Consultant for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Organizational Priorities and Strategies



Women’s Audio Mission seeks proposals from consultants to help guide its efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion across all aspects of our non-profit arts and education organization.


Contact Person: Christina Cerza, Operations Manager,

Issue Date: February 6, 2023

Due Date: Friday March 3, 2023

Submit to:


More info further below about the Submission of Proposals.

Who We Are

Women’s Audio Mission is a San Francisco and Oakland-based recording nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of women and gender-expansive people in music production and creative technology, fields where there is chronic gender inequity – fewer than 5% are women and gender-expansive people. In the 20 years since WAM’s inception, we have provided dedicated training and mentoring to 22,000+ women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals across three cities (San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose), five school districts, and 50+ school partners. The majority of the youth population we serve are black, indigenous, youth of color from underserved communities (96% BIPOC, 93% low income). With a small staff of nine full-time employees and five part-time instructors, WAM’s programming provides year-round training in audio for adults and youth, 3x/year internship cohorts, artist recording residencies, and industry conferences/training and networking opportunities nationally. WAM is governed by a Board of Directors and has an annual budget of $1.8M, with funds from private foundations, government grants and contracts, corporations as well as support from individuals and membership.

Background in DEI Work to Date

In 2020 WAM began taking deliberate steps towards increasing and making more explicit our racial justice work, with our historical focus being gender equity. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work to date include:


  1. Ongoing organization-wide surveys/assessment
  2. Implementation of recommended changes to hiring and performance review process 
  3. DEI coaching for some leadership team members and some members of the Board of Directors (in 2020)
  4. Facilitated creation of organizational Values and Guiding Principles (2020)
  5. Facilitated all staff trainings – with two different consultants including: recognizing implicit bias, supporting liberation, identifying privilege, and growing awareness of systemic oppression in the workplace (2020)
  6. Broad discussion of creating measurable goals and outcomes in our current strategic plan – additional work in this area is desired.


Our staff has nearly entirely turned over since this work was completed, so topics may need to be revisited with current staff.

Project Overview & Scope of Work 

Women’s Audio Mission is seeking the services of a consultant across a period of 12 months to:


Assess our organization

  • Help WAM gather and analyze relevant data and input from staff and other constituents, especially with regard to employee and program participant retention.
  • Provide insight to WAM related to our current needs, and how we can take steps toward becoming a more inclusive and diverse organization with our core goals and community members centered in this work.
  • Work with staff and board members to identify key priorities for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within WAM based on data gathered and analyzed.

Create a work plan with measurable outcomes 

  • Work with WAM staff and board to create a work plan and strategies to implement key priorities, including an ongoing training program.
  • Help WAM develop methods for measuring and evaluating our progress toward our DEI goals. 

Support Ongoing Learning and Development

  • Provide training, coaching, and support for management staff as they invest in DEI work.
  • Help WAM develop a standard training program for staff and possibly provide (or recommend) in-person, remote, and/or recorded training so that incoming WAM staff and board can view basic training.

Improve Employee Satisfaction and Retention

  • Develop an audit system for WAM’s hiring, retention, workplace and compensation policies and procedures. This work would include:
    • An audit of salaries through a racial equity lens; helping us put into place a system based on the results of the audit; share the results with staff and board.
    • Help WAM create a system to review past exit interviews to see if there are specific elements related to racial justice that can be addressed moving forward.
    • Assist Management Team in evaluating and revamping hiring, onboarding, and retention practices to be centered in equity and to address:
      • Elimination of tokenism and bias in the interview process
      • Improvement of recruitment of staff of color
      • Identification of practices that are preferential to white people 
    • Structuring WAM so that people of various ages, backgrounds, abilities, etc., are able to work here (eg: caregivers; job sharing, education and work history) and feel valued, accepted, and respected
  • Provide guidance and support regarding counseling for staff who feel that it is not safe to report aggressions through supervisory channels and help us with training and coaching to create an atmosphere where microaggressions can be called out in real time to reduce their incidence.

