There are many buzzwords and phrases in the workplace today, and you may wonder, “What does DEI stand for?” If so, this article should help clear it up for you. When DEI is a priority in your workplace, it helps every area of your company.

DEI isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some guidelines you can follow to ensure you’re implementing it correctly in your company.

So, What Does DEI Stand For?

DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Let’s break down what those three things mean.


Diversity is having a group of people with high differences in an area. Regarding workplaces, this usually entails physical, social, and mental differences. If you have a diverse group, you’ll have different genders, sexual orientations, religions, races, and other diverse groups.


Equity refers to ensuring everyone in your workplace has the same opportunities, developments, treatment, and promotion opportunities. The goal of equity is to eliminate any roadblocks in the workplace that would prevent someone from having equal treatment.

These roadblocks can be of various types. Some can be as basic as having a female name versus a male name. Others are based on a worker’s physical appearance or educational background. Whatever the barriers are, it’s crucial to eliminate them in the name of equity in the workplace.

DEI Stand For


Inclusion looks at how people with different backgrounds feel in the company. While you may have a diverse staff, this won’t automatically mean you have an inclusive staff. Inclusion allows all employees to feel like a valuable part of the team, regardless of their differences.

Why DEI Is Important in Workplaces

If your company doesn’t prioritize DEI and all it stands for, your employees will likely miss out on reaching their fullest potential. When you have diverse, inclusive teams, you’ll find that your team’s decisions are more thought out because they have many viewpoints and opinions.

Research also shows that diverse workplaces contribute to companies’ better performance. When your workplace has gender and racial diversity, you’re more likely to see better profits and more customers.

Overall, successfully implementing DEI in your workplace comes with these benefits:

  • Better financial performance
  • Becoming the employer of choice for diverse groups
  • Having more innovation and growth throughout the company
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Better decision making

How DEI Affects Each Level of Team Member

Now that you’ve answered the question, “What does DEI stand for?” it’s time to dive into how DEI affects every person in your company. DEI will boost morale, job satisfaction, trust levels, and engagement in the workplace. However, it’s shown benefits in certain job positions as well.


Your team is 158% more likely to understand a diverse customer if at least one member of the team is part of that diverse group. This relates to gender, age, sexual orientation, race, religion, and culture.


When your company has higher diversity, you’re likely to see as much as 38% more revenue than your competition with less diversity. Having team members from different educational backgrounds, countries, or career backgrounds can all contribute to innovation, which helps boost your revenue.


The top organizations in the country for gender diversity are more likely to be both profitable and better at creating value with customers. These factors help provide the type of long-term success your company wants.

Steps to Take to Improve Your Company’s DEI

We’ve examined what DEI stands for and why it’s crucial. Now, it’s time to examine how you can dissect your current diversity, equity, and inclusion and improve it in the areas that need improvement. It’s important to remember that DEI should become part of your company’s culture to impact your employees truly.

Educate Yourself

The first step to understanding DEI’s importance in the workplace is educating yourself on diverse groups of people. With the push for better inclusion in work and all other areas, there are plenty of resources available for you to study.

This is the best way to ensure that you have some background information on groups different from you so that you can have a well-rounded idea of how to approach your company’s DEI.

Look at Your Company’s Data

Your next step should be analyzing your team’s data. Take the information you have on each employee and look at the demographics represented. It’s a good idea to separate your leadership and look at the demographics in that area separately.

When you’ve collected this information, analyze it. From there, you can develop your DEI goals of where you want to improve your diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Set Goals and Keep at Them

No matter your goals, you must make them attainable and hold yourself accountable for working toward them. When you set goals that you can measure, you’re more likely to follow through with them, so keep that in mind.

Consider How You Hire

Look at the resources you use to find your new talent and attract potential employees. Take a strategic approach to where you advertise your open positions. Instead of using your mainstream job posting sites, look for more diverse ones you haven’t used before.

Be Open About Wages

The more secret a company is about wages, the more likely it is that they’re not paying equally. If you want to promote accurate equity in the workplace, have a transparent approach to wages. You should base all employees’ salaries only on their position and job performance and not on any aspect of diversity.

It can also help to post wage ranges on job postings. This will allow potential hires to know upfront what to expect and keep the hiring staff open and honest throughout the interview process.

Implement DEI Training for All

As much as your research helps understand what DEI stands for, you also need to spread that information to your employees. Implement options like diversity training and inclusion events to help promote the DEI way of life in your workplace. This can help employees grow as individuals and can help build the overall teamwork in your company.

Recognize All Holidays

Many companies focus on only the main American holidays. However, part of true inclusion is recognizing and respecting any holidays from other cultures represented in your workplace. Incorporate flexible time off for holidays and customs that are important to individual employees and their culture. This will allow your diverse workforce to feel more welcome in your company.

Be Pronoun-friendly

Respecting all employees’ identities is a significant step toward promoting inclusion and equity. Consider making pronouns commonplace in areas such as e-mail signatures. This is a much better approach than singling out your employees who may be trans or non-binary, which would lead to the opposite of inclusion.

If you aren’t sure about a person’s pronouns, you may respectfully ask them or choose to use non-binary language until you find out organically.

Don’t Forget Your Remote Employees

In today’s work field, many employees work remotely, part-time, or full-time. It can be easy to forget to include them in what’s happening in the office. However, forgetting them leads to lower inclusion levels. Take time to get to know your virtual employees and engage them in events whenever possible.

Focus on Onboarding

Your onboarding process should be extensive and thorough. When your new employees hit the floor, you want them to feel included in the team. A great way to do this is to provide them with a tenured coach or mentor for their first few months to have a confidant when they have areas they’re struggling with.

Giving new employees someone to help them feel included is a great start, but don’t forget to check in on them regularly as well. For one, you must make sure the mentor-mentee relationship is working. However, you can also take the opportunity to develop a relationship with your new employees from the get-go.

Allow Open Communication

One of the most significant ways to promote all DEI stands for is to allow for an open line of communication at all levels of employees. Employees want to feel heard, which makes them feel genuinely included in the workplace.

Make feedback and one-on-one meetings a regular part of your workplace. By having these meetings regularly, you’ll build trusting relationships with each of your employees. This approach will allow them to feel valued and included in the team.

The Takeaway

You started this article by asking, “What does DEI stand for?” Now, you know that DEI means diversity, equity, and inclusion. Plus, you understand why DEI is crucial in the workplace and how to improve it in your company. With the tools you’ve received, you’re ready to make your workplace open and accepting to all.