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9 SMART Diversity & Inclusion Goal Examples

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The modern business world is changing for the better, at least when it comes to diversity and inclusion policies, laws and regulations. And the importance of D&I for company success is proven again and again. That’s why it’s ideal to set smart diversity and inclusion goals.

Companies in all industries are being asked by governments (and evolving societal norms) to create an inclusive workplace, hire diverse employees, and build corporate cultures that support underrepresented groups.

These expectations are a good step in the right direction, and if you're here, it means you're ready to learn more about D&I practices. You are probably interested in taking another significant step towards an inclusive culture and setting inclusive goals for your company.

That's exactly what you'll learn today, only through the lens of the SMART method. So what are SMART goals for diversity and inclusion? Here we go.

What are SMART goals for diversity and inclusion?

The acronym SMART stands for goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-limited or time-bound. The SMART method has been used in business for decades, but it is also an excellent tool for your personal life.

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, SMART goals focus on internal and external issues.

SMART D&I goals can include the specific steps and initiatives to improve your D&I efforts in your work environment. It can also be the steps you take to create an inclusive employer brand and attract diverse applicants.

First, let’s consider why SMART goals are so important for inclusion in the modern business world.

The importance of SMART goals for diversity and inclusion

There is a difference between setting arbitrary, albeit noble, goals and setting goals that will benefit your company and your employees within a specific time frame. This distinction is where the SMART method comes into play.

The SMART format enforces accountability and action. When you commit to setting SMART diversity and inclusion goals, provide your teams with detailed steps and strategies to achieve them.

Each letter of the SMART acronym requires you to assign specific parameters to your goals that guide your strategy and determine next steps. A process template can help you capture your SMART goal ideas in an organized manner.

This approach also keeps your teams focused on the right tasks and allows you to prioritize your goals based on available time frames and resources. This leads to better cash flow management overall.

9 examples of SMART goals for diversity and inclusion

Now that you know what SMART goals are and why they are so important, let's look at examples of specific diversity and inclusion goals.

Note: You can also take a look at our examples of great diversity goals, where we mention the big companies like AT&T and Facebook and how they and many other companies are approaching these strategies.


The first goal you can set for your recruiters is to expand their efforts to provide greater diversity in new hires and applicants.

Setting up a recruiting system takes time and effort. Therefore, it is important to have the right idea of what the company is looking for (and should be looking for) and how to find it. A comprehensive employee onboarding framework will help with this. An important goal is therefore to ensure that diversity is included in the process.

Without the SMART format, this goal would be an arbitrary goal without real metrics and KPIs to measure success. So let's put it into the SMART schema:

  • Specifically: ensure more diversity when selecting new employees and applicants
  • Measurable: Increase in the number of hiring employees from different backgrounds by 30%.
  • Achievable: Use inclusive language in all candidate materials and campaigns
  • Realistic: Given current resources, a 20% increase is a good result, with another 10% coming from new hire referrals and word of mouth.
  • Time-bound: Prepare new materials and recruiting tactics within three months

This example shows how you can take a granular approach to diversity recruiting and give your teams something concrete. So work closely with your hiring managers to see what is truly achievable and refine the goal.


One of the most important goals you should set for your hiring managers and your employer brand as a whole is to create more inclusive job descriptions.

Achieving this goal will be one of the most effective changes you make in your hiring strategy. It also allows you to attract diverse talent and create an inclusive workplace. Luckily, you can easily set and achieve this goal with the help of IceHrm's Text Analyzer tool.

This tool scans your existing job descriptions and any other text you want to use for non-inclusive and exclusionary language. You'll then receive intelligent recommendations to replace these phrases with more inclusive terms, eliminate unconscious bias, and even make your job descriptions more appealing.

Here's how this goal works with the SMART format:

  • Specific: Make job descriptions more inclusive
  • Measurable: 100% elimination of prejudice and non-inclusive language
  • Achievable: Use a smart tool like IceHrm's Text Analyzer
  • Realistic: use the software's intelligent recommendations to eliminate biases and introduce inclusive language into every job posting text
  • Time-bound: Reach the goal in minutes with the right software

While the right tool can make the difference for some goals, others require a little more manual work, like this next goal.


