Getting Started with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Getting Started with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Chief diversity officers explore diversity, equity and inclusion issues that affect behavior, values and culture in their children's hospitals.

As pediatric health care organizations collectively reexamine and implement diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, a webinar, DEI: Lessons Learned So Far, offers insights and strategies from Children's Mercy Kansas City and Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

In this panel discussion, diversity leaders discuss the importance of DEI efforts, not only in the workforce and staffing, but in providing quality patient care.

Guiding principles

Leaders at Children's Mercy and CHLA highlighted the importance of building a strong foundation for change and encouraging transparency and accountability when it comes to DEI efforts.

By setting clear intentions and objectives, the teams at Children's Mercy and CHLA are better prepared and empowered to accomplish their goals. This starts with:

  • Making an organization-wide commitment that includes challenging the status quo, creating accountability, and making DEI a personal priority.
  • Fostering connection and communication among employees. By assuming good intentions, practicing humility and fostering curiosity, employees are equipped to have the necessary conversations.
  • Creating a sense of belonging within the culture. Feeling safe, listened to and celebrated leads to better outcomes in retention and productivity and fosters an inclusive culture.

A phased approach

While these efforts will span many years and require broad changes, creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable organization starts with listening. Before establishing formal DEI initiatives, leaders can work to establish foundational knowledge, build capacity and connect with staff and communities across the organization.

Over the next several years, plans include:

  • Building infrastructure to maintain sustainable efforts.
  • Changing behavior and monitoring progress.
  • Intertwining this work into organizational culture.