DEI Workplace Excellence Awards Logo

Save the date for the 2023 DEI Awards: September 7 from 4:30 – 8:00 PM.

NOTE: Applications open now through June 1! Scroll down to learn more. 

NOTE:  Event registration is open now! 


As companies and individuals start or continue their DEI journey, this program’s goals are to help amplify businesses and people doing meaningful work for others. The purpose is to learn from and to also elevate those who have created inclusive work environments through their workforce, supplier diversity programs, employee development initiatives, and more.

The inaugural Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Workplace Excellence Awards was a community-fueled event first held in 2021. We recognized our region’s companies who exemplify an inclusive work environment. Check out the highlight video from our 2022 event, and learn more about the past winners here. With a room full of over 300 people from all walks of life celebrating the importance of DEI, we celebrated the work that’s been done and recognize the importance of continued progress. 

This annual event not only celebrates businesses and individuals who champion DEI, but it also inspires others to expand their own initiatives. This is all about action and impact. With over 80 applications in the first two years, we can’t wait to see that increase in the future as we learn from each other and put in the work. 

Several award categories are presented, and workplaces are highly encouraged to apply. From hiring practices to supplier diversity programs, how is your company paving the way for others to follow? 

11 Award Categories

Small Business: 1-49 Employees
Medium Business: 50-249 Employees
Large Business: 250+ Employees
Education Sector
DEI Leader of the Year: age 40+
DEI Emerging Leader of the Year: 39 & under
DEI Student Leader of the Year
DEI Ally of the Year
Best Inclusion Initiative

Awards Application: OPEN! Now through June 1

A nominator may choose to submit a nomination for an organization or individual, or a nominator may choose to submit a self-nomination.

Application Requirements:

To be considered, the company/organization or individual nominated must show strong evidence of specific work that accomplishes one or more of the following:

  • Significantly promotes diversity, equity and inclusion, and cultural competency development among the company/organization and/or within the community of West Des Moines and/or region at large.
  • Addresses important areas of diversity, equity and inclusion such as recruitment of talent, retention of employees, organizational work climate and/or community outreach.
  • Leads initiatives in capturing outcomes of increased awareness, understanding or promoting diversity at your organization and in the community.
  • Implements steps toward fostering diversity in the workplace with programs that maximize the potential of all people.
  • Creates partnerships between managers and employees to resolve diversity workplace issues.
  • Promotes diversity in the workplace and/or in the community.
  • Improves cultural competency through company/organization and/or community initiatives.
  • If you are a company, you have a supplier diversity program and/or you work with suppliers of color and they are included in your purchasing plan & pipelines OR you are deliberately working on this area and ways to help grow the economics of the BIPOC community.   

Judges Criteria:

When assessing the company/organization or individual’s community-related projects, the blue-ribbon panel of judges will look at initiatives that involve the following efforts:

  • Provide support to community-based diversity programs designed to improve cultural awareness and sensitivity.
  • Take a proactive role in local diversity and minority issues by, for example, building relationships with diversity community advisory councils or educating citizens on matters of diversity disparities.
  • Encourage volunteerism in the community that helps to elevate cultural connections; participate in community diversity outreach programs that help others learn more about the positive role that diversity plays.

One way we further the impact of this program is through a local donation. A portion of the sponsorship proceeds is donated to a nonprofit who supports social injustice, selected by the WDM Chamber DEI Committee. Nonprofits applications for the 2023 DEI Awards are closed. The nonprofit donation recipient will be announced soon! Previous donation recipients include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, CultureALL, and the Latina Leadership Initiative.

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Past DEI Award Photos

Photos below from 2022, courtesy of Christopher Maharry.









View latest DEI Workplace Excellence Awards press release here

Show Support for DEI

Want to show your support of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by sponsoring these Workplace Excellence Awards? Contact Kara Matheson, VP of Workforce Development & Culture.  

Our vision is to make West Des Moines the best suburban city in America to live, work and play—for everyone. Now is the time to show pride in our vibrant, diverse community. We look forward to you being involved in the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Workplace Excellence Awards. 


Interested in being a nonprofit partner? Register here. Contact Meredith Murphy with any questions.

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