You can't make meaningful changes in your company if you don't involve your employees in your D&I efforts. Therefore, your employees will be instrumental in driving your diversity recruiting strategy along with your existing D&I culture and campaigns.

However, to achieve this inclusivity, you need to know what type of information you collect, how you collect it, when you collect it, and how you can use it to drive your D&I strategy.

In SMART format it might look something like this:

  • Specific: Assessing employee perceptions of D&I efforts
  • Measurable: Identify pain points, areas for improvement and positive factors
  • Attainable: Conduct anonymous surveys with relevant and specific questions
  • Realistic: Collect enough data to support internal and hiring D&I efforts and increase your inclusion score within the next 12 months.
  • Time-bound: Conduct a survey a month before a new hiring campaign.

So, working closely with your HR department, you can set the specific questions and parameters of your surveys to unlock their true potential.

Remember that the key to the SMART method is being able to measure your efforts and their results. Knowing how to leverage your DEI analytics will help you make the right decisions later.


Another big goal to work towards is increasing the number of minority-owned businesses you work with. These companies can include any outsourcing firms you work with, as well as vendors, suppliers, and contractors.

Achieving this collaboration goal is a little more difficult because you have to slowly move away from existing partners and then find and enter into new partnerships that also make financial sense. Even if you like a minority-owned company for its D&I culture, it may not make financial sense to do business with that company.

This process might look like this if you use the SMART format so you don't end up in the wrong partnerships:

  • Specific: Adding a minority-owned business as a partner
  • Measurable: Establish criteria for qualifying potential partners
  • Reachable: Research potential partners and have conversations
  • Realistic: Enter into a testing partnership and monitor performance KPIs
  • Time-bound: Entering into a new partnership within 12 months

The next worthwhile goal you can work towards is providing mentorship and development opportunities to young professionals from underrepresented backgrounds. So focus on underrepresented groups and the younger generation seeking an opportunity in the competitive business world.

These are the people who need your help now more than ever. So when you work with a staffing agency to find talent, leverage their skills and expertise to find these diverse groups and invite them into your mentorship programs.

Or, start by working with underrepresented organizations and keep your staffing agency in the loop so they can focus on these talented groups in the next hiring phase. You don't want to lose them when the mentorship program is over.

So use the SMART format to create a concrete action plan:

  • Specific: Choose an underrepresented group
  • Measurable: Identify their problems and goals
  • Reachable: Determine the organizations you can partner with to provide mentoring.
  • Realistic: Set a realistic number of young students you can accommodate.
  • Time-bound: Complete your mentorship program within a specific time frame, e.g. six to twelve months.

If you have the right organizations on your side, a good goal could be to provide up to 300 successful mentorships in a year.


There is no denying that every board in the modern business world should be built on the principles of diversity and inclusion. This way, you can ensure that these values permeate all levels of your organization and become the cornerstone of your brand activities (internal and external).

This process is lengthy and complex, so here is an example of a SMART approach:

  • Specific: Bring people from underrepresented and diverse groups to your board
  • Measurable: Determine the most important characteristics and qualities of these positions
  • Attainable: Build a leadership team and identify the best talent.
  • Realistic: Strive to fill enough positions to ensure diversity and adequate representation.
  • Time-limited: appointment of new directors within the next three years

Do you promote some of your employees from certain backgrounds more often than others? Is there a promotion gap between different teams in terms of rewards, ranks and compensation?

Then perhaps it is time to identify and eliminate these problems. Differences like these can not only lead to employees being dissatisfied with their position. They can also create an unpleasant work environment that can impact the company's overall results.

Here's how you can address equality and equal opportunities using the SMART method:

  • Specific: Equal opportunities for advancement for different backgrounds, races and ethnicities
  • Measurable: Determine which groups are more represented and advantaged in your company.
  • Achievable: Determine how you can represent different teams.
  • Realistic: Increase equal opportunities for promotions to strengthen your employer brand and attract a diverse workforce.
  • Time-bound: Eliminate promotion inequality within 12 months

If you don't have enough people from diverse backgrounds in your leadership positions, you need to set a goal to include more leaders from underrepresented minorities. You can do this by promoting existing employees into management positions or by recruiting new, talented leaders in the job market.

