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As a leader, the move toward a more diverse workforce starts with you. Within your organization, you have an influence and decision-making ability impacting who gets an interview, who gets hired, and who gets promoted. Many leaders mistakenly think that diversity means hiring more employees of color, but it is so much more than that. 

Diversity relates to individuals who are often discriminated against based on race, age, class, gender, ethnicity, or religious beliefs. Inclusion relates to individuals within an organization who are willing to engage and collaborate with everyone. While diversity and inclusion are dependent and complementary, inclusion is about the ability to have diversity and move it beyond the hype of the media. 

Here are some ideas as to how you might have a more inclusive and diverse workplace.

 

You may want to reexamine your pay structure.

One of the best ways to end workplace discrimination is to ensure that everyone is paid based on their performance. Take a close look at how much your employees are paid based on accomplishments rather than race or gender. If you see significant gaps, work to correct them. Everyone deserves to be compensated for performance and receive equal benefits. 

 

You should educate your employees.

While you can provide guidance on job-related questions and team strategies, you may not be the best person to discuss equity in the workplace. You may have leaders bring in an outside speaker or organize an online workshop on passive racism. You should also provide ongoing follow-up so employees can stay engaged.  

 

Take the time to look for less-inclusive areas.

How often do you visit with leaders of other teams about the need for diversity and inclusion in your hiring efforts? This is about hiring for your culture and not your talent needs, which you can train. It is a good idea to understand the makeup of your entire company. Doing so allows managers from throughout your organization to work together to promote a diverse team. 

 

Be sure to actively look for diverse partners.

If you are looking to work with a new vendor or supplier, make sure they share your corporate values. Consider how you can expand your supply chain to be more inclusive of all different types of companies.

 

Think about your self-promotion.

Now is an excellent time to work with other leaders in your organization to change your marketing. Look at your collateral, including your training videos and annual reports, for workplace equity. Ask yourself if your advertising and marketing incorporates multiple demographics.

 

Do not be afraid to ask for outside help.

If your team is mostly homogenous, you may not succeed at broadening your representation. Well-meaning but tone-deaf efforts can destroy the collateral and presentations your team worked so hard to create. How do you fix this? Getting an outside opinion from a sensitivity consultant. These professionals can help ensure that what you think is inclusive is not actually offensive. 

 

Creating a more diverse workplace takes time. If you are not sure where to start, take a good look at how you compensate your team members. Then you can branch out into educating your employees, working with other managers, and bringing in outside experts, when necessary. Doing this will help you ensure that everyone is invited to the table. And this will help you thrive.

 

 

Consider checking out business coaching through Raine Digital to have one of our experts help you transform your approach to diversity in the workplace. 

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