Council on Foundations

Leadership at Council on Foundations

Challenge

In 2016, the Council conducted an employee engagement survey to gauge perceptions on the degree to which we were fulfilling our core values. Among our core values, our commitment to diversity ranked fifth out of seven organizational values. Our leaders set out to address the engagement of our staff on the core value of diversity.

Actions

That year, the Council hired a Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The Council was the first philanthropic serving organization to invest in such a position. Under the direction of the new Vice President, we became more intentional with regard to our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion within our own organization. The Council actively supports broader campaigns focused on equity and equality. We have hosted heritage month events and brought in speakers to address multiple dimensions of diversity. The Council’s social media elevates the work of our diverse set of members and partners. We conducted mandatory unconscious bias training for the entire Council staff and we are exploring opportunities to build upon that in order to further develop the cultural competency of our staff.

Outcomes

Our intentional focus on diversity, equity and inclusion is not going unnoticed. In our most recent pulse survey, we gauged perceptions on the degree to which we had achieved our values. Our staff ranked diversity highest among the Council’s core values which is marked improvement over the previous staff survey. We attribute this increase in engagement to the Council’s leadership in setting the tone and to the intentionality and visibility of our efforts which are led by a DEI Advisory Group. 

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