A- A+

DSM USA Continues its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Journey


August 26, 2021

In 2020, so many people and organizations made a renewed commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We are all on different places in this DEI journey in our lives, in our workplaces and in the community. It has been encouraging to see so many leaders make this a priority to help move their organizations and our Greater Des Moines (DSM) community forward.

Since this is a journey, it is critical that we continue to grow and evolve, whether we have begun to focus on DEI just recently or have been committed to growing inclusive organizations for many years. As leaders, it is important for us to acknowledge the importance of this conversation, examine our biases (personal and organizational), understand the responsibility that comes with power, challenge the status quo and work on creating meaningful lasting systemic change.

Committing to Racial Equity in DSM

One immediate action top organizational leaders can take is to sign the CEO Commitment to Racial Equity in DSM. The Greater Des Moines Partnership and its Inclusion Council outlined the commitment that was developed with input from The Directors Council through its One Economy Blueprint for Action, as well as Capital Crossroads leadership. More than 215 CEOs and top-level leaders of companies, organizations and public entities in DSM have signed onto this commitment with the intent to create equitable, inclusive and diverse workplaces and, as an extension of that, a community where everyone — regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, zip code, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, physical ability and all kinds of diverse identities — can not only survive but thrive and contribute their full human potential in creating a diverse and inclusive DSM USA. You can see a full list and sign up if you have not already done so at DSMpartnership.com/ceo-commitment.

Best DEI Practices for Partnership Investors and Members

This group is meeting regularly to continue the journey of learning about DEI in this safe and brave group with peers, while learning best practices from national speakers and local organizations to be able to effectively lead DEI within their own organizations.

There are a few other immediate actions Partnership Investors and Members can take:

  • Apply for the Inclusion Award, which honors employers who have championed DEI at their businesses and organizations and in the community. Apply by Friday, Sept. 3 at DSMpartnership.com/awards.
  • Save the date for The Partnership’s Inclusion Summit on Wednesday, Nov. 10.
  • Make plans to attend the World Food & Music Festival on Friday, Sept. 17 – Sunday, Sept. 19, including a Naturalization Ceremony at 11 a.m. on Friday during which 50 individuals from around the world will become U.S. citizens. Learn more at worldfoodandmusicfestival.com.

Celebrating diversity and intentionally building inclusion and equity is an ongoing journey. Inclusion starts with “I”, and each one of us can play an active role in this journey. Connect with a variety of DEI resources at The Partnership at DSMpartnership.com/inclusion, and let’s make a difference together. Thank you for joining us on the journey.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Fred Buie

Fred Buie is president of Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company and serves as the Greater Des Moines Partnership's 2021 board chair.