By: Lauren Perrodin

Within the past few decades, businesses around the world have focused on diversifying their workforce. As a result, research from McKinsey & Company has noted that the productivity, success and upward mobility of businesses that employ a diverse group of professionals are more likely to outperform those that have not.

This corporate effort is known as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). From the same report by McKinsey, businesses that employ DEI in their policy are better prepared to handle challenges. This process includes gender, experience, socio-economic levels, race, religion and sexual orientation to better reflect the many faces and perspectives that make up the world we live in.

Ready to learn how to ensure diversity in your workplace? Let’s take a look.

Attracting Diverse Applicants

Hiring a diverse workforce requires creativity and reflection.

Diversity recruiting aims to help businesses reflect the community they live in. It helps to avoid an echo chamber that can come with conversations between people from the same backgrounds and similar experiences.

Attracting diverse applicants can involve:

  • Targeting new recruiting sources known for diverse talent pools.
  • Encouraging referral programs with rewards.
  • Offering internships to specific groups.

Conducting Diversity Training

If your business is new to diversity recruitment — or even if it isn’t — training may be necessary.

The goal of diversity training is to uncover unconscious biases and offer a safe space for more diverse people. Diversity and inclusion training should aim at all employees and address a range of challenges that someone may experience or those that may arise in working with new groups of people.

Unsure where to start?

There are a plethora of programs available to get started with so you’re not on your own. However, it’s not a one-and-done program, in addition to keeping this top of mind for employees, holding continuous training helps them stay abreast of new findings and best practices in the area.

Developing an Employer Brand That Showcases Your Diversity

This is where reflection comes into play for diversifying your workplace. After conducting diversity training, leadership should take a critical look at how their website and onboarding may appear to someone from a marginalized group.

Audit Your Website

You may first improve the language and images on your website for better inclusivity. Communicate your commitment to diversity and the efforts in which your business has made to ensure this goal is successful. Calling out how your company celebrates Pride Month or Juneteenth is just one example that can go a long way.

Update Your Job Postings

During the application process, consider how your job posting may include or exclude certain groups. Start with the job description and title, leaving out any hints of gender-based language or terms. Consider removing industry jargon as well.

When developing your careers page, ask your developer team to adhere to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to make the content more accessible to more people with disabilities.

Update Your Policies and Practices

Review how your business handles performance, raises, promotions and workload. Taking a critical fine-tooth comb through these points can help reveal if any unconscious biases may be at play. Are certain groups bearing the brunt of the workload? Or are other groups more likely to be considered for promotion than others?

According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), more than 10% of Fortune 500 companies are run by women — a far cry from the times when women weren’t legally allowed to hold a job, but there is still room for improvement.

You can become a better, more inclusive leader with the help of UCR University Extension. “At UCR [University] Extension, we're proud to say we are weaving diversity, equity, and inclusion into the fabric of our organization,” says our chair of diversity, Marie C. Martin, Ph.D. “With the full support of a leadership team that shares these values, grassroots organization in our staff drives actions, initiatives, and activities centered on advancing awareness and advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Take part in our Leadership and Organizational Excellence program to learn how to become the best possible leader for now and well into the future.