From Intention to Action: Building Diverse, Inclusive Teams in Education to Deepen Impact

Diverse leadership teams bring tremendous value across organizations and industries. However, there is much work to be done when it comes to education organizations’ abilities to attract, develop, and retain leaders of color.

Koya Leadership Partners and Education Pioneers developed From Intention to Action: Building Diverse, Inclusive Teams in Education to Deepen Impact to help translate these well-intentioned beliefs about the importance of diversity into actionable practices.

The Pathway to More Diverse Leadership

To move from discussion to action, the report provides a road map with specific practices and recommendations for education organizations to build and sustain more racially diverse teams, including:

  1. Customize your vision and strategy. Defining diversity and why it matters establishes the foundation for building more racially diverse team.
  2. Focus on impact and metrics. Organizations that track performance metrics can strategically deploy resources and continue or halt initiatives based on what the data says about their effectiveness.
  3. Focus on recruiting and selection practices. There are a number of steps organizations can take to quickly strengthen performance and outcomes in their recruiting and selection processes.
  4. Invest in leadership development to retain high performers. Leadership development is vital to ensuring that all team members, particularly employees of color, remain engaged and advance in their careers.
  5. Ensure ongoing discussion. Best practice organizations regularly engage in meaningful dialogue at different levels, from one-on-one talks to company-wide discussions about diversity and what it means to the organization, why it is important, and what the organization is doing to achieve it.

Tackling the challenges of building diverse teams takes dedication, commitment, and perseverance. From Intention to Action: Building Diverse, Inclusive Teams in Education to Deepen Impact guides education organizations and others to move beyond discussion and intention and take meaningful action.

News Coverage

Education Week: “Leading Public Education Organizations Lack Diversity at Top, Report Finds”

Chalkbeat Colorado: “Education Nonprofit Leadership and Boards Lag behind Student Population in Diversity”

Chalkbeat Indiana: “Diversity of education nonprofit leaders, boards lag behind students”

Chalkbeat Tennessee: “Study: Education nonprofits, boards lag behind student population in diversity”

Politico: “Education organizations must clearly articulate goals and set up strong leadership structures to improve diversity in their workforce”

RealClearEducation: “From Intention to Action”

Stanford Social Innovation Review:"Five Ways to Build Diverse, Inclusive Leadership Teams" (Post by Koya Leadership Partners Managing Director Molly Brennan)

The Huffington Post: "From Intention to Action: Five Ways to Build Diverse Leadership Teams" (Post by EP Founder & CEO Scott Morgan)


They is value in people with different leadership styles and ideas. However visual diversity for the sake of diversity is the wrong approach. Visual diversity should reflect the team and the market you serve.
I look forward to engaging in future discussion and greater involvement. Terry L. Nelson, Ed. D.
It is always important to have diversity at all levels, especially visually. Visual diversity for the sake of diversity means you will have competent leaders that visually reflect the community they serve. You also increase cultural familiarity with the community they serve, from a decision making perspective.
I totally agree! Education has to be inclusive at all levels We must also focus on vendor diversity. VENDORS create the resources used in schools where diverse students use their materials and participate in assessments they develop.
I would definitely like to see more diversity in the assessment industry. THEIR Conferences look like something from the fifties.
This white paper was very interesting, but it left me with more questions than answers. Now I know that most organizations don't know how to implement diversity programs into their organization and the high level steps an organization could take, but I would like to know more about how to operationalize these big ideas into bite size chunks that someone (just getting started on this type of work in a small ed organization) could digest. Any suggestions for resources that would take this message a step further?
I support diversity as it relates to proper business representation. Specifically in areas where the customer ethnicity over shadows that of the staff, classroom and boardroom. Individuals are comfortable hiring themselves....the change needs to start with HR recruiting inclusive of diversity training. CHANGE THE THINKING.....CHANGE THE BEHAVIOR.....CHANGE THE LOOK!!!

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