In 2018, IYF’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council formed to push the organization to take action for meaningful change at IYF. “Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the global development sector is absolutely critical,” said Susan Reichle, IYF’s President & CEO. “And we knew change had to begin internally, under our own roof.”
According to DEI Council Chair Patricia Davila, “One of the most important things we achieved in 2021 was operationalizing our DEI Council—creating a governance and charter that clearly defines roles, expected level of effort, and term limits. Another big step was establishing metrics against which to measure our progress, including where we fell short. DEI should be measured with the same rigor as any other program at IYF.” For a deeper dive, read our 2021 DEI Report and a candid interview with Patricia.
In 2020, IYF’s DEI Council spearheaded the creation of #4toSoar—four focus areas where IYF committed to taking actions to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially internally in our U.S. office. “Our #4toSoar goals are an important part of our overarching DEI efforts,” Susan Reichle explained. “These goals are not just short-term objectives that can be accomplished and crossed off the list. Instead, we view this as a dynamic roadmap to guide our journey. I’m proud of what we accomplished in 2021, but I also know we have a long way to go as highlighted by the challenges section of our first external DEI report. This journey won’t ever—and shouldn’t ever—end. As the world changes, as new obstacles emerge and new needs arise, the journey continues."
#4TOSOAR ROADMAP: 2021 PROGRESS, STALLS, AND SETBACKS
IYF will advance stakeholder DEI engagement.
- Shared our DEI framework and approach with corporate partners who were interested in diversifying their own supply chains, talent pipelines, and procurement efforts.
- Adapted the existing Passport to Success Explorer (PTS-E) life skills curriculum to meet the evolving DEI content needs of our youth-serving implementing partners.
- Partnered with Rodan+Fields to host two training sessions—one addressing micro-inequities, one targeting anti-racism—for IYF’s U.S.-based staff.
- Supported capacity building of partner organizations by inviting their staff to take part in IYF's DEI-relevant training sessions. Twenty-five team members from U.S.-based partner organizations participated.
- Reexamined partner selection process to ensure partner organizations are representative of the community being served.
- Increased the number of “youth board members” from two to four; however, we did not adequately engage them and other youth-serving board members in advancing IYF’s DEI goals. This will be a priority in 2022.
STALLS & SETBACKS
- In 2021, we did not join the 15 Percent Pledge, committing that 15 percent of IYF's vendors (goods and services) will be Black-owned businesses. We seek to do this in 2022.
- While we have partnered with two HBCUs (Stillman College and Howard University), we have not yet engaged them during new business development efforts, product and curriculum development, and feedback regarding IYF platforms. In 2022, as we deepen our partnerships and expand with other HBCUs, this will be a key growth area.
IYF will increase the percentage of BIPOC staff at all levels—including leadership—to better represent the communities we serve and drive impactful and innovative programming.
- Fifty-seven percent of new hires in the U.S. identified as BIPOC, and of those, 25 percent identified as Black. Our goal was 50 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
- At least one person on interview panels identified as BIPOC.
- At least one finalist for each position identified as BIPOC.
- IYF has consistently been posting job vacancies on HBCU job portals and with specific job boards as relevant to the job opportunities. For example, we have not only posted our finance and accounting positions on HBCU job portals, but additionally on portals such as the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).
- We changed racially-biased requirements for some positions to remove hiring barriers (such as international development experience) that systematically exclude BIPOC talent. Moving forward, we will analyze similar requirements for all positions.
- As of August, all new job postings are shared with multiple, diverse posting locations and are managed by IYF’s HR department. This means IYF can tap into a broader talent pool to bring rich perspectives and experiences into the organization.
- In 2021, IYF engaged intentionally with HBCUs regarding partnership opportunities, recruitment and our first paid internship pilot program which was heavily focused with HBCUs. IYF will continue to climb the steps in this initiative in 2022 by expanding and deepening partnerships with local HBCUs, attending job fairs, and replicating the paid internship program to build a talent pipeline.
STALLS & SETBACKS
- Due to an internal HR transition, IYF was unable to participate in planned HBCU job fair(s) in the fall of 2021, but we expect to do this in 2022.
- Due to HR transition, IYF was unable to become a featured employer on HBCU Career Center, but we expect to do this in 2022.
IYF will revise our internship policies to ensure equity of access for all young people.
- Revised our existing internship policy to ensure the elimination of exclusionary practices and barriers to economic opportunities.
- Created space on the IYF website to solicit applications for internships and conducted outreach to diverse channels with access to diverse youth.
- Cultivated partnerships with local HBCUs, community colleges, high schools, and workforce programs (including summer youth employment), to develop a talent pipeline of diverse candidates.
- Allocated funding to provide paid internship opportunities, particularly for youth from low-income backgrounds. Three young interns who identify as BIPOC or as members from a historically marginalized group participated. Moving forward, we expect to grow these numbers.
IYF will revise its professional development and internal training policies to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental to the way we work.
- For the first time, we established an institutional budget to develop and institutionalize mandatory DEI onboarding activities and other learning activities that advance DEI at IYF.
- Ensured that all new training includes a participant learning evaluation component to measure if participants acquired the intended knowledge and skills.
- With funding provided by Rodan + Fields, we conducted two DEI-relevant training sessions for IYF and partner organization staff; however, one training was not as well attended as we’d hoped, and the other didn’t live up to our expectations. In 2022, we hope to offer more (and better) training opportunities and to improve attendance.
According to Yvonna Stevens, IYF’s CFO and an active DEI leader and champion at IYF, “The greatest challenge along IYF’s journey to reach our #4toSoar goals is embracing the journey. I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. He said, 'You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.' At IYF, our journey is like a staircase—we may not see all the stairs ahead of us, and we may sometimes get knocked down a few steps, but on this journey, we just need to keep focused on taking the next step ahead of us and moving forward. Each goal we reach is like a step taken and will result in a new goal, or a new step ahead. There is always more progress to be made and new opportunities for us to improve."