Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Creating a culture of excellence

Smiling adults sitting in an auditorium

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are core to our mission and to who we are as a foundation. To address the challenges of a complex—and increasingly diverse—world, we must make sure every person has a voice and a seat at the table.

While we strive to build a future grounded in justice, we know tackling inequality around the globe begins at home.

We are committed to not only creating a diverse team where everyone feels represented and respected but also embedding equity and inclusion practices across our work and philanthropy at large. For us, a culture of excellence means fully aligning the way we work together with our work in the world so that we maximize the full range of our potential impact.

At Ford, each of us is committed to building a vibrant, global community where:

  • Our unique identities and experiences are recognized and valued.
  • Compassion, mutual respect, humility, and empathy define our relationships.
  • Our conversations are open, courageous, honest, and real.
  • We can find joy and fulfillment in our work.
  • We continually work to embody the just, inclusive, and equitable society we want to see in the world around us.

Transforming our culture

Diversity numbers are only one part of the DEI story. While representation is important, building a culture where everyone can thrive is even more essential to success. We’re excited to share what we’ve achieved and acknowledge the work that still remains.

Learn more about our culture

Our numbers

Ten years ago, we embarked on a journey to cultivate a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Today, we’re proud to say that our staffing is more diverse than ever before—from our board of trustees to our executive leadership team to our administrative support staff.

Explore the data

What we mean by...

Diversity is the recognition, acceptance, and affirmation of our individual differences, identities, and our inherent dignity. It is more than representation. It acknowledges that the unique perspectives, experiences, and practices we each bring to our Ford community and work have value.
Equity requires us to acknowledge the power imbalances and the unequal circumstances we all face. We recognize that each of us must actively work to remove barriers to everyone’s ability to participate and succeed by providing tools, resources, access, and support that are appropriate for each person and each context.
Inclusion is intentional, ongoing work to create a Ford Foundation where everyone can participate as their true selves. The goal of inclusion is to collectively build a global culture of belonging within the foundation. We are all accountable for creating this together.

A decade of progress

We remain resolute in our commitment to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment. We firmly believe that these values are integral to the success of any organization, and we are dedicated to anchoring them in our identity—both internally and externally.

We cannot address inequality and advance justice in the world if we are not conscious and deliberate about nurturing a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization.

Darren Walker
President, Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation president Darren Walker speaking at a podium on stage

Looking ahead

Over the next three years, our goal is for Ford to be prepared and accountable for co-creating an even more diverse, equitable, and inclusive foundation.

We will celebrate greater alignment between our global work and our internal employment experience. Emerging approaches to anti-racism, anti-ableism, and gender inclusion will be integrated in locally appropriate, intersectional ways across the foundation.

By the end of…

  1. Year one

    Each Ford employee will have a common understanding, shared commitment, and foundational skills so that all colleagues, especially leaders, begin embodying the DEI Vision.

  2. Year two

    We will each have deeper skills and shared practices across the foundation, supported by organization-wide infrastructure and resources.

  3. Year three

    Skills, structures, and shared practices will continue adapting and developing as we formally assess our efforts and begin planning the next three years.

Learn more about our efforts

Cover of DEI report, Creating a Culture of Excellence

Every year, we undertake a foundation-wide analysis of our ongoing efforts to build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable future, both internally and externally. The purpose of this report is to articulate our internal approach, share our progress, and acknowledge our opportunities for learning and growth.

Download the 2023 report

Previous Diversity, Equity and Inclusion reports are also available for download: