Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Creating a culture of excellence
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are core to our mission and to who we are as a foundation. To address the challenges of a complex—and increasingly diverse—world, we must make sure every person has a voice and a seat at the table.
While we strive to build a future grounded in justice, we know tackling inequality around the globe begins at home.
We are committed to not only creating a diverse team where everyone feels represented and respected but also embedding equity and inclusion practices across our work and philanthropy at large. For us, a culture of excellence means fully aligning the way we work together with our work in the world so that we maximize the full range of our potential impact.
At Ford, each of us is committed to building a vibrant, global community where:
- Our unique identities and experiences are recognized and valued.
- Compassion, mutual respect, humility, and empathy define our relationships.
- Our conversations are open, courageous, honest, and real.
- We can find joy and fulfillment in our work.
- We continually work to embody the just, inclusive, and equitable society we want to see in the world around us.
What we mean by...
- Diversity is the recognition, acceptance, and affirmation of our individual differences, identities, and our inherent dignity. It is more than representation. It acknowledges that the unique perspectives, experiences, and practices we each bring to our Ford community and work have value.
- Equity requires us to acknowledge the power imbalances and the unequal circumstances we all face. We recognize that each of us must actively work to remove barriers to everyone’s ability to participate and succeed by providing tools, resources, access, and support that are appropriate for each person and each context.
- Inclusion is intentional, ongoing work to create a Ford Foundation where everyone can participate as their true selves. The goal of inclusion is to collectively build a global culture of belonging within the foundation. We are all accountable for creating this together.
A decade of progress
We remain resolute in our commitment to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment. We firmly believe that these values are integral to the success of any organization, and we are dedicated to anchoring them in our identity—both internally and externally.
- Introduced Rooney Rule — Top 3 candidate slate must have diversity
- Significant improvement in staff diversity
- Annual compensation equity review introduced
- Broadened candidate sourcing strategies
- Updated hiring, onboarding and exit interview process to include DEI lens
- Sponsored first annual survey of largest foundations in U.S. for up-to-date comparative DEI data
- Established DEI council
- More robust DEI report/posting of data
- Expanded DEI goals to address gender
- Expanded reproductive/family planning benefits to include same sex couples
- Incorporated diversity into systems and structures
- Created a more disability friendly recruitment process
- Broadened summer internship sourcing to attract individuals with disabilities
- Conducted global DEI audit
- Monitored professional development with DEI lens
- DEI embedded in P&C strategy
- Restructured DEI Groups (Steering Committee Task Force, ERGs)
- Increased opportunities for promotions
- Greater access to professional development
- Revamped reasonable accommodations request process
- Conducted second DEI assessment
- Created DEI Vision and Three-Year Strategy
- Signed Grantmakers United for Trans Communities
We cannot address inequality and advance justice in the world if we are not conscious and deliberate about nurturing a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization.
President, Ford Foundation
Over the next three years, our goal is for Ford to be prepared and accountable for co-creating an even more diverse, equitable, and inclusive foundation.
We will celebrate greater alignment between our global work and our internal employment experience. Emerging approaches to anti-racism, anti-ableism, and gender inclusion will be integrated in locally appropriate, intersectional ways across the foundation.
By the end of…
Each Ford employee will have a common understanding, shared commitment, and foundational skills so that all colleagues, especially leaders, begin embodying the DEI Vision.
We will each have deeper skills and shared practices across the foundation, supported by organization-wide infrastructure and resources.
Skills, structures, and shared practices will continue adapting and developing as we formally assess our efforts and begin planning the next three years.
Learn more about our efforts
Every year, we undertake a foundation-wide analysis of our ongoing efforts to build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable future, both internally and externally. The purpose of this report is to articulate our internal approach, share our progress, and acknowledge our opportunities for learning and growth.Download the 2023 report