DEI Special Edition: Expanding the Scope of DEI with Accessibility & Belonging
The Melton Foundation's ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts aim to continuously create more inclusive and equitable spaces for all our stakeholders, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other personal characteristics. It is thanks to our community which aims to consistently challenge themselves to expand the definition of DEI, that there is explicit and intentional incorporation of accessibility and belonging to our DEI efforts (DEIAB).
For the community at the Melton Foundation, there are several critical aspects of including accessibility and belonging in discussions of DEI and expanding its definition in the Melton Foundation context. The Foundation acknowledges these efforts to increase impact within its systems and beyond.
Firstly, accessibility ensures that all stakeholders, including those with disabilities, have equal access to opportunities and resources in the workplace. Without accessibility, individuals with disabilities may face barriers to participation and advancement, leading to discrimination and a lack of representation in leadership positions. That does not align with the global village fostered in the Melton Fellowship experience.
Secondly, belonging is critical for creating a positive and inclusive organizational culture, where all members feel valued and respected. A sense of belonging is linked to engagement and productivity, and those who feel that they belong are more likely to remain active members within our life-long membership framework. Without a sense of belonging, members may feel isolated and disconnected from the organization, leading to high withdrawal from the program and lower productivity.
In summary, if accessibility and belonging are not included in our DEI efforts, it would lead to inevitably missing out on the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive organization. As an organization centered around the core aims of celebrating diversity through inclusion and fair representation, the DEI policy at the Melton Foundation is a testament to our sense of global unity.
Visit our DEI page to gain insight into our DEI-AB focus and aims and access a copy of the Melton Foundation’s benchmark Anti-Discrimination Policy!