Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) Consultant
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) Consultant
About the Federation of American Scientists (FAS)
FAS envisions a world where cutting-edge science, technology, ideas and talent are deployed to solve the biggest challenges of our time. We embed science, technology, innovation, and experience into government and public discourse in order to build a healthy, safe, prosperous and equitable society.
FAS requests proposals for a DEIB Consultant to provide training for the organization and for leadership, as well as to provide support as the organization implements policies, practices, programs, and organizational behaviors that foster authentic diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within FAS and its programs. We aim to position the organization internally and externally for greater engagement and impact with diverse communities and have made strides (including launching a DEIB Committee), but recognize we have a long way to go. (Please see section below on Organizational Context for DEIB).
What We’re Seeking
FAS is looking for an experienced consultant to help us begin to create and implement a multidimensional DEIB plan for our organization. As a starting place, we would like a consultant to help us identify and prioritize areas of focus for FAS’s DEIB strategy. Split into two phases, we would also like a consultant to:
Facilitate an all-staff training on defining and expressing DEIB values and principles through our work;
Facilitate a leadership training on leading and managing through a DEIB lens; and
Collaborate with the DEIB Committee to help finalize the draft Purpose & Objectives, DEIB Committee Norms, and help build out the Committee’s activities for FY24.
Conduct a thorough review of the current HR handbook, policies, and procedures to identify and address potential biases and discriminatory practices;
Integrate DEIB principles into the hiring procedure to ensure a diverse and inclusive candidate pool and selection process;
Establish clear diversity goals and benchmarks for recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups;
Review and update organizational policies and procedures through the DEIB lens to eliminate barriers and ensure inclusivity;
Provide ongoing training to enhance a cohesive and just organizational culture; and
Act as an advisor to leadership and the DEIB Committee.
August 30: FAS will release this RFP on our website.
September 25: Proposals from consultants are due to FAS by COB September 25.
September 25 - October 6: Leadership team, led by CFO, and DEIB Committee will narrow down proposals and conduct interviews with two finalists (virtually or in-person).
October 11: Final proposal selected and consultant notified.
Ideally this work would begin November 2023. We are open to your recommendations about the start date, length of the engagement, and end date.
The maximum budget for Phase One of the proposed DEIB work (items #1-3 above) is $20,000.
FAS hopes to identify additional funds to further build out our organizational DEIB plan and activities for Phase Two of this work (items #4-9), which will include auditing current practices; researching, designing, and creating an implementation plan for an organization-wide initiative to prioritize DEIB; conducting additional training to maintain and enhance a cohesive and just organizational culture; and providing an infrastructure for ongoing evaluation of the progress and efficacy of DEIB efforts.
How To Apply
Please attach responses to this RFP as a Cover Letter through the official FAS application page. Responses will be reviewed as submissions come in. Any questions about the scope of work can be directed to email@example.com and will be responded to as received.
Describe your/your firm’s capabilities, including your experience working with nonprofits, philanthropies and/or start-up organizations.
Provide a brief project outline and timeline, including the recommended length of the engagement for Phase 1 and how you might approach Phase 2.
Provide your proposed fee for Phase 1 and your anticipated budget needs for Phase 2.
List the principal consultants who will work on this project and provide examples of previous clients.
Borrowing from a Mozilla Foundation RFP that we admire, FAS recognizes that there is increased reliance upon consultants and firms led by BIPOC, and that answering an RFP takes thoughtful time and energy away from your business. FAS would like to ease the submission requirements for this request for proposals. Rather than requiring a lengthy, unique proposal, we’re asking you to submit the above information (it can be brief), along with an existing work sample that you feel represents similar work you’ve done for another client. This way, we can gauge your level of expertise and the quality of output without the burden of creating extensive new material related to this submission.
Organizational Context for DEIB
FAS is committed – both in principle and practice – to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all individuals interested in working on contemporary issues and challenges where science, technology, and innovation policy can deliver dramatic progress.
FAS is growing rapidly and has an opportunity to strengthen DEIB as part of organizational operations, culture, and goals. Over the past year, FAS has grown from about 20 staff to more than 50 staff, and the organization continues to grow.
In 2018, FAS was a founding member of the Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy Initiative, with our former president Dr. Ali Nouri recognizing that “like many other fields, the WMD policy space faces challenges when it comes to gender equality.” As part of FAS’ initial round of pledges, we implemented policies on parental leave, intern compensation, and single-gender panel appearances.
In the years since, FAS has expanded its DEIB strategy beyond these initial pledges through Gender Champions to include commitments to reduce bias and improve accessibility in our hiring practices; ensure our board and senior research staff reflect a diversity of accessibility status, age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, marital status, military service status, national origin, parental status, physical appearance, race, religion, socioeconomic status, sex, or sexual orientation; and offer equitable employee policies.
FAS launched its internal DEIB committee, made up of FAS employees, which serves to foster a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive work environment at FAS that also manifests in FAS’s work in the broader world. Through community learning and promoting collective commitment to DEIB values, the purpose of this committee is to promote systems, policies, a work culture, and a way of engaging with the broader world that embraces and values differences in race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, educational background, and other aspects of identity. By promoting these values, the DEIB committee aims to improve the overall workplace experience and organizational impact.
In May 2022, the committee conducted a survey of FAS staff to understand how FAS employees view the topics of inclusion, fairness, equity, respect, and diversity, the results of which prompted related updated policies.
Job listings now include expected salary ranges and new language encouraging women and people of color to apply, and FAS completed an organization-wide compensation audit to ensure fair and equitable market compensation for all employees.
Accessibility was top of mind for our team as we undertook our organization’s rebranding and website redesign to ensure a new interface accommodates all types of users.
Annual performance reviews are now standard practice at FAS, ensuring that employees have a clear understanding of goals, expectations, and organizational growth opportunities.
Much like our work advancing policy change, FAS approaches the work of infusing DEIB principles into our organizational culture and the importance of broadening our team’s perspectives with urgency and recognizes that as a science organization with national reach, we can model forward-thinking approaches to these issues that represent a beacon for others.
We recognize that we have a long way to go, but FAS is committed to this journey for the long run.