Diversity Business Principles Initiative: Operationalizing DEIA Programs

By: Keli Wilson

The Commerce Department is taking steps to operationalize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) program best practices through a Diversity Business Principles (DBP) initiative, which was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. The DBP initiative is a goal of the Commerce Department and included in the 2022-2026 strategic plan. This effort will create more structure for implementing Executive Order 13985 and 14091.1

Specifically, the DBP initiative will help organizations advance DEIA and economic development for underserved communities through six pillars:

  1. Executive Leadership,
  2. Organizational Strategy,
  3. Workforce Development,
  4. Human Resources,
  5. Community Investment, and
  6. Business Opportunities.

The Commerce Department provided specific questions for commenters to address related to the DBP initiative proposal, as well as to understand what is working in practice. There are 13 questions related to existing business diversity efforts. Of interest is the reciprocal goal to not only learn from but also to report back on information gathered to further strengthen DEIA practices in the private sector.

This could be a win-win situation for both public and private sector organizations having access to current efforts in practice. However, it will be important to ensure the practices put forth are vetted as evidence-based best practices and legally sound. Comments are due January 5, 2024.

DCI will continue to monitor any further developments.


1 Advancing, and further advancing, racial equity and support for underserved communities through the Federal Government.

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