About the Toolkit

This toolkit was created to support executives and senior leaders of mid-to-large sized companies and the owners of small businesses.

We assembled this information initially for members of Colorado Inclusive Economy leadership cohorts, but it quickly became clear that other leaders may benefit from the guidance collected here. So, we made this toolkit available to anyone who wants to use it. Please learn from the material here and use it in good faith. Feel free to share this material widely, and when you do, cite this toolkit as your source. We will keep it updated to the best of our ability.

The toolkit is designed to enable understanding of the big DEI picture, and specific topics, while also providing suggestions for specific actions that leaders can choose to take within their companies. However, before you jump into action, it is important for you to understand more about your own personal stance, and the current state of your company relative to DEI. Why does your personal stance matter? Leaders drive decisions, opinions, and culture at work. If you are in a leadership position, your personal stance on important topics like DEI matters to your company whether you want it to or not.

While it can be exciting to immediately begin to hire a more diverse workforce, hiring new employees into an organization that is not inclusive can lead to high turnover and a poor reputation among job seekers. Job seekers will quickly spread a message about how they believe they were set up to fail at your company. To avoid that common pitfall, we urge you to review “The Background” and “Foundations to an Inclusive Economy” sections, and then to begin by taking the actions in the “What to do first” subsection.

Although this toolkit focuses on racial diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the same approach and concepts apply for other marginalized groups. The goal of this toolkit is to provide resources for leaders to take a thoughtful approach to DEI, and to allow leaders to broaden their understanding of what it means to lead a DEI initiative within a company.

We separated the material into a foundation and three pillars.

  • Start with the foundation.
  • Pillar 1 includes material to support the company.
  • Pillar 2 includes material to support the larger workforce.
  • Pillar 3 includes material to support the overall business ecosystem.

The Toolkit provides a total of 5 sections with several subsections. Each subsection provides a brief overview to help a leader develop a high-level understanding of the topic. Additional resources are provided for those that want to dive into the details (or delegate a dive into the details to a member of their team). You’ll find resources that are quick to consume along with other resources that will take some time. We included multimedia resources when possible.

There are more possible actions presented here than one company will tackle. Don’t expect to do everything in the Toolkit. Choose what seems right for your company’s needs on your company’s own timeline.

There are many organizations that are already implementing great solutions and doing great DEI work in Colorado. The toolkit identifies organizations that you could engage to support your journey. We have also included “Pro Tips” for companies that can’t afford additional support, but are willing to put in the time to learn how to implement things on their own.

We are excited that you are beginning your DEI journey, and hope this toolkit provides a valuable resource to help you on that journey!