Promoting Diversity in the Workplace: 11 Activities to Try

What is one activity that you've done to promote diversity in your workplace? 

To help you promote diversity in your workplace, we asked small business owners and HR leaders this question for their best insights. From inserting slack profile identifiers to hosting team huddles, there are several tips that may help you encourage diversity in your organization.

Here are nine ways to promote diversity in the workplace:

  • Insert Slack Profile Identifiers
  • Create Mentorship Programs
  • Sponsor Diversity Initiatives and Groups
  • Host a Team Building Event
  • Partner with Minority Institutions
  • Showcase Your International Work Environment Online
  • Give Time Off for Religious Holidays
  • Show No Bias While Hiring
  • Recruit in Different Places
  • Hire a Psychologist
  • Host Team Huddles 

Insert Slack Profile Identifiers

One very simple activity we've implemented in our fully remote workspace is to encourage team members to put their preferred pronouns and any other identifiers in their Slack profiles. This simple gesture puts employees important identifiers' in front of peers, and is a constant, non-invasive way for our team to express their diversity on a daily basis within the workspace. To encourage the initiative, our managers took the lead and changed their profiles as an example to embolden employees to do the same.

Tasia Duske, Museum Hack

Create Mentorship Programs

One way to create a more diversity-inclusive workplace is to develop mentorship programs. In these programs, employees of different backgrounds are paired together to share advice, career development tips, and support. This helps break down barriers and fosters a more collaborative environment. Not only does this type of program help employees feel more connected to the company, but it can also lead to better business outcomes. As an organization, you can promote mentorship in a number of ways. You can launch official programs, or simply encourage managers to pair employees who may not typically interact with each other.

Peter Lucas, Relocate to Andorra

Sponsor Diversity Initiatives and Groups

You can do a lot to promote diversity in the workplace through your sponsorship of diversity initiatives and affinity groups. Promoting diversity is a process rather than an end in itself, so do what you can to help be a part of positive change. And, your support for affinity groups will go a long way towards helping employees from diverse backgrounds feel appreciated and included, and also aid in fighting discrimination.

Debra Hildebrand, Hildebrand Solutions, LLC

Host a Team Building Event

To promote diversity in our workplace we took part in a virtual team-building event. We hired a specialized company and they assigned a host to facilitate a game event with trivia that created a stronger sense of connection between coworkers through having a laugh together. We learned so much about each other and I cannot underestimate how the dynamics have changed since!

Stewart McGrenary, Freedom Mobiles

Partner with Minority Institutions

If you want to attract more diverse candidates, try partnering with minority institutions that support underrepresented groups. Build relationships with the leadership teams and find out how your company can provide support to members. You could offer to sponsor a job fair and have your company highlighted, which will help draw in applicants. Be creative with other types of events your company could sponsor that would be beneficial and also help grow your candidate pool.

Brett Sohns, LifeGoal Investments

Showcase Your International Work Environment Online

Our employees work not just in the states but in other parts of the world. We also have pictures on our website of some of our employees who work in various parts of the world, along with testimonials from them on what they have appreciated about working for our company. Demonstrating our diverse and international workplace culture on our website can encourage others from diverse backgrounds to join our team, as well.

Matt Miller, Embroker

Give Time Off for Religious Holidays

At my company, I have allowed my workers to take paid leave during various religious holidays to promote diversity in the workplace. I believe in diversity and respect all cultural differences. Therefore, it is only fair and unbiased to make everyone feel at home and appreciated regardless of nationality, background, or religion. By allowing my workforce to go on paid leave for religious holidays, I create a culturally sensitive environment where all employees understand diversity and are sensitive to their colleagues' needs.

John Tian, Mobitrix

Show No Bias While Hiring

Showing no bias while hiring is our company's motto. I have always believed that everyone is equal and giving opportunities based on strength and talent is much more important. Over time I realized that this was something that was promoting our diversity in the workspace the whole time. For doing so, we have always had a skill assessment test in the form of an interview. This showcases their skill the most which helps us know if the person is suitable or not. If they are, we hire them and treat them the same around the workspace so they don't feel left out.

Meera Watts, Siddhi Yoga International Pte. Ltd.

Recruit in Different Places

One of the ways entrepreneurs can build a more inclusive and diverse workplace is by changing up how they recruit by looking in different places for talent. There is nothing wrong with using the tried and true websites to find new talent, but you are likely missing out on highly-skilled employees by not casting a wider net. If applicable, consider hiring recent college graduates to gain fresh, hungry employees who are eager to jumpstart their careers. By not narrowing in on certain demographics you think employees should meet, whether you’re doing it subconsciously or intentionally, you’re allowing your business to become more diverse and welcoming to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Leo Livshetz, Unhide

Hire a Psychologist

Recently I hired an HR and Recruitment Officer who is a former full-time Psychologist. She has gotten to know my employees on a one-to-one basis through virtual meetings and has offered counseling and support for any problems inside or outside of work. In this role, she is able to suggest changes to improve employees' well-being and happiness at work, which in turn creates more productive employees.

Hakeem Shittu, iPad Recycle

Host Team Huddles

We regularly host conversations about inclusion and diversity within our office. Owned and operated by a POC team who also happens to be generation Z, our top priority is to create a welcoming environment that supports employees of varying backgrounds. As a team, we discuss how to form our language internally and externally to convey acceptance of all individuals. As dynamic individuals continue to join the team with varying skill sets and backgrounds, we learn the most about diversity from each other.

Breanne Millette, BISOULOVELY

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