Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at IREX

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at IREX

IREX is devoted to promoting more just, prosperous, and inclusive societies around the world. For more than 50 years, we have worked to promote positive social change. We have extended access to quality education and information to enlighten as well as to expose injustice and demand accountability. We have built bridges and understanding to support individuals and communities as they strive to achieve their potential.

We are outraged by continued acts of overt and covert violence inflicted on Black Americans and by the deeply entrenched racism that chokes opportunity for people of color in nearly every aspect of life. Our hearts go out to all who are suffering because of these tragedies and the long history of injustice they sustain. We stand in solidarity with members of the Black community. Although words matter, talk alone is cheap. We need to look at our own mindsets and behaviors, and commit to more ambitious, concrete, and meaningful actions.

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and far too many others before them renew our commitment to action. We recognize that we must embody our organizational values not only in our work but in our own organization. IREX commits to working continuously to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. We commit to ensuring that principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion infuse everything we do.

We are committing to complete the actions in our Diversity and Inclusion Blueprint adopted in 2019—and go beyond it. We are committing to transparency about our efforts and also benchmarks about our progress. This part of our website is devoted to that purpose.

In 2018, IREX formed an internal Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and hired an expert consultant to conduct an assessment of diversity and inclusion at IREX’s headquarters. The assessment included interviews with nearly half of our U.S.-based staff, an online survey, and a desk review of Human Resources materials. In 2019, the engagement produced a Diversity and Inclusion Value Statement and a blueprint for systematically improving diversity and inclusion at IREX.

Here is a summary of our Diversity and Inclusion Blueprint (modified to remove internal information such as budget numbers and names; PDF, 528 KB). We have not yet completed it and we take responsibility for this shortcoming. We commit that we will both finish the tasks laid out here and also chart a more ambitious path going forward. In so doing, we will live by the values statement, adopted in our 2019 blueprint, as well as our organization's overarching values statement.

IREX's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Values Statement

  1. We recognize that a just, prosperous, and inclusive world is possible and incorporate those beliefs into all IREX processes, decisions, conversations, and publications.
  2. We find value in ensuring that IREX represents a group of diverse, strategic thinkers who are committed to identifying policies, activities, and solutions that create equity.
  3. We are committed to making IREX a more inclusive organization by celebrating and acknowledging diversity in our internal organizational culture and everyday practices.
  4. We will make the necessary investment of time and resources to ensure that IREX staff, work, and activities remain inclusive by carefully planning and clearly communicating the processes, outcomes, and time spent for inclusion activities.
  5. We will educate ourselves regarding issues of diversity and inclusion with proactive research and thoughtful questions without disempowering others.
  6. We will be accountable to each other as inclusive leaders and within the global development sector, accepting feedback, criticisms, and suggestions in good faith.
  7. We will intentionally consider differing personal experiences and vulnerabilities that shape our cultural understanding, striving for empathy and consideration regarding differing viewpoints.
  8. We are interested in developing diversity and inclusion practices that spark momentum, embracing ideas that are outside our comfort zones, and being open to new perspectives.
  9. We work toward ownership of diversity and inclusion across all levels at IREX and expect every staff member to play an active role by engaging in learning activities.
  10. We understand that this is a long-term, ongoing process, and we commit to regularly evaluating our progress towards becoming a more inclusive organization through planning, implementation, and assessment to create an inclusive environment.