Valuing diversity and inclusion (D&I) enables an organisation to deliver and connect with a wider range of stakeholders, particularly employees and customers. Organisations that genuinely appreciate and support D&I in the workplace have higher engagement and retention rates; both individuals and the business benefit.
Creating a more inclusive and supportive work environment enhances teamwork and delivers more effective products and services. It can also increase productivity and encourage different ways of thinking for improved decision making.
Here are just a few ways that you can actively encourage and embed D&I in your workplace.
|1||Create organisational goals to become an employer of choice for one or more under-represented groups – people from culturally diverse backgrounds, mature-aged workers and younger workers, women, etc.|
|2||Establish an employee network/committee which promotes and encourages D&I.|
|3||Appoint D&I workplace champions to role model and promote diversity and inclusion.|
|4||Promote development opportunities with D&I in mind, with an emphasis on improving opportunities for under-represented groups.|
|5||Create mentoring and sponsorship programs to develop leadership capability in under-represented employee groups, actively encouraging accessing networking and development opportunities.|
|6||Recognise and respect the organisation’s responsibilities and obligations under federal and state/territory Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and anti-discrimination laws to make reasonable allowances for people with religious or cultural responsibilities, such as prayer, attending special events, observing religious holidays etc.|
|7||Create and/or change recruitment and selection practices to value all candidates regardless of age, nationality, ethnicity, gender identity, disability etc., e.g. use blind recruitment practices – conduct blind screening of applications to minimise unconscious biases in the resume review process.|
|8||Recognise and value the abilities of all employees regardless of age; provide education programs for managers on cross-generational management of employees.|
|9||Enable phased retirement for employees to arrange a plan which provides them with work opportunities that are not necessarily full-time whilst remaining in the workforce, e.g. part-time work, casual work, job sharing, mentoring, taking on a training role, or working from home.|
|10||Facilitate information sharing sessions amongst all employees to enhance corporate knowledge of diversity and inclusion and to build relationships across the organisation.|
|11||Establish a ‘keep-in-touch’ program for employees on parental or other extended leave types.|
|12||Implement initiatives designed to help employees balance work and personal responsibilities, e.g. flexible work arrangements, remote working/working from home options.|
|13||Measure and monitor the progress of increasing the number of women in roles at all levels in the organisation, particularly senior roles. Report this data to senior leadership and the Board.|
|14||Establish a culture of flexible work arrangements for all – adopt a ‘flex first’ approach.|
|15||Measure and monitor pay equity and address any pay disparity.|
|16||Conduct a D&I audit – consider all HR policies and procedures through a D&I lens and make necessary changes.|
|17||Audit all position descriptions to ensure they contain gender-neutral language|
|18||Explicitly state the organisation’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive culture within the organisation’s job advertisements and position descriptions – a simple sentence can send a strong message to job applicants.|
|19||Introduce D&I early in the employment lifecycle – include it as part of the organisation’s onboarding program.|
|20||Provide reasonable adjustments and greater accessibility overall for people with disabilities and all employees.|
|21||In consultation with employees, recognise and (if appropriate) celebrate holidays and events for under-represented groups, e.g. NAIDOC Week and Pride Week.|
|22||Provide employees with an opportunity to complete an Implicit Association Test to help them recognise their own inherent biases. Creating awareness that we all have biases is often a good first step to challenging these biases and consciously working towards minimising and removing them.|
|23||Create a D&I channel in the digital communication tool used by your organisation – e.g. MS Teams, Slack, Yammer. Here you can promote D&I initiatives and events, provide resources and information, interesting articles etc|
|24||Keep D&I front of mind – create D&I collateral for employees (e.g. posters, knowledge cards etc.) showing the ways that all employees can contribute to creating a workplace that is more inclusive.|
|25||Have an ‘international food day’ where people bring a dish to share for lunch that highlights their culture – this is a great, informal way to start conversations about the different cultures represented in the organisation’s workforce.|
|26||Take a look at the marketing visuals and language that your company uses – Are they reflective of the diversity of the general population? Do they sufficiently reflect your customer base? Do they reflect the range of employees that make up the workforce? Look at your marketing collateral through a D&I lens, both internal and external.|
|27||Think about the D&I related technology that you can use to emphasise D&I, for example, you might like to check|
out Textio (textio.com) which can help you write more inclusive job descriptions and job advertisements,
and Allie (alliebot.com) a Slack bot specifically for messaging around D&I at work.
|28||Invite D&I guest speakers to speak to employees at company events. Ensure organisational events and conferences|
are representative and inclusive – avoid the all-white or all-men panel!
|29||Reinvent office meetings to ensure a wider range of voices are heard – distribute meeting agendas and share|
discussion points prior to meetings, make sure everyone gets an opportunity to speak at the meeting, give all attendees
an opportunity to chair, try to make sure those speaking at meetings are not interrupted when speaking, and look at
who is/is not invited to attend meetings.
|30||Shine a D&I light on the compensation negotiation process – studies show that men negotiate more often than women.|
Is this the case in your organisation? Is the compensation process fair and equitable?
|31||Make D&I part of employee performance conversations, especially HR personnel (e.g. hiring personnel) to ensure there|
is clarity on the organisation’s expectations around D&I in human resource management practices.
Help leaders understand how to have inclusive performance conversations.
|32||Encourage senior management to get directly involved in D&I – buy-in from the executive team is critical if D&I efforts|
are to succeed. For example, encourage senior managers to get involved by speaking at D&I training events, sharing
information with employees, putting D&I on the agenda in company-wide meetings. Make D&I part of your executive
|33||In all staff meetings ask people to ‘tell their story’ if they feel comfortable doing so – the journey to the role|
they currently have can be an interesting one and showcase much more about a person that you may know.
|34||Listen to employees and try to invest in the things they care about; conduct a D&I survey or run some focus groups|
with employees across the entire organisation – above all, rather than just talking about D&I, take action to ensure
change actually occurs.
|35||Analyse your promotion and placement announcements – are there differences in language and the attributes|
you highlight when you promote people of different genders, backgrounds and so forth?