Benefits / Resources / Articles
June 21, 2024

How to Write a Strong DEI Statement for Your Photography Business

A DEI statement emphasizes your business’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This helps clients, employees, and the public better understand your values. While such statements are typically associated with large corporations, even small businesses can use them to do their part in creating a more equitable world. Let’s explore exactly what a DEI statement is, how it contributes value to your business, and how to write one.

What’s a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement?

First, let’s discuss what DEI actually means. Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion doesn’t just mean hiring a diverse workforce. In fact, that’s how some organizations end up with diversity but not inclusion or equity

Rather, prioritizing DEI means creating an atmosphere where everyone feels fully valued and safe to be their authentic selves. It also means highlighting and correcting imbalances in salary structure, hiring practices, and power dynamics. You may be doing this on a much smaller scale as a small business owner, but it’s still impactful to your employees and contractors.

Hence, a strong DEI statement affirms your value for all people across races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, religions, communities, economic backgrounds, and other demographics. It also conveys your commitment to fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable and able to freely participate, while upholding equitable practices.

Do you need a DEI statement?

As a solopreneur or small business owner, you may not need a DEI statement, but it can help you put into words the values that underlie your business and your brand identity. While large corporations create these statements for the benefit of employees (and investors), your DEI statement may be more of an opportunity to hold yourself accountable to upholding these values and improving the industry and its practices.

DEI also matters to clients and other businesses. In fact, 59% of consumers feel strongly about purchasing from companies whose practices support diversity and inclusion. And 57% stay more loyal to brands that work to challenge social inequities. In your efforts to attract new customers and partner with local vendors, a DEI statement will help you put your best foot forward. Even if you have a very small business, a DEI statement can add tremendous value by enhancing morale, building your reputation, and making your clients feel more comfortable in front of your camera.

How to write a great DEI statement

Keep your statement succinct, but add enough detail to help the reader understand your dedication to DEI. Follow these steps to help organize your thoughts.

Break it into two parts.

First, explain why you’re committed to DEI. Also name some of the marginalized groups you aim to empower and uplift. In the second part, state the specific steps you plan to take to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in your work with clients, your employees (if you have any), and the contractors you hire for accounting, web design, etc. 

Remember that DEI is always a work in progress. Even if you haven’t fully achieved your vision, show that you’re making great strides toward your DEI goals.

Focus on proactive efforts.

Rather than stating what you aim to avoid, focus on what you aim to achieve. Review your DEI goals (or set them, if you haven’t yet). Then, use language that emphasizes proactive efforts to build an inclusive and equitable business, sharing your primary goals and efforts to achieve them. Add any data or evidence showing your efforts are working. You can always update this segment of the statement over time as you achieve current goals and establish new ones.

Elevate equity.

The Center for Creative Leadership emphasizes the tangible benefits of equity to historically marginalized individuals. In fact, they reframe the acronym as “EDI,” putting equity first! Without equity, diversity and inclusivity can’t be sustainable, they assert. So, focus on clear, concrete, and equitable efforts to level an uneven playing field.

Examples of strong DEI statements

Take a look at these companies’ statements for inspiration! These sample DEI statements show how to use positive, forward-thinking language that ties into a company’s mission and vision.


REI focuses on their mission to make the outdoors more accessible for everyone, then ties it into their internal practices: 
“At REI, we believe the outdoors is for everyone. We recognize that to drive the change we want to see in our industry and our society, we must start from within the co-op. As we work toward this commitment, we will need to find different ways of working, create a sense of belonging for all employees, and actively listen and learn.”


In this statement, Spotify emphasizes that diversity within their workforce fuels creativity, enhancing the company’s potential:

“At Spotify, we welcome you with an inclusion mindset, one that prioritizes growth through listening and learning. No matter where you come from, or what’s playing in your headphones, we want to create a place where you belong.

We strive to embed diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in everything we do – both on our platform and in how we work. We want to show up for people, hear their stories, and learn from their experiences — not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s our responsibility to do right by our billions of fans, millions of creators and thousands of band members. By advancing a diverse and inclusive culture with equitable systems — where everyone can belong — we can better unlock the potential of human creativity.”


Finally, here is our own DEI statement:

"PPA believes that the photography community prospers when we work together. We support all photographers and reject discrimination based on age, race, disability, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation and expression.

We recognize and embrace our similarities and differences, encourage opportunities to learn from our members, and cultivate inclusive communication and multicultural skills for the betterment of the photography community."

Like these companies, strive to keep your language positive and uplifting. Through a well-crafted DEI statement, you’ll show potential clients, employees, and partners that you’re exactly the type of photography business they want to work with. Feature your statement on your website in a prominent place. Then, make sure to take regular steps toward achieving it, and share your accomplishments with your community!