Key areas for which we would seek a consultant’s guidance and support include:

  • Improving communication, relationships, and trust between all WAM employees at all levels
  • Coaching for WAM management in effective supervision and communication strategies with a DEI lens
  • Designing an ongoing training program for staff on such topics as: equity, implicit bias, legal compliance, cultural sensitivity, strategies to promote inclusion, meaningful support for our BIPOC co-workers, etc.
  • Leading or providing assistance in staffing our DEI initiatives
  • Organizational development to support increased equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Recruitment, hiring, and staff retention
  • Reducing/eliminating harm to staff and program participants of color, trans and gender-expansive individuals, individuals with disabilities, and other groups that experience discrimination, exclusion, or oppression
  • Recommend changes to internal WAM policies, procedures, and governance methods related to, but not limited to, HR practices such as recruitment, hiring, retention, promotion, prevention of discrimination & harassment, employee grievances, and incorporating DEI into onboarding & training
  • Advice regarding creating internal structures for DEI involvement from staff 

 Qualifications of Consultants

  • Considerable experience in developing and executing organization-wide DEI assessment, planning, and implementation efforts for nonprofit organizations.
  • Demonstrated understanding and/or experience with issues and challenges of an educational nonprofit with a small diverse staff of cis, trans, and nonbinary employees.
  • Experience conducting diversity and inclusion surveys, analyzing survey data, and implementing effective action plans at various organizational levels.
  • Experience reviewing and drafting organization policies relating to human resources and other areas to incorporate best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion – especially within organizations without dedicated HR staff.
  • Experience presenting and leading DEI workshops that engage employees, foster connection and understanding, and create meaningful cultural change.

Proposal Activities & Deliverables

Women’s Audio Mission is committed to creating a culture that is inclusive. We seek support in creating a comprehensive DEI Plan that will align with our strategic objectives. The comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) assessment should include the information listed below and other applicable industry best practices that will provide Women’s Audio Mission with a high quality DEI Strategic Plan.


  • A project plan with a timeline that includes cost.
  • A comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion analysis of the organization.
  • A comprehensive DEI Strategic Plan that can be integrated into WAM’s overall Strategic Plan.
  • Staff and board trainings to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills related to DEI.
  • Suggestions for an Improved recruitment plan.
  • Development of a DEI measurement dashboard.


Women’s Audio Mission is committed to investing time and resources to this organizational priority. The total budget for consulting fees is $35,470. Proposals should outline anticipated costs of any or all components requested in this RFP. Non-profit discounts are welcomed and appreciated.

Evaluation Process and Criteria 

Women’s Audio Mission will select the consultant based on their ability to meet the overall expectations. The following criteria will be used in the selection process:  

  • Responsiveness and completeness of the response provided to the RFP
  • Experience and qualifications of consultant 
  • Technical quality and methodology of consultant’s approach to organizing and managing the project; ability to document information and recommendations clearly in written format.  
  • Experience working with nonprofit organizations, especially educational, community, or arts-based organizations.
  • Satisfaction of former clients with competency of completed work based on references.
  • Price and fee structure reasonable to services provided.

Submission of Proposals

WAM will accept proposals until Friday, March 3, 2023, via email to If you feel you/your firm are a good fit for this work, but the proposal deadline creates a challenge, please contact us to discuss. Any proposal should specify when the consultant or consulting firm is available. If your proposal is not for the full body of work sought, please specify in your response where your expertise and experience fit best.


For consideration, please submit proposals in PDF format with the following Information:

  • Contact information
  • Summary of Approach and Frameworks for DEI: Please include specific examples of strategies, training content, workshops, and descriptions of key activities
  • Scope of Work and Timeline
  • Cost information that includes a rate sheet, the estimated number of hours and cost per hour for the consultant staff for each of the components of the work, and the estimated time investment for the Board and staff
  • Key personnel information for consultant or firm
  • Three professional references, preferably at least two from non-profit organizations.


This work is generously supported by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.