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TrailBlazers: How Top Business Leaders are Accelerating Results through Inclusion and Diversity by Lenora Billings-Harris, Redia Anderson

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Chapter 13. Diversity and Inclusion Councils

Internal and External

Trailblazers utilize every possible resource to drive inclusion and diversity into their organizations' DNA. Among the infrastructure elements required to advance this work, employee resource groups, diversity action teams or committees, and diversity councils especially are required to execute effectively on the strategy. We addressed the impact of employee resource groups and local committees and action teams in earlier chapters. In this chapter, we want to specifically explore the impact of diversity and inclusion councils. Successful inclusion and diversity efforts have an internal diversity council, or an internal plus an external diversity council. No successful initiative has existed without one or both.

Strengthening Connectivity inside the Organization

These councils serve a powerful purpose of assisting the Trailblazers as a trusted advisor and a resource. They provide insight and information that's reflected in the organization and beyond, and they are a sounding board that managers can engage to accelerate the advancement of inclusion and diversity efforts. Councils provide a means to broadening the horizontal reach of the CEO, the CDO Trailblazer and SLT across the organization, whereas middle managers—whom we discussed in a previous chapter—provide the vertical depth of inclusion and diversity into the organization.

As Gil Casellas of Dell explains, "First and foremost was accountability. So Dell created ...

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