Here's how you can put the goal in the SMART perspective:

  • Specific: Hire a specific number of new leaders in your company to create a diverse group.
  • Measurable: Determine the open leadership roles and new leadership positions you should fill.
  • Accessible: Identify the different backgrounds and channels through which you can find leadership talent.
  • Realistic: Increase the proportion of underrepresented people in leadership positions by 20%.
  • Time-bound: Achieving the target percentage and achieving significant change within two years

Ultimately, one of your most important goals should be to increase the number of LGBTQ+ people in your workplace.

The best way to achieve this goal is to create employee groups led by these individuals to foster a sense of belonging within your company. This approach will have a very positive impact on your brand as a whole.

Let's put this goal in SMART format:

  • Specific: Establish employee resource groups comprised of a diverse team of LGBTQ+ representatives
  • Measurable: Determine how underrepresented this community is in your company and what you need to improve.
  • Attainable: Identify the best candidates for your employee resource groups along with concrete initiatives
  • Realistic: Achieve a 20% participation rate from your LGBTQ+ community.
  • Time-bound: Make it a goal to have these groups in place by the end of the year or sooner.

How to identify your DEI goals

Promoting DEI in your company is an important step towards creating a workplace where different perspectives are valued and diverse backgrounds are considered. To start setting your DEI goals, consider the following steps as a roadmap.

  1. Define your vision:

Start by understanding what diversity and inclusion means to your company. Then think about the different cultures, gender identities, and sexual orientations represented on your team. Also think about what you want your workplace to look and feel like - an inclusive environment where people with a wide range of skills and backgrounds feel comfortable.

2. Assess your current status:

Examine the proportion of women, people of color, and people with other gender identities in various roles, from leadership to senior executive positions. Look at your employee demographics and consider industry benchmarks to understand where you stand compared to other companies in the United States.

3. Conduct employee surveys:

Engage your team members through employee surveys to gain insight into their experiences. Ask them how they perceive diversity and inclusion in the company, whether they feel valued, and whether they think the application process and promotion opportunities are fair. These surveys can provide valuable information for designing your diversity plans and setting realistic goals.

4. Collaborate with different groups:

Involve employees from different groups in setting goals. Additionally, consider forming a diverse and inclusive work group that includes people from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, and cultural diversity. This collaborative approach ensures your DEI goals are representative of the entire workforce and encourages diversity of thought.

5. Set Specific Diversity Goals:

Whether it's increasing the number of women in leadership positions, improving the proportion of people of color in leadership positions, or increasing diversity in the talent acquisition process, set specific and measurable goals. This allows you to track progress and demonstrate real progress over time.

6. Incorporate Onboarding Performance Goals:

Focus not only on demographics, but also on integration performance goals. So introduce initiatives that promote a sense of belonging, such as: Employee training programs, celebrating religious holidays, and creating an inclusive environment for people with different perspectives. These measures also contribute to a diverse workplace where everyone feels valued.

7. Use industry case studies:

Look for examples of diversity goals and success stories in your industry. This way, you can start by learning from the experiences of other organizations, which can inspire you and give you a different approach to achieving your DEI goals.

8. Review and Adjust Regularly:

DEI goals are not set in stone. Therefore, regularly check your progress, collect feedback and adjust your strategies accordingly. Additionally, ensure your goals align with the evolving needs of your workforce and the changing landscape of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Why is a diverse and inclusive workforce necessary?

Recently, the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce has become clearer than ever. But why is this so important? Let's explore the reasons why creating an inclusive environment is an important step for every company.

  1. Allow different perspectives:

Team members with different backgrounds, cultures and experiences bring a variety of perspectives. This diversity of thought is a good way to spark creativity, solve problems and approach tasks from different perspectives.

