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10 Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Ideas You Can Implement Today

Discover 10 great ideas for promoting workplace diversity and inclusion! All these ideas are very easy to implement, yet very powerful. Each idea is followed by a real-life example of a company who is championing that specific workplace diversity and inclusion initiative. 

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Diversity and inclusion in the workplace matters! 

Building and promoting workplace diversity isn't just the right thing to do - it is also a smart business decision. 🎯

According to research, companies with diverse teams:

  1. Have 19% higher revenue (reported by Boston Consulting Group)

  2. Outperform industry norms by 35% (as found by McKinsey's research)

  3. Are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market (according to Josh Bersin)

  4. Are 70% more likely to capture a new market (statistic by Harvard Business Review).

Workplace diversity benefit statistic

Considering all the benefits of workplace diversity, what can you do to promote it in your company? In this blog post you’ll find 10 actionable ideas you can implement right away to support workplace diversity and promote workplace inclusion. 💪

10 actionable ideas for promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace

In the following text you’ll find 10 actionable workplace and diversity promotion ideas you can implement in your company today! 

All these ideas are very easy to implement, yet very powerful. Each idea is followed by a real-life example of a company who is championing that specific workplace diversity and inclusion initiative. 

Enjoy! 🙂

Workplace D&I idea #1: Update your employee value proposition

Update your employee value proposition by adding workplace diversity and inclusion. Show your current employees and potential job candidates that diversity and inclusion is one of your core company values. 

💡 Real-life example

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out how Chevron highlights that diversity and inclusion is a cornerstone of their employee value proposition:

Workplace diversity example

Workplace D&I idea #2: Create a diversity video

Creating a video might take some more effort, but it’s well worth it. A picture can tell more than a thousand words, so use that power! You don’t even need the high production and famous director - you can create a great video on your own

💡 Real-life example

Here is a great video created by HP to inspire. WARNING: It made me cry, I’ll admit. As it should. That’s what makes it great! You can see more of their wonderful videos dedicated to promoting diversity at the workplace here.

Workplace D&I idea #3: Establish mentorship for underrepresented groups

Mentoring is one of the most effective diversity initiatives. According to research, mentorship programs can boost the representation of Black, Hispanic, and Asian American women, and Hispanic and Asian-American men at manager levels.

💡 Real-life example

Women of color who say they have mentors are 81% more likely to be satisfied with their career progression than those without mentors, according to research conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI).

Workplace diversity initiative

Workplace D&I idea #4: Issue a statement from your CEO

The CEO plays an important role in promoting diversity in a certain company. He should be the first to react and set an example for the rest of your company’s employees when it comes to embracing workplace diversity and inclusion. 

💡 Real-life example

Here is how Pinterest’s CEO announced his support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Notice how he does more than just talk - he walks the walk by highlighting exactly what his company is doing to support the movement.

Workplace diversity example

Workplace D&I idea #5: Use inclusive language

Language is essential for creating a company culture where everyone feels welcome and included. Create an inclusive language guide for your company and use it to open a discussion about the affirmative and negative words and phrases related to workplace diversity and inclusion. 

💡 Real-life example

If you’re looking for some more examples, check out Buffer’s Guide to Inclusive Language for Startups and Tech!

Inclusive language workplace diversity

Workplace D&I idea #6: Interview your diverse employees

Interview your diverse employees. Make their voices heard! Ask your employees what diversity means for them. Let them tell the story about the diversity in your company! Then use their quotes, photos or even make a video - again, it doesn’t have to have perfect production. Be authentic!

💡 Real-life example

Here is a great example of the Chevron diversity video in which employees talk about what diversity means for them. They explain why it is good to be a part of a diverse team. This video is just one minute long, but it says it all! 

Workplace D&I idea #7: Start employee resource groups

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are a very useful company’s resource that can help you bring together different perspectives, experiences and ideas from your employees at all levels. These groups are typically formed around a common social identity such as gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, or a life stage such as parenthood. Make sure that all your company’s ERGs are inclusive and are open for any of your full-time employees to join!

💡 Real-life example

Estée Lauder company has 30 employee resource groups across all geographic regions with over 4,500 employees participating collectively. Each group was started by their employees and includes groups for women, veterans, families, LGBTQ+ individuals and allies, and many more.

Workplace diversity example

Workplace D&I idea #8: Hire for diversity

Workplace diversity starts with hiring (please feel free to quote me on that!). I believe this is so important because you can talk about the diversity all you want if you don’t commit to making a real change in your own company. And that change starts with hiring diverse candidates. 

How to hire for diversity? Here are just a few ideas:

💡 Real-life example

Slack proactively sought out candidates from outside traditional programmer pipelines like Stanford and MIT, recruiting through all-women coding camps, as well as programs that focus on training black and Latino programmers such as Code2040.

Workplace diversity example

Workplace D&I idea #9: Use social media to promote diversity

Besides your career site, your company’s social media profiles are a key channel for promoting workplace diversity and inclusion at your company. Make sure to share all your company’s diversity and inclusion content such as photos, videos and blog posts here. You can also create specialized social media campaigns, such as the use of specific diversity-related hashtags, etc. 

💡 Real-life example

IBM uses the hashtag  #inclusiveIBM to demonstrate its inclusive company culture on social media sites. This hashtag is promoted on their official social media profiles, but it is also used by their employees who post photos of themselves at work, which gives it a sense of authenticity. 

Workplace diversity example

Workplace D&I idea #10: Celebrate diverse holidays

Most companies throw a Christmas Party and forget about the other holidays. Take time and make an effort to celebrate different religious and non-religious holidays, not just the Christian ones. Here is a great list of diverse holidays you use as a start point. 

Make sure to celebrate days that promote and celebrate diversity, such as Gay Pride, International Women’s Day, International Day to End Racism, International Day of People with Disability, etc.

💡 Real-life example

Did you know that Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter and Square, declared Juneteenth (June 19) a corporate holiday to commemorate the end of slavery and show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement? 

Workplace diversity example

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do employees want?

When introducing workplace and diversity initiatives, it is important to recognize which of them your employees actually want. 

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) did an interesting research study in which they surveyed 16,500 employees around the world to find out what diversity initiatives employees actually want.

➡️ The researchers found out that different underrepresented groups preferred a different type of workplace and diversity initiatives:

  1. Female employees
    Female employees wanted to have visible role models and flexible-work programs as well as parental leave.

  2. Employees of color
    Employees of color emphasized recruiting a diverse workforce. They wanted blind resume screening and diverse interview panels.

  3. LGBTQ employees
    LGBTQ employees wanted their organization to collaborate or partner with an LGBTQ-focused or LGBTQ-friendly organizations.

How to get started with diversity and inclusion in your company?

Before you implement any of these workplace and diversity ideas, ask your employees what they want and which of these initiatives they want your company to implement first. Make sure you take the specific needs of each underrepresented group into consideration.

There is no one-size-fits-all workplace diversity program. Talk to your employees, listen to their needs and start from there. You can also suggest a few ideas from this list and let them choose the one they find most valuable for them.

Many of the ideas presented in this blog post are very simple to implement, but they can make a world of difference to your employees! ❤️

Looking for more actionable workplace diversity ideas?

You’ll find a lot of great ideas in our Diversity and Inclusion Guide for HR Professionals

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