HR, Thought Leaders

8 Ways To Promote Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) At Work

May 19, 2022

by Anjan Pathak

Co-Founder & CTO, Vantage Circle

Diversity in the workplace attracts a wide range of talent pools from various backgrounds, cultures, and gender. It brings in creativity, inclusivity, and equity at work. How? You’ll find it in this article. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become buzzwords in the modern business world. It is time for company leaders to start promoting workplace equality by implementing the best DEI strategies. 

When there is diversity in the workplace, with varied perspectives and experiences, it adds value and enhances employee engagement in the workplace. But, merely saying that you are an equal employer is not enough to attract diverse talent, increase retention and engage people from various backgrounds. 

To achieve the best company culture that is equal and discrimination-free, you must implement the correct strategies and promote DEI in the workplace. So, this article is all about that. 

Today, we shall learn the best ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.  But, first, we must learn the basics. Let’s get started. 

Interested in learning how DEI impacts small businesses? Check out our report on 2022 Supplier Diversity statistics. 

What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?

An inclusive workplace with strategies, policies, and missions that attract a diverse pool of talent from various genders, cultures, sexualities, and backgrounds is defined as diversity, equity, and inclusion

Even though the terms are interconnected, they aren’t synonymous. So, what’s the difference? 

Diversity in the workplace: 

Gallup defines ‘diversity’ as the “full spectrum of human differences.” It refers to peoples’ unique identities and gender, sexuality, religion, age, caste, race, ethnicity, disability, etc. 

When your company has employees from unprivileged backgrounds, it is referred to as diversity in the workplace

Inclusion at work: 

Inclusion at work means making every worker feel included and providing equal and fair opportunities in the team. 

Inclusivity refers to giving respect, valuing, and hearing to every employee without any prejudices. Doing so leads to higher innovation and enhanced company culture.

Equity in the workplace: 

We often think equity is synonymous with equality, but there is a significant difference. 

Equality refers to a system where every person receives equal opportunities regardless of circumstance. But, equity refers to the equal distribution of resources based on needs. 

It is about leveling the playing field for all irrespective of gender, caste, religion, sexuality, age, race, etc. 

Our society is imbalanced with people from many identities and backgrounds, which creates an imbalance, and workplace equity is about correcting such imbalances. It is about equal employee recognition based on performance only and not their identities. 

8 Ways to Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Work

Now that we have a fair understanding of what diversity in the workplace looks like and how it adds to inclusion and equity, we must know how to promote it. So, here are eight ways to promote DEI at work for a better employee experience. 

  1. Educate people in leadership positions
  2. Set up a DEI council
  3. Focus on diversity hiring
  4. Give importance to culture
  5. Invest in communication
  6. Hone in on training
  7. Encourage creativity
  8. Track DEI initiatives 

1. Educate People in Leadership Positions 

You must educate and spread awareness amongst senior officials and managers about diversity and inclusion and how it is crucial to ensure a discrimination-free workplace. You must begin with the leaders and mentors. 

Managers must align their leadership styles with workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion. When done right, it nurtures an equitable workplace. When your workplace has managers with no prejudice, you will make everyone feel included. 

2. Set Up a DEI Council 

As an HR manager or a company leader, you must set up a DEI council and make it as diverse as possible. You must choose representatives from various underrepresented groups across different religions, caste, races, gender, sexuality, etc. 

When you have a council, you’ll experience increased communication at work. It will give courage to underprivileged employees to speak against anything unwarranted that happens to them. Also, diversity in the workplace helps your team pursue things from various perspectives and shape unbiased decisions. 

3. Focus on Diversity Hiring

Your step to being a diverse workplace starts from the hiring stage. You must have a broader perspective while recruiting new talents and provide opportunities to people from various underprivileged backgrounds. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a choice and not something that happens automatically; and it is a constant effort that you must begin by hiring diversely. You can start hiring more women, racial minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and religiously diverse candidates. 

This way, you can show your solidarity and support towards every minority community. 

4. Focus on Culture Add 

When you give importance to culture fit ideology, it only resembles familiarity, and it only uplifts what is already put to work. But, when you have a culture add approach, you will focus on new voices, experiences, and talents that will positively impact your company culture. 

Both employers and employees need to eliminate unconscious biases, and it is possible with a culture-add mentality. Do not just look for “who fits the best” but also look for “who can add to the best.” 

5. Invest in Communication

Communication leads to connection.

Diversity is not the same as inclusion or equity. You might have a diverse workforce, but it might lack inclusivity due to communication gaps or engagement issues. You must remain open to communications, make the most of appropriate communication channels, and listen to your employees. 

This is the ideology you must promote in the workplace. All you have to do is make yourself approachable to your workers and team. Connect with your team on a personal level. Also, when you communicate, it helps function remote work. 

6. Hone in on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training 

Diversity training is paramount for employees to go through in your company. This is the best way to educate and spread awareness in the workplace about gender, race, sexuality, age, ethnicity, and every other minority. 

Such training brings ample awareness to the workplace regarding cultural and gender differences present in our society. And we must celebrate every difference with support and equality. Thus, when you organize diversity training in the workplace, it helps broaden people’s prejudiced minds. 

7. Encourage Creativity and Inclusion 

Diversity and inclusion also attract immense creativity and innovation in the workplace. When you have workers from various cultures and backgrounds, they will bring references from their lived experiences to the table. 

As an employer, you must encourage employees to bring out their best creativity and innovation, incorporating their diversity in the workplace. 

When employees display their diverse thoughts, you can see an exchange of diverse dialogue that nurtures appreciation, acceptance, and tolerance. 

8. Track the DEI initiatives 

Keeping a check on your DEI initiatives at work is the best way to measure the progress of diversity and inclusion strategies. You can also measure other metrics like employee productivity, morale, and employee engagement with the help of DEI policies, as it can accommodate every metric within one. 

These metrics must portray how well you accept, appreciate, recognize, and welcome employees in your organization.

DEI at Work is a Necessity 

DEI is paramount for every company to achieve enhanced employee engagement, equality, and organizational success. It attracts creativity, innovation, trust, and loyalty. Hence, we introduced you to the eight ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace to nurture the best and most equitable work culture for your workers. 

So what is the bottom line? Merely saying or claiming your organization is diverse and inclusive is never enough. You must have workplace equity alongside diversity and inclusion, and doing so will help you achieve greater organizational success. 

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