2. Reflect the real world:

The United States, like many other countries, is a melting pot of cultures, genders and ethnicities. Therefore, a workforce that reflects this diversity is not just a nice idea, but a reflection of the real world. Therefore, people with a different skin color, with a different gender identity and with a different background should be represented at all levels, from entry-level positions to leadership and senior executive positions.

3. Improvement of qualifications:

A diverse workplace means a mix of skills. So each person brings a unique set of talents, experiences and strengths. This diversity of skills can also increase the performance of the entire team and contribute to the overall success of the company.

4. Promoting the integration initiative:

Creating an inclusive environment goes beyond checking boxes or meeting quotas. It's about fostering a culture where everyone feels valued, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation or any other characteristic. The initiative to promote inclusion ensures that every team member can bring their whole being to the work and develop.

5. Meet realistic targets:

Setting realistic diversity and inclusion goals is not just about compliance, but also about doing the right thing. So start by recognizing that a diverse and inclusive workforce is beneficial not only for the individual, but also for the long-term success of the company.

6. Better employee retention:

Employees are more likely to stay at a company that values diversity and inclusion. Therefore, a workplace that celebrates diverse cultures and supports employees with different needs creates a positive and supportive atmosphere. This contributes to higher employee satisfaction and retention.

7. Strengthening corporate goals:

Incorporating diversity and inclusion into your company goals strengthens your vision. You send a clear message to your team, customers and partners that you are committed to creating an environment in which everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.

8. Achieving Long-Term Goals:

While some goals may be short-term, promoting diversity and inclusion is a long-term goal. So make sure you're creating lasting change within your organization and contributing to a more inclusive world outside your walls.

How can you achieve your diversity and inclusion goals?

Setting SMART goals for diversity and inclusion is a great start, but how do you translate these goals into real progress? Below are some steps to help you achieve your diversity and inclusion goals:

  1. Start with a clear vision:

First, define your vision for a diverse and inclusive workplace. So think about what different perspectives and skills you want to take into account. This vision will guide your next steps and serve as a roadmap for achieving your goals.

2. Involvement of managers:

An important step is to get management on board. When leaders embrace diversity and inclusion, they set the tone for the entire company. Their support ensures that diversity goals are integrated into company values and practices.

3. Assess your current status:

Take a close look at the diversity of your workforce. Assess the proportion of women, people of color, and people with other gender identities in various roles, from entry-level to executive level. Use data points and industry benchmarks to understand where you stand.

4. Set realistic goals:

Define specific and realistic diversity and inclusion goals. So make sure that these goals align with the overall company goals and vision. Also remember that realistic goals help focus your efforts and measure progress effectively.

5. Implement training programs for employees:

Employee training programs can educate team members about the importance of diversity and provide tools to identify unconscious bias. They can also promote cultural diversity in the workplace.

6. Promote inclusive leadership:

Encourage leaders at all levels to cultivate an inclusive leadership style. This includes actively seeking different perspectives and creating opportunities for team members from diverse backgrounds. It is also about promoting a diverse workplace in senior positions.

7. Use employee surveys:

Collect regular feedback from your team through employee surveys. This will help you understand employee experiences and identify areas for improvement. This will also help you ensure your diversity and inclusion goals resonate with your employees.

8. Promote Talent Acquisition Strategies:

Make diversity a priority in your talent acquisition strategies. So actively look for applicants from different backgrounds and cultures. This different approach ensures a pool of applicants with different perspectives and experiences.

9. Celebrate Religious Holidays:

Recognize and celebrate religious holidays to create an inclusive environment. This is a small but important step toward recognizing the diversity of religious practices within your workforce.

10. Regular review and adjustment:

Regularly review your progress, adapt your strategies and celebrate successes. This ongoing commitment to achieving diversity and inclusion goals ensures your efforts remain relevant and effective.

In summary, setting SMART goals for diversity and inclusion is a crucial step towards creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace. By defining specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound objectives, companies can make tangible progress towards fostering diversity and inclusion. Leveraging tools like IceHrm can further support these efforts by providing actionable insights and resources.

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