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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility

Man in a wheelchair working at a table with diverse co-workers
Credit: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

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Make equal opportunity a core value and practiced norm. Foster systems where all workers feel
respected and empowered in the workplace. Identify and remove systemic barriers to DEIA.

Strategies and Actions

Assess the organization’s equity practices.

  • Examine your organization’s internal policies, practices, and organizational culture to assess alignment with your organization’s values and its practices.
  • Identify key data and metrics to set a baseline and measure progress.
  • Conduct pay equity audits by gender, race, and ethnicity.
  • Communicate to employees the organization’s pay-setting practices and structures.

Institutionalize accountable, systemic change.

  • Clearly identify a senior leader responsible for developing a DEIA strategy, monitoring outcomes, managing roadblocks, and making necessary adjustments along the way.
  • Provide sufficient authority and resources to implement the DEIA strategy, ideally with the DEIA leader reporting directly to the organization head.
  • Create a diversity council or task force that includes senior leaders. Empower it to examine and inform policies related to hiring, firing, promotion, pay, layoffs, harassment prevention, and exit data.
  • Join a local or national business coalition committed to adopting DEIA actions.
  • Avoid gender-coded language in written and or verbal communications (i.e., use of “she or he” for candidate/employee references).
  • Use accessible language (e.g., to individuals for whom English is a second language).
  • Ensure that the organization’s online platforms and physical facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Empower the workforce to speak out against bias and discrimination in the workplace and speak for
DEIA without fear of retaliation.

  • Ensure that your employees have multiple channels to report concerns, voice opinions, and offer feedback; and adopt robust anti-retaliation measures to ensure that they may safely do so.
  • Hold focus groups to understand whether employees feel empowered to come forward to raise concerns and actions the organization can take to strengthen its systems.
  • Eliminate mandatory arbitration and nondisclosure agreements or clauses as a condition of employment.

Offer DEIA training to all employees.

  • Develop organization-wide and individual opportunities for awareness and customized DEIA training. Align the training with the organization’s mission and values. Ensure that training raises worker awareness and also builds hard skills.
  • Reinforce the training yearly as part of a sustained, integrated strategy to promote change in culture, behavior, and practices.
  • Explain how the organization is committed to DEIA in job descriptions.
  • Have managers endorse the importance of DEIA training.

Use mentorship, coaching, and sponsorship to help diverse talent advance.

  • Design formal mentoring programs that align with employees’ career interests and needs.
  • Establish recovery-ready workplace policies.
  • Accommodate workers’ recovery treatment and ongoing support needs.
  • Provide ongoing education and information to reduce stigma and misunderstanding.

Job Quality Baldrige Style

See how Baldrige Award recipients demonstrate many of the strategies and actions recommended in the Job Quality Toolkit.


  • Baldrige Customer Service
    (301) 975-2036
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1020
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020
Created March 31, 2023, Updated April 1, 2023