Examples of Values Statements with Commitments to Diversity/Inclusiveness
Many organizational values include a statement of commitment to diversity or inclusiveness.
An obvious statement would be "We value diversity." Without a further description of what "valuing diversity" means, it may be hard for people to link this statement with their work. Because inclusiveness is about treating people with respect, and because good management and leadership practices are related to successful inclusiveness practices, oftentimes values statements that do not directly relate to inclusiveness can be useful in creating a more inclusive organizational culture. For instance, such values as "We will treat each other fairly" and "We will value the opinions of others" don't directly mention inclusiveness, but they can promote the development of an inclusive organization.
Of course, just because an organization says it has a certain set of values does not mean that those values are a part of the day-to-day practices of the organization. However, even values that your organization aspires to are worthy because they can provide people with opportunities to raise concerns about how an organization says it wants to behave and how it actually behaves. This conflict between aspirations and reality can be especially common with values relating to inclusiveness. So long as there is buy-in at all levels when the values statement is created, statements about inclusiveness are worth including because they will help create internal understanding about the desired shift within the organizational culture.
Here are some examples of components of values statements from organizations that relate directly or indirectly to inclusiveness or diversity:
- Commitment to equitable treatment and elimination of discrimination in all its forms at all organizational levels and throughout all programs. (Cornell University Cooperative Extensions University, http://www.cce.cornell.edu/programs/diversity/values.htm)
- Commitment to diversity in all staff, volunteers, and audiences, including full participation in programs, policy formulation, and decision-making. (Cornell University, Ibid.)
- Recognition of the rights of all individuals to mutual respect; acceptance of others without biases based on differences of any kind. (Cornell University, Ibid.)
- Ability to lead and model diversity throughout the organization and to lead society toward pluralism. (Cornell University, Ibid.)
- Commitment to individual and organizational efforts to build respect, dignity, fairness, caring, equality, and self-esteem. (Cornell University, Ibid.)
- Diversity - Embrace cross-cultural diversity - Adaptable, anti-racist, embracing cultural differences, open to new experiences. (Mennonite Mission, http://mennonitemission.net;personnel/openings/workers/international/values.asp)
- Respect and value diverse life challenges, creating an environment that is inclusive of all. (The Denver Foundation, www.denverfoundation.org)
- Welcome and respect the diversity of our patients, employees, and physicians. (Rose Medical Center, www.rosemed.com/CustomPage.asp?guidCustomContentID=%7B41FF95B1-DF59-11D3-AD19-00509B91A0DD%7D)
- We acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We pledge ourselves to creating and maintaining an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages, and experiences. (Daniels Fund, http://www.danielsfund.org/)
These statements represent only a small sample of the many possible ways that values statements can embody an organization's commitment to inclusiveness.