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 and 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 and saddened by the many forms of structural prejudice, violence, and discrimination that afflict minority communities worldwide. This includes the continued acts of overt and covert violence inflicted on Black Americans in the United States, where IREX is headquartered.

Although words matter, talk alone is cheap. At IREX, we are committing to more ambitious, concrete, and meaningful actions to ignite positive and inclusive change globally, both in our work and in our organization. We commit to working continuously to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace everywhere we work, and to ensuring that principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion infuse everything we do. This includes addressing where we may have fallen short in the past. 

We are striving to expand our concept of diversity to make sure it is truly inclusive—including, but not limited to, differences of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, nationality, and ability, as well as diversity of thought, background, and experience. We will embrace diversity in all its dimensions, recognizing the many intersectional elements of human identity that compose our global workforce. We will continue to strive to live up to our DEI values statement and our 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.

Our Roadmap

We are determined to catalyze positive change worldwide. To do so, we are committing to go beyond the actions in our Diversity and Inclusion Blueprint (PDF, 483 KB) adopted in 2019, which has been completed with one exception (the creation of a DEI guide for hiring consultants) that is being put into our forward-looking roadmap. We are committing to transparency about our efforts and benchmarks about our progress. 

In our roadmap, we have adopted an ambitious new plan meant to inspire organizational change. 

  • We will require all IREX staff to undergo continuous and iterative DEI training
  • We will hire a director of diversity, equity, and inclusion—a new position at IREX. 
  • We will incorporate DEI into the annual performance review process, holding staff accountable for the work environment they create. 
  • We will develop an integrated method for collecting and reporting data on organizational DEI progress
  • And we will continue our organizational growth through ongoing learning and discussion fora on DEI. 

More details can be found in the DEI vision statement (PDF, 340 KB) adopted in February 2021. We have already started implementing many of these changes, with much more to come. 

We adopted this roadmap in acknowledgement that the process of becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization is ongoing, and that we are committed to continuous learning and reflection about DEI. These next steps are not designed to reach an “end state” but rather to move us further along in this journey.

We make these commitments because we believe in them deeply, because it is the right thing to do, because it will improve and deepen the impact of our work, and because it will enrich the experiences and perspectives of all who work for and with IREX. Our ultimate goal is that by improving diversity, equity, and inclusion at IREX, and by addressing issues such as racism, bias, and noninclusive behaviors in our own organization, we will be able to continue to promote more just, prosperous, and inclusive societies for all through our work.