How We’re Implementing Our DEI Strategic Plan In 2021

Madison Walsh4-Minute Read
PUBLISHED: February 12, 2021


Over the past year, our team built out a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan for advancing the discussion on race, equity and inclusion. We published this plan in June of 2020 and have been working on it ever since – including six major focus areas starting with recruitment and team member engagement workstreams, all the way to community partnerships and law enforcement engagement.

To spotlight our DEI efforts and all the great progress we’ve been able to make since creating the plan, we built an internal DEI community space for our team members to stay up-to-date. The hub is for all diversity, equity and inclusion related communications, including news and storytelling about DEI and Team Member Resource Networks (TMRNs) efforts, our “Action Behind The DEI Strategic Plan” video series, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and an interactive timeline.

We know that a lot of information on DEI will continue to be communicated to our team members, so we want to make sure that information is in a centralized place for everyone, including new hires; we know it is needed to archive this valuable and important information.

Here is a recap of what we’ve accomplished in 2020 and how we’re continuing to make headway in 2021.


In order to grow our business and build the best solutions for the future, we need to include diverse opinions and people every step of the way. Improving our culture starts with our very own team. We understand how important a diverse and inclusive company culture is to our success, which is why our top priority in 2021 is to grow our teams.

This year, we’re continuing to strengthen partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We're also building on our partnership with Urban Alliance, a national youth development nonprofit that provides young people access to the opportunity, support and training needed to prepare them for lifelong economic self-sufficiency. We also continue to extend internship opportunities to Detroit high school students so they can earn real, hands-on business and resume-building experience.

Team Member Engagement

There are many ways that we’re engaging team members this year. They can join book clubs where we discuss race, diversity, equity and inclusion as a group. We’re also hosting a mandatory training for all team members called ‘The Art of Inclusion’ where we explore how to create an inclusive environment by learning about each other, discussing factors that affect inclusivity and exploring their impact in the workplace.

Last but not least, we’re encouraging team members to celebrate holidays that promote diversity. For example, in observance of Juneteenth last year, team members were able to take June 19 off without using any of their paid time off (PTO). Our intention is to promote positive dialogue surrounding the Black community and drive long-term change not only within our company, but our country. To continue offering this option to team members, we also introduced Personal Significance Days.

Leadership Development

Ever since launching our DEI Strategic Plan, our leaders have been workshopping and strategizing how our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the present will resonate for the years to come. There has been an intense focus on how diversity, equity and inclusion drives organizational innovation, how to identify opportunities for improvement internally and how to design culture-focused solutions to evolve processes and advance our business. Leaders are taking this information in and making a point to talk about these initiatives on a weekly basis with their team members to make sure it is resonating throughout the entire organization.

External Affairs And Community Partnerships

This year our external affairs team's top focus is about doing the right thing to pass bipartisan legislation that promotes accountability, transparency, fairness and public safety - especially as it relates to our ongoing efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Last summer, our CEO Jay Farner sent a letter to consult congressional leadership and partnered with many Detroit executives to combat racism and injustice in America. These efforts encouraged Congress to overcome partisan gridlock and support comprehensive police reform within the Detroit community and beyond.

We will continue to partner with community and congressional leaders throughout 2021.

Law Enforcement Engagement

Along with writing to congressional leadership, our executives sat down one-on-one with law enforcement officials to discuss the state of our community and nation. Jay Farner sat down with Senior Vice President of Community Growth and Development Chuck Wilson and Detroit Police Chief James Craig this past summer to initiate an open and honest conversation about how law enforcement will engage and respond positively in our hometown.


To continue facilitating positive dialogue within our company, we host townhall discussions, which focus on providing a safe space for our Black team members and allies to voice their thoughts surrounding systemic racism.

We leveraged feedback from these two townhalls and developed many trainings and gathered additional resources that not only meet team members where they are in understanding but equips them with valuable information when engaging in real scenarios in the DEI space.


These are just a few of the steps we have taken in the past year. We are dedicated to showing the action and efforts behind our DEI Strategic Plan as we continue to build on our momentum in 2021. Our mission is to ensure that we continue to embrace the diverse talents of our team and community members.

Learn more about how DEI is at the forefront of everything we do.

Madison Walsh

Madison Walsh is a Copywriter Intern on the Rocket Mortgage Marketing Creative team. She is graduating in June 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in creative advertising from Michigan State University.