Diversity and Inclusion

Build individual, group, and organizational capacity to incorporate difference, promote justice, and increase effectiveness with staff, members, customers, and other constituents.

The case

Life in the 21st century organization is a multi-cultural mix. Differences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, and more are ever present. The task today is to build organizations that are inclusive of and responsive to difference. Justice and effectiveness go together. Organizations must recruit and retain staff, provide relevant programs, services and products, and build internal cultures that include people from different backgrounds. Individuals need the skills and awareness to create and sustain the inclusive organization.

Berthoud Consulting approach in action

The Diversity Diamond© model provides a comprehensive framework for supporting inclusion. We are thoughtful, respectful, curious, and, above all, share joy in diversity work. Most significantly, we assume that inclusion and cultural competence is an ongoing process of learning rather than something people can do “right” and be done–so we foster an appreciation of discovery throughout the work.

  • Articulate the case for inclusion, that is, identify what will be gained by building a more inclusive organization, and what will be missed if not created. Clarify the motivations for taking action.
  • Conduct an audit to learn how diversity and inclusion are experienced by organization’s participants and stakeholders and identify their aspirations.
  • Determine how the facets of diversity will be addressed. Develop an action plan that builds on the strengths of the organization
  • Build the cultural competence of individuals and groups within the organization with a combination of workshops, planning sessions, and revised internal practices, as needed. Identify untapped opportunities.
  • Assess results through regular reflection and adjustment. Develop records and reference materials for the organization’s continued use.

For example, see Client Spotlight: Miriam’s House


Rather than experience diversity work as “off to the side”, organizations develop an appreciation for diversity and inclusion as central to their success. They develop the skills, procedures, and programs to continually renew their commitment and effectiveness.

We initially contacted Heather to assist our organization in achieving its five-year strategic plan goals around diversity. What we quickly discovered is that Heather brings a profound understanding of the intrinsic correlation between internal organizational health, culture, and operations, and external programmatic outcomes. As a result, Heather has been instrumental in helping us to develop a Diversity Initiative that is as much about organizational development and program effectiveness as it is about individual learning, cultural competence, and inclusion.

Jen Ray
Chief Operating Officer
NARAL Pro-Choice America

See also

A Multi-Faceted Look at Diversity: Why Outreach is Not Enough

Summary of the Diversity Diamond Model

OD is Diversity: Differences are at the Heart of the Field