Deloitte’s New DEI Institute Announced at Westlake’s Deloitte University

Deloitte University—the financial services and consulting giant's 'cultural home' in the Fort Worth suburb of Westlake—will be a key site for impactful events of Deloitte's new DEI Institute.

Launched with a goal of pursuing "sustained equity and belonging for all," the institute will "convene and collaborate with organizations and thought leaders to share resources and accelerate impact," says Dan Berner, Deloitte's North Texas managing partner.

A “catalyst for change” came out of the recent inaugural Chief DEI Forum at Deloitte University in Westlake, north of Fort Worth.

Deloitte announced the launch of the DEI Institute, and gave it a goal of pursuing “sustained equity and belonging for all.” The institute aims to provide cutting-edge research and impactful events to help business and community leaders “drive meaningful change in workforces, marketplaces, and society.”

Advancing equitable outcomes

“Two years after making ambitious statements and goals, many companies continue to grapple with how to confront and take steps toward dismantling systemic inequities in their workforces and the communities they serve,” said Joanne Stephane, executive director of the DEI Institute and principal with Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital practice, in a statement.

“There is a continued need to provide actionable, data-based research to support organizations in advancing toward equitable outcomes in their decision making. Deloitte’s DEI Institute will serve as a catalyst for change,” Stephane added.

Westlake’s Deloitte University to be used for labs, events, and training

Though the institute won’t be physically based in Westlake, Deloitte University will be a key resource for it moving forward. Facilities at Deloitte University will be used for labs, events, and training sessions conducted by the DEI Institute, the company told Dallas Innovates.

Dan Berner, Deloitte’s North Texas managing partner, says connecting with organizations and leaders will be a key part of the new institute’s mission, and the company’s university in North Texas will be where much of that happens. 

One of [the DEI Institute’s] key priorities will be to convene and collaborate with organizations and thought leaders to share resources and accelerate impact,” Berner said. “DU, known as Deloitte’s cultural home, will continue to host impactful DEI events as the Institute begins its work as a catalyst for change.”

Focusing on three priorities

Deloitte says the new institute will build on its commitment to advance equity for all, by focusing on three key priorities:

• Driving groundbreaking research on emerging DEI trends and issues, building on seminal research such as Deloitte’s The Equity Imperative

• Convening and collaborating with organizations, thought leaders, academics and businesses to multiply impact

• Leveraging Deloitte’s “deep experience and extensive network” to champion DEI in business and as a corporate citizen

“The launch of the Institute underscores Deloitte’s focus on centering equity to eliminate opportunity gaps, create access, and bring innovative solutions to some of the world’s most challenging social issues,” said Heather McBride Leef, managing director of the DEI Institute, in the statement. “We hope to lead the vision for the role of business in driving equity and fostering belonging.”

Voices and input from advisory board and Eminence Review Board

The DEI Institute will be governed by an advisory board with internal and external participants, Deloitte says, as well as an Eminence Review Board representing leaders from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, and identities. Their role will be to provide guidance, help set priorities, and establish adherence standards.

“Sustaining equity and belonging for all involves commitment, investment, and action to change systems, processes, and policies,” Kavitha Prabhakar, chief DEI officer for Deloitte US, said in the statement. “DEI is a journey of continuous improvement. By convening bold perspectives, collaborations, and research, the DEI Institute can help companies meet their commitments and the increasing expectations among their workforces and key leaders to drive change.”

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