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DEI in project management: How to build an inclusive project team?

Our research revealed that 98% of organisations plan to support their employees with issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) this year. They plan to do this by offering training and development (32%), implementing new policies and procedures (31%), and enhancing perks and benefits (24%).

So, what steps can you take to embrace DEI in project management?

Discover more insights from our 2024 research report.

What is diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential values that all organisations should strive to achieve.

  • Diversity: The representation of all people regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, race, physical ability, neurodiversity, etc.
  • Equity: Unlike equality, equity recognises that different people may need differing levels of support to achieve equal outcomes, as a result ensuring fair treatment for all
  • Inclusion: Creates an environment where everyone feels valued, fostering a sense of collaboration and belonging

Why is DEI important in project management?

A diverse project team brings a variety of different perspectives, experiences, and approaches to the table. This enhances creativity and innovation, and leads to improved problem solving. Inclusive teams foster a sense of community where employees feel valued and respected.

Talented individuals seek workplaces where they can thrive and contribute. Building a diverse and inclusive project team, not only improves the working environment for current employees but also encourage new hires to join the business.

Steps you can take to build a more inclusive project team

Step 1 – Reflect on and re-adjust your hiring practices

Ensure that hiring processes are open, creating equal opportunities for all that apply. Keep job descriptions and applications processes clear and concise, ensure interviews are hosted in an accessible location, and eliminate bias by evaluating candidates based on their skills, qualifications, and potential contributions.

Step 2 – Encourage training and further development

Invest in training programmes that enhance diversity awareness and inclusive leadership. As well as, providing equal opportunities for employees to enrol in training courses and mentorship programmes that will help them develop their skills.

Step 3 – Embrace inclusive stakeholder engagement

Ensure you are selecting stakeholders and suppliers that share your values when it comes to DEI. Consider the communication channels you are using and cater to differing preferences, some people prefer a face-to-face conversation, where others would opt for a written email, so they have more time to digest what is being said. When organising in-person meetings ensure the location is accessible for all.

Step 4 – Review policies and procedures

Evaluate current policies. Are there any opportunities to be more inclusive in your recruitment and promotion processes? What about flexible working arrangements, do you offer remote working, flexible hours, or parental leave? Are you offering equal pay, ensuring everyone is fairly compensated for their hard work? These are all staples of an inclusive working environment.

Step 5 – Ensure everyone is heard

Involve all team members in decision-making processes and give them the chance to share their ideas. Create a culture where feedback is welcomed and valued, encouraging open dialogue and active listening.

How can PRINCE2® training help?

Training employees in PRINCE2® will not only develop their project management skills, but will ensure they are talking a common language and give them an equal opportunity to better themselves.

View our PRINCE2 courses.