How to Create a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

Many candidates searching for their next career move are looking for a company that celebrates diversity and has a strong inclusion policy. Both of these elements—diversity and inclusion—are ingrained in company culture. Some people (wrongly) think that company culture simply means foosball tables and a kegerator in the breakroom. In reality, today’s employees are looking for more meaningful workplace benefits, most of which stem from diversity and inclusion efforts.

Below, we’ve identified three ways your company can have a more diverse and inclusive workplace. If you’ve already engaged in some of these tactics—great! Maybe you will find one or two activities to add to your list. If you have not put much effort into your current diversity and inclusion policies, let us be clear: these initiatives are the future of the workplace, so there is no better time to get started!

What is Diversity and Inclusion?

These words are each powerful on their own but revolutionary together. Diversity is the practice of including or involving people from different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc. 

On the other hand, inclusion provides equal access to opportunities and resources for individuals who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those with physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups. On a larger scale, inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that ensure every person feels welcome.

So, how do you know if you have a diverse and inclusive workplace? Survey your people. They will be your greatest barometer for success. 

And here’s a pro tip: ensure your diversity and inclusion materials are from this decade. There’s nothing worse than showing an outdated video that wreaks of 1990s workplace orientation.

Three Ways to Create a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

1. Increase diversity and inclusion through recruiting efforts.

Using your recruiting efforts is a surefire way to increase diversity and inclusion in your workplace. Here are a few examples of efforts your hiring team can implement:

Highlight diversity on your website.

Together with your marketing team, audit your website. Is there a way to include underrepresented groups in your marketing efforts? Pay the most attention to your “about” and “careers” page as interested candidates will frequent these. If possible, create a landing page that identifies your core values and any diversity, equity, or inclusion efforts.

Provide internships or scholarships for underrepresented groups.

Underrepresented groups refer to those who have been denied access and/or suffered past institutional discrimination in the United States. Internships can be a great tool for recruiting and building your workforce as you are sourcing talent you’ve already trained! If you’re not equipped for an internship program, you can offer a scholarship program that encourages students to get involved in your industry by completing a specific major or trade program.

Offer unconscious bias training for recruiters.

Unconscious bias training is also referred to as implicit bias training. These educational programs aim to expose people to their implicit biases. For recruiters, this can be especially helpful as they are the ones reviewing resumes. Your recruiters are the gatekeepers to your workforce; ensure they do not engage in automatic thinking patterns or discriminatory behaviors. 

Tip: Alternatively, you can have recruiters blindly review resumes, or you can engage a staffing service to help fill open roles. The recruiters at Inova Staffing have completed training and aim to meet the needs of both employers and employees based on skills and experience—nothing else!

Have job postings with inclusive language.

Our friends at SHRM have amazing resources to help guide you as you write inclusive job postings and descriptions. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips below:

    • Don’t mention race or national origin.

    • Using phrases like “clean-shaven” can exclude women and those with religious requirements. Use phrases like “professional attire and appearance” to cover all of your bases without excluding anyone.

    • Do not give preference to or exclude candidates of a certain religion (unless you’re a religious organization).

Offer amenities such as on-site daycare or petcare.

To help in your recruiting efforts, you’ll want to showcase the amenities you offer to employees. Some popular examples include natural light, flexible workspace—like soft seating or stand-up desks, and on-site food options. However, these amenities don’t help your diversity or inclusion efforts. Consider offering on-site daycare for children and/or pets! Parents (pet and otherwise) can often be excluded from after-hours events if they need to pick up their dependent by a certain time. Offering on-site care provides them flexibility in their schedules.

2. Increase diversity and inclusion by celebrating differences.

A Randstad study indicated that “56% of female workers and 52% of male workers believe their employers could do more to promote gender equality and diversity.” This is why celebrating differences is so important! 

We’ve compiled a few easy ways to celebrate diversity and inclusion with your teams here:

    • Showcase different backgrounds, traditions, and holidays by celebrating what’s important to your team. You can identify these items through an internal survey.
    • Allow employees to take off for religious holidays that might not be celebrated widely by the team.
    • Focus on celebrating special days for all: International Women’s Day, Non-Binary People’s Day, International Men’s Day, Pride Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Non-binary Parent Day, etc.

3. Increase diversity and inclusion by educating your team.

Educating your team will help push your diversity and inclusion efforts through generations of your workforce. What you teach your employees, they will pass on to others—maybe even their children, the future workforce of America. 

By educating through diversity training or creating a “task force” that meets to create strategies and events, you can help strengthen your workplace. In addition to these traditional educational tools, tighten your anti-discriminatory policies and explain them thoroughly to your team. Offer mentorship programs to those who might not have had a mentor in previous roles, and you’ll simultaneously allow someone the chance to lead when they might not have previously done so. Regarding your technology stack, you can create boards within inter-office tech platforms, like Slack, which can focus on specific diversity and inclusion efforts, like LGBTQIA or BLM.  

Interested in More Employment Resources? 

There are many ways to create a diverse and inclusive workplace and increase your efforts if they already exist. Know that all steps—both big and small—are steps forward to a world where all people feel empowered, safe, and confident at work.

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