Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are notorious buzz words that are often thrown around the corporate landscape. But what really is DEI and how has it become a critical aspect of organizations across the globe? As companies aim to build diverse and equitable spaces in and outside of the office, many organizations have turned to DEI consultants to support this vision. In this article, we will delve into the emergence of DEI consulting, uncovering what DEI consultants do, the career trajectories they follow, and the salaries you can expect to make as a DEI consultant.
What Is A DEI Consultant?
A DEI consultant is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within organizations. Their objective is to execute strategies that support the representation and participation of diverse demographics including but not limited to ethnicity, ability, religious, gender, culture, age, and more.
DEI consultants are vital in steering organizations toward building inclusive cultures, bridging gaps and inequities that exist within the organization, supporting the implementation of DEI best practices, conducting assessments of workplace diversity, and supporting in the evaluation and measurement of these strategies.
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In the realm of DEI, there are various roles that contribute to an organization’s vision in creating and retaining diverse and inclusive workspaces. While they are united in their common goal, each role comes with unique perspectives and responsibilities:
DEI Hiring Managers / Recruiters
DEI recruiters are responsible for targeting and hiring talent from underrepresented backgrounds to help ensure that an organization’s workforce is reflective of the communities and clients they serve. A DEI Hiring Manager / Recruiter will work alongside affinity groups, employee resource groups, diverse pipeline programs, and diversity networks to ensure they are sourcing diverse talent
- DEI Expertise: DEI recruiters will have a strong and experienced background in DEI best practices and organizational strategy
- External Communications and Partnerships: A critical responsibility DEI Hiring Managers / Recruiters is their ability to work alongside diverse networks to source diverse talent from a large applicant pool. These communication and networking skills are vital to becoming successful in this DEI role.
DEI managers are different from hiring managers and recruiters in that they are responsible for implementing, overseeing, and improving an organization’s DEI initiatives internally. A DEI manager will orchestrate internal DEI policies and programs partnering with different departments and functions of the organization to ensure DEI is widespread within the organization’s culture.
- Programming: DEI managers will need experience in the execution of D&I strategies which includes development programs, events, resource groups, etc.
- Policy Development: DEI managers will be expected to build formalized DEI policies for the organization and will often have to report annually on an organization’s progress and metrics
DEI consultants are external advisors to organizations, supporting them in navigating and staying ahead within the DEI landscape. They provide tailored recommendations to organizations to help improve DEI hiring practices, implement DEI training for organizations, and diversify executive roles at a given organization
- External Advisory: DEI consultants will have to familiarize themselves with the DEI climate of an organization actively learning about past and current DEI models used internally
- Evaluation and Assessment: DEI consultants will often support in determine how to quantitative and qualitatively assess the efficacy of DEI strategies for an organization
A career as a DEI consultant is most certainly fulfilling. DEI consultants help multinational organizations build strategies to close gaps and inequities that exist internally, transforming the experiences of current and future underrepresented employees. Additionally, a career in DEI consulting offers invaluable skill-building. From the critical thinking skills and analytical capabilities to the client management expertise, a DEI consultant will have endless opportunities to expand their strategic capabilities. The path to DEI consulting will not look the same for everyone—you may start as a generalist at a topic consulting firm or a boutique that specializes in Diversity Equity and Inclusion. However, overtime many consultants will have an opportunity to become subject matter experts and “specialize” in a specific function within Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Typical DEI career paths will involve working closely with senior leadership, human resources, and employee resource groups to enhance DEI strategies, advise on policy development, and ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into the fabric of the organization
DEI internships are an opportunity for aspiring professionals to get a first glimpse and hands-on experience in the world of consulting at the intersection of strategy and DEI. DEI interns assist DEI consultants and managers in researching best practices, building out DEI models, and supporting implementation—a rewarding learning opportunity and stepping stone to a career in DEI consulting.
How To Become A DEI Consultant
- Educational Foundation
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study such as Human Resources, Social Sciences, Psychology or Business
- Build Relevant Experiences
- An effective way to open the door to DEI consulting is having experience in roles that emphasize elements of DEI
- Professional Development
- Having certifications to supplement an applicant’s interest in DEI will drastically improve one’s prospects in the recruitment process
- Building connections with future clients, human resource departments, and organizations looking to outsource DEI strategy will get one’s foot in the door to the DEI consulting industry while also providing clarity concerning whether DEI consulting is the right career for you!
- DEI Portfolio
- From internships to local DEI projects, building a CV of ways one has supported diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts will show recruiters and hiring managers that you have the experience, can drive results, and advise DEI from initiation to implementation
DEI Consultant Salary
|Company||Job Title||Total Pay Range||Base Pay Average|
|Bank of America||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$96K – $163K/yr||$124,617/yr|
|Oracle||Diversity & Inclusion Consultant||$149K – $237K/yr||$186,988/yr|
|Humana||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$97K – $166K/yr||$126,919/yr|
|Alabama Power||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$121K – $208K/yr||$157,961/yr|
|Kaiser Permanente||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$91K- $156K/ yr||$118,560 /yr|
|AdventHealth Orlando||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$47K – $77K/ yr||$60,320 /yr|
|Cornell University||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$62K – $98K/yr||$77,655/yr|
|Slalom||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$79K – $126K/yr||$99,624/yr|
|CIDIS||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$103K – $171K/yr||$132,498/yr|
|Hamro America||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$84K – $149K/yr||$111,619/yr|
|Walt Disney Company||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$139K – $233K/yr||$178,558/yr|
|Redscout||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$66K – $104K/yr||$83,200/yr|
|Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$88K – $149K/yr||$113,950/yr|
|PNC Bank||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$83K – $147K/yr||$109,919/yr|
|INL||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$60K – $96K/yr||$75,611/yr|
|Lee County School District||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$48K – $77K/yr||$60,806/yr|
|Securian Financial||Diversity and Inclusion Consultant||$91K – $158K/yr||$119,593/yr|
In the ever-evolving corporate landscape, DEI consultants play a critical role in shaping inclusive and diverse workplaces. Their work not only enriches organizations but also aligns with a commitment to fostering equity in corporate atmospheres. A career as a DEI consultant offers intellectual growth, continuous learning, and the satisfaction and impact of equity across organizations. As organizations continue to recognize the importance of DEI, the demand for DEI consultants is expected to rise, making this field a promising and rewarding career choice for those passionate about creating inclusive environments.