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August 17, 2021

DEI: A View Toward a Measure of Justice

The NCAA has mandated that all member Division 1 schools complete a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness” (DEI) analysis by not later than August 1, 2023. Interestingly, the NCAA neither defined what the terms “Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness” mean or how each institution should conduct that analysis. Nevertheless, the NCAA’s guidance clearly reflects a societal sea-change that nearly requires all institutions (higher education, corporate, and government) to engage in a serious introspection into attitudes and practices concerning DEI. 

BartlettJames is a national leader in the field of DEI. Since our inception, we have assisted colleges/universities, corporations, and governmental entities assess their respective DEI postures. In fact, we are the authors of a proprietary and in-depth DEI analysis process that proves meaningful and beneficial to our clients around the nation.  

For instance, our seasoned DEI professionals have synthesized these meaningful definitions:  

Diversity – Students and employees of different races, colors, and ethnicities. 

Equity – Treating persons fairly and without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, ancestry, disability, genetic information, military status, or veteran status. 

Inclusion – Eliminating barriers to participation in the university community and actively working to bring all persons into the community. 

Our proprietary “Diversity Examination” includes, for instance, a close review of the institution’s hiring practices. We look at how the institution actively seeks and encourages qualified minority applicant candidates; how and whether the institution makes effective use of minority-specific advertising platforms; and how well the entity adheres to applicable affirmative action plans. We also make inquiry into the entity’s other practices to develop a more diverse pool of applicants. 

Our proprietary “Equity Examination” draws from the principles of Title IX, Title VII, ADEA, etc. We look closely at the entity’s anti-discrimination policies and go behind “the numbers” to assess internal processes for maintaining equity. Of course, we also look at historical reports of discrimination and the outcomes, plus an analysis of whether the institution “learned from” those experiences and implemented real and meaningful change. 

Our proprietary “Inclusion Examination” assesses barriers that confront employees and customers in their efforts to access the entity’s resources and benefits. We conduct interviews and surveys to help identify whether the entity has historically excluded groups and whether those exclusions have been addressed and remedied. Our goal is to help the entity remove barriers. 

Most importantly, we help our clients become more effective in their respective DEI efforts. Our purpose is not to shame any person or entity, but rather, to build a collaboration with our clients and their stakeholders toward a more just environment. 

In the right circumstances, we help our clients “spread the word” to ensure various communities are engaged in our process so that all persons and entities are well informed about the client’s positive efforts and results. 

Together, we are professional participants involved daily in the changing dynamics in higher education, business, and government. We have an extraordinary team, prepared to help. We have the existing talent and experience to help you dig deep and work toward solutions that ensure all stakeholders are operating from a strong foundation of sustainable change and are all armed with equitable tools that will weather the test of time. 

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