to human rights.

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Modernizing the Social Contract in 2021: Five Developments for Business to Consider

Blog

Modernizing the Social Contract in 2021: Five Developments for Business to Consider

COVID-19 has shown—in a tragic way—how interconnected the world is. All the events of the past year and a half have also reinforced and deepened the urgent need to redefine the social contract and the key role business must play in that effort.

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Beyond #StopAsianHate: Building an AAPI-Inclusive Workplace Culture

Blog

Beyond #StopAsianHate: Building an AAPI-Inclusive Workplace Culture

As the U.S. celebrates AAPI Heritage Month this May, there is an opportunity for business leaders to learn more about the AAPI experience and help to build a more just, sustainable, and inclusive world—beginning in the workplace.

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Collaborative Initiatives on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

HERproject™

HERproject™

Unlocking the full potential of women working in global supply chains through workplace programs promoting health, financial inclusion, and gender equality

Read More 


Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality

Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality

A coalition of organizations committed to leveraging their individual and collective advocacy to accelerate LGBTI equality and inclusion globally and drive positive change.

Read More 



See all Collaborative Initiatives

Meet the Team

Americas


Americas


Jessica Custer

Jessica Custer

Associate Director

Americas


Europe, Middle East, and Africa


Americas


Kelly Gallo

Kelly Gallo

Associate Director

Americas


Americas


T. Harris

T. Harris

Associate Director - Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Americas


Americas


Americas


Europe, Middle East, and Africa


Laura Macias

Laura Macias

Manager, HERproject

Europe, Middle East, and Africa


Victoria Reca

Victoria Reca

Manager, Women's Empowerment

Europe, Middle East, and Africa


Asia-Pacific


Jen Stark

Jen Stark

Co-Director, Center for Business and Social Justice

Americas


L. Simone Washington

L. Simone Washington

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Americas



Talk to Us  
Contact the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team with any questions.