How Eastern Funding Weaves DE&I into its Organizational Fabric

by Jan/Feb 2024


Eastern Funding’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy is heavily focused on creating a sense of belonging. The company’s leadership emphasizes DE&I as a foundational part of organizational culture, which includes shared language, engagement norms, recruiting, career development, retention and connection.

Eastern Funding has highlighted DE&I as one of its strengths with a consistent effort to fine tune and develop the practice. DE&I is heavily woven into Eastern Funding’s organizational fabric, as it has been one of the company’s core initiatives for over a decade.

The “Fundamentals” of DE&I
Eastern Funding utilizes several methods of training to create a rich culture that is conducive for DE&I. The company provides access to trainings in a variety of areas that impact DE&I, including psychological safety, how to have hard conversations and how to deal with high-stress situations. Eastern also engages in other cultural development such as its “fundamentals,” a set of core behaviors that are incorporated into all aspects of the business and interactions. These fundamentals guide many of Eastern Funding’s behaviors to create acceptable norms that encourage belonging, safety and constant connection.

The company has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and deals with inappropriate behavior, misjudgments and recklessness in a direct manner to ensure all employees experience a safe environment.

Creating Employee-Focused Goals
Among the goals Eastern Funding has created around DE&I is to further develop, attract and retain diverse talent. To do so, Eastern Funding partners with human resources to build relationships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions and organizations. Eastern Funding also ensures its vendors are diverse and seeks to obtain quotes from minority owned businesses when engaging a new vendor.

Over time, Eastern Funding’s DE&I focus has been on recruiting and interviewing with an emphasis on eliminating unconscious bias, having a diverse group of interviewers and utilizing non-traditional recruitment resources. Further, Eastern Funding ensures career development opportunities, routine compensation analysis and diverse leadership. Eastern Funding’s diversity emphasis includes gender, ethnic/race, other abilities, age and LGBTQ+ representation.

The company has also highlighted and invested in wellbeing programs fostering an environment of psychological safety, belonging, innovation and wellness. The organizational leadership consists of servant and transformational leaders that show up in a vulnerable and genuine style.

5 Key Steps to Improving DE&I Initiatives
Eastern Funding has found success in its DE&I initiatives by taking key steps the company would recommend to others looking to improve upon their DE&I efforts:

  • Committing resources to DE&I initiatives
  • Identifying DE&I champions internally
  • Researching resources or subject experts for initial guidance and identifying a baseline
  • Taking steps to ensure DE&I is deeply ingrained in company culture, rather than simply creating a DE&I committee
  • Garnering leadership support and accountability throughout the organization to drive meaningful and lasting change

Eastern Funding measures its DE&I initiatives through employee feedback, which the company gathers through anonymous quarterly and annual surveys, engagement, events, statistics, retaining talents and more. The company leverages the feedback to create a safe, open and diverse culture that serves all employees. •

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