What Makes DEI Tools Effective? Insights and Lessons from the Make It. MSP. Employer Cohort

90-minute Workshops

Day 2

Session Code: S4-E
When: April 17, 2019
Location/Room: M 100 I
Level: Introductory
Track: D&I Strategy
Presenters: Caroline Karanja, 26 Letters  |  Tiffany Orth, GREATER MSP


We’re constantly presented with tools, data and resources to address DEI issues. But what makes us actually use a tool? How do we effectively use them? How do we improve tools and make them more applicable to real-world experiences? The Minneapolis–Saint Paul (MSP) region’s talent retention and attraction initiative, Make It. MSP., is exploring these questions through a collaboration of more than 100 organizations including many of MSP’s largest employers. To better understand the area’s issues in retaining professionals of color, the Make It. MSP. initiative began by surveying professionals of color about their experiences living and working in the region. To package the survey data and stories together and reach more organizations, the team created a free digital multimedia toolkit featuring the original research and personal stories with workshops for conducting conversations designed to help organizations improve workplace inclusion cultures, no matter where they may be in the journey.

This session will dive deep into the learnings and outcomes of the Make It. MSP. Inclusion Toolkit, and we’ll share insights from the first Make It. MSP. cross-sector employer cohort. The cohort engaged employers in facilitated workshops to use and apply the toolkit within their organizations, ultimately leading to a strengthened platform for collaboration and continuous learning. We will look at how employers applied the toolkit within their organizations across different types of structures and dynamics, and what they learned from each other.

Participants in this workshop will benefit from the insights of both the toolkit and the employer cohort and will engage in a discussion of how we can develop, use and improve DEI tools for the benefit of all. While the case study that guides the work is based in the MSP region, the findings, strategies and issues can be applied to other regions by learning how to create safe spaces for collaboration and peer-to-peer learning and developing better methods for using and improving tools.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Explore how to more strategically use, promote, and improve DEI tools and insights.
  2. Learn to develop a shared table for peer-to-peer learning and problem solving.
  3. Gain knowledge to create an open space to collaboratively discuss regional challenges around DEI.

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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