8 Ways to Increase Diversity Throughout Your Company

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BY YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR COUNCIL

Q: What can entrepreneurs do to ensure more diversity in the workplace, at every level?

A: Listen to employee feedback. “During the recruitment process, it is critical to look for people who bring something new to the organization, whether it is experience, education or ideas. Once they are onboarded, retaining them is critical. Be sure to listen to their feedback on their experience. You may not always agree with everything you hear, but their point of view should be seriously considered.” Eddie Lou, Shiftgig

Celebrate cultures at company functions. “We like to celebrate diversity by providing general introductions to other cultures at company functions. We use a holiday or company lunch to let an employee spend 15 minutes introducing everyone to his or her culture and explain a creative plan for celebrating it. Eventually, all of our employees vote for the most creative idea and we commemorate one.” Kevin Xu, MEBO International

Think about What you’re missing. “Whenever we’re hiring somebody new in, we think about what type of person/energy we’re missing in that particular office. When you focus on looking for positive qualities that your company is missing, you tend to organically diversify your staff.” Cassie Petrey, Crowd Surf

Recruit diversity. “Diversity is the key to building the type of culture that is necessary to build a great company. I’ve found that building diverse workplaces doesn’t happen naturally. Instead, you have to recruit diversity. In other words, if you want to hire more women you should specifically hire a recruiter and ask them to focus on women only. Moreover, celebrating diversity recruits diversity, so start celebrating!” Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com

Be aware of your prejudices. “Often, prejudices are what prevent us from bringing diversity into our teams. Start by deeply exploring what prejudices cloud your judgment. Do you avoid a certain type of personality because someone who fits the bill burnt you in the past? Once you are aware of your prejudices, you can work on opening your mind and not rejecting those candidates, thus bringing in diversity.” Marcela De Vivo, Brilliance

Assess the language of your job postings. “It has been proven that certain words and phrases in a job description attract one demographic group more than others. Use a service like Textio to ensure that your job postings are gender unbiased, free from jargon, and encourage people to apply. If you have a positive, balanced description that also mentions your diversity policy, your pipeline of new hires should also be diverse.” Jared Brown, Hubstaff Talent

Broaden your recruiting. “Diversity has become a defining part of team-building and HR lately — one that there is a lot of misunderstanding about. For us, that means establishing links through contacts at universities throughout the world and industry events in far-flung countries, which gives us the ability to find the best talent, wherever it may be, from many cultures.” Alec Bowers, Abraxas Biosystems

Share your diversity goal publicly. “There is no motivation like making bold public statements. If diversity is truly your goal, say so in a public forum like your blog or social media. Set concrete goals and ask to be held accountable. Your employees, customers and fans will hold you to it; and once you get more diverse, your business will improve!” Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

(Source: TCA)