BY DCI CONSULTING
In the face of rising awareness about workplace inequalities and systemic discrimination, civil rights audits (CRAs) have quickly become a critical tool for organizations aiming to foster an equitable and inclusive environment. While internal audits are valuable, third-party auditors have been identified as a trusted resource for providing unbiased assessments of organizations’ behavior related to civil rights. Given the history of doubt society and stakeholders have regarding organizational commitment to advancing social justice, enlisting the counsel of external experts can be the key to thwarting skepticism and disbelief in the findings of an audit.
Well-executed CRAs can benefit organizations in several major ways. For example, CRAs can meet the requests placed on boards of directors from stakeholders demanding more action on social justice. In addition to satisfying this requirement, audits have been proposed as a method that can help organizations improve both their diversity and inclusivity (Shepherd, 2022) which in turn may lead to the following:
Using an Independent Third Party
In today’s complex corporate landscape, civil rights compliance is crucial. While in-house teams offer company-specific insights, external perspectives provide significant benefits. Engaging third-party auditors for CRAs offers a blend of objectivity and expertise, magnifying the rigor and trustworthiness of the massive effort of undertaking a CRA. External consultants not only enhance the audit’s perceived legitimacy but also improve the quality and analysis of findings.
Choosing an external consultant to partner with legal partners can result in the following:
When selecting auditors, prioritize their reputation, integrity, and industry experience. Ensure their audit process is thorough and that they adhere to strict confidentiality protocols. It can also be helpful to construct a multidisciplinary team that provides unique perspectives including external legal counsel, labor economists, academics, and industrial-organizational and social psychologists.
The involvement of expert third-party auditors in CRAs can help organizations gain a thorough and credible evaluation of their practices. While internal efforts are commendable, external scrutiny further guarantees that organizations genuinely uphold and champion civil rights values in all their endeavors.
Our strategic partner, DCI Consulting Group, can work with you to identify the root cause of equity concerns and provide a strategic roadmap for change that identifies areas of concern, goals meant to eliminate those concerns, and examples of how to make progress toward meeting those goals. Reach out to have DCI Consulting help you meet your equity goals.
References: Shepherd, L. (2022). Equity Audits Address Racism in the Workplace. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/racial-equity-audits-increase.aspx