At Rotary, we're committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect, allowing everyone's voice to be heard, and providing equitable opportunities for fellowship, service, and leadership.

Our members want and expect Rotary to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. We're committed to creating supportive environments that foster open communication and shared learning. And although the Rotary experience may differ from country to country, the dynamics, histories, and structures that create inequality and bias can be found all over the world. Issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion are globally relevant.

The Rotary International Board of Directors and The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees embrace the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and Rotary is taking action to follow these principles in everything we do. We recognize that being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization will enhance the experience that members have in Rotary, allow us to carry out more meaningful and effective service efforts, and create open, welcoming environments that appeal to people who want to connect with us.

A guide for the future

The Rotary International Board convened the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force to assess the state of DEI within Rotary and develop a comprehensive plan to establish these values even more firmly in our culture. To develop the plan, the task force used the responses from 31,000 members around the world who reported their experiences with DEI in Rotary through our first diversity, equity, and inclusion survey.

Read the highlights of the framework.

Download a snapshot of DEI at Rotary.

Rotary's commitment statement

In 2021, the Rotary International Board, with guidance from the DEI Task Force, strengthened our commitment statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion, which had been adopted in 2019.

DEI code of conduct

Rotary International's Board approved a new DEI code of conduct that reflects our core values. It provides a supportive framework for how Rotary members can create and maintain an environment that is collaborative, positive, and healthy for everyone.

The DEI code of conduct asks Rotary members to:

  • Use respectful language
  • Be supportive
  • Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment
  • Celebrate diversity

Although free expression is important, what we say and how we behave matter. Rotary does not tolerate speech or behavior that promotes bias, discrimination, prejudice, or hatred because of age, ethnicity, race, color, disabilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

All Rotary leaders, from club presidents and district governors to directors and trustees, are expected to apply the DEI code of conduct uniformly by taking responsibility for how their words and actions may affect others.

If you hear something or observe behavior that doesn't align with the DEI code of conduct, you have several options for addressing it:

  • If the situation can be resolved through discussion, encourage the member or participant to talk to the person directly. Very often, a person who said something or acted in a way that made others feel excluded, marginalized, or targeted did not do so intentionally. Although there might be mistakes, missteps, and uncomfortable conversations along the way, the end result is a better, stronger Rotary. 
  • If a discussion is not possible or the situation involves someone in a leadership role or another club, contact Club and District Support staff, who will review the information and follow up appropriately. 
  • If anyone is in danger or their safety is in doubt, contact local law enforcement and notify  Rotary’s Club and District Support staff.  

Support DEI in your club and community

You have access to many resources to help you advocate for DEI in your club and district. You can:

You can take action to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in your club:

  • Invite local diversity, equity, and inclusion experts to speak to your club. Connect with organizations that support DEI efforts, and work with them on projects or events.
  • Seek out new voices when you're making appointments and encourage people who have been underrepresented in these roles to take on leadership positions.
  • Hold conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Acknowledge that this can be uncomfortable and very personal. Establish the expectation that these conversations will allow everyone opportunities to learn and to be heard and will remain respectful.
  • Create a club DEI committee that reflects the demographics of your community and works with residents to identify collaborative learning, sharing, and service opportunities.