The six pillars of diversity and inclusion

The six pillars of inclusion and diversity are the basis for our inclusion and diversity workplace accreditation, the Inclusive Employers Standard.

Read on to find out why we need the six pillars of diversity and inclusion, what they are and how they allow us to measure inclusion success.

Why do we need six pillars to measure inclusion and diversity?

The six pillars of diversity and inclusion provide a framework for our Inclusive Employers Standard (IES) accreditation to measure, guide and progress inclusion practices.

The submission questions are divided across the six pillars and provide participating organisations with the platform to demonstrate how their existing I&D practices meet the objectives of each of the pillars of diversity and inclusion. The IES is an evidence-based accreditation, which means participants are required to highlight real examples of how they are practicing I&D in their organisation.

This is another reason why we use the six pillars to measure inclusion and diversity – they provide a flexible foundation for inclusion practices to be measured, whether your organisation has 500 or 50,000 employees and whatever industry you operate in.

Flexibility is important in I&D because inclusion is not a tick box exercise and the same approach does not work for all organisations. The six pillars of diversity and inclusion allow us to celebrate and progression inclusion practices for all workplaces.

What are the six pillars of diversity and inclusion?

The six pillars of diversity and inclusion are Engage, Equip, Empower, Embed, Evaluate and Evolve.

The questions described below are an example of the themes that are addressed in each pillar of the IES. They give an overview of what the pillars cover but are not the actual questions from within the assessment.

Read on to find out how these pillars relate to your inclusion practices.

The Engage pillar

The Engage pillar asks organisations:

How are you engaging staff at all levels to ensure they have a good understanding and awareness of your organisation’s vision for inclusion and diversity?

The questions within this pillar aim to understand:

The House of Lords were awarded Gold Standard accreditation in the Inclusive Employers Standard. Find out how they showcase excellence in engaging with inclusion.

The Equip pillar

The Equip pillar asks organisations:

How are you equipping your staff to enable your organisation to design and deliver more effective inclusive policies and processes?

The questions within this pillar consider:

  • How you use training, policies and guidance to equip all employees, including managers and leaders, to build equality, diversity and inclusion into their work
  • How are all employees involved in the design and delivery of more effective policies, processes and services
  • You current policies, employee training, manager training and policy guidance

The Empower pillar

The Empower pillar aims to understand:

How do organisations empower by involving staff through networks, team discussions, Trade Unions and other channels? Do you value the contributions of everyone, including people from under-represented groups?

The questions within this pillar ask:

  • How do you ensure inclusion and diversity makes a positive difference to everyone in your organisation?
  • How do you support and encourage staff to develop their careers and increase their contribution to the organisation by enhancing their skills and abilities?
  • What consultation methods does your organisation use?
  • Do you hold employee self-organised inclusion related activities?
  • How do you recognise the contributions of employees who self-organise?
  • How do you role model inclusion? Do you have Inclusion Champions?

The Embed pillar

The Embed pillar asks organisations:

How are you embedding inclusion and diversity to build a positive reputation internally and externally, through polices like recruitment and training?

The questions within this pillar will consider:

  • How you build shared responsibility and accountability for improvements by embedding inclusion and diversity into everything your organisation does
  • How inclusion is embedded into your corporate strategy
  • How inclusion is embedded into your recruitment and procurement processes
  • How inclusion is embedded into your payment policies and performance development review
  • How inclusion embedded into all wider decision-making processes

The Evaluate pillar

The Evaluate pillar asks organisations:

How are you evaluating your inclusion and diversity progress? Are you measuring it against realistic and achievable targets?

The questions within this pillar ask:

  • How do you evaluate your inclusion and diversity progress?
  • How you use this information to set relevant and achievable interventions and targets
  • How you use profile data, wider data and qualitative research

The Evolve pillar

The Evolve pillar considers:

How are you continuously learning and drawing best practice to develop creative inclusive interventions and return on investment?

The questions within this pillar include:

  • How are you evolving by continuously learning and drawing on best practice to devise innovation and creative interventions?
  • How do you look externally to drive innovation internally?
  • How does your leadership drive innovation externally?

What are the next steps?

Now you know more about the six pillars of diversity and inclusion you can register to participate in the Inclusive Employers Standard or get in touch with any questions you may have. We look forward to working with you to support and progress inclusion and diversity in your organisation.