From Diversity to Inclusion: How to Build a Truly Inclusive Business

diversity inclusion small business Oct 03, 2023

As a business owner or CEO, you understand that a diverse and inclusive business and workplace is key to success. You may have already taken steps to ensure your collaborations, partnerships, hiring process and company culture are diverse, but do you know how to create an inclusive environment? Moving from diversity to inclusion requires intentional effort, but the benefits of an inclusive brand are invaluable. Let's explore how to build a truly inclusive brand and why it's crucial for success.


Understand the Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are two different things. While diversity refers to differences in demographics, such as race, gender, and age, inclusion is about making all people feel welcome and valued. It's not enough to have a diverse team and network. An inclusive business fosters an environment where everyone's perspectives are recognized and respected. This means prioritizing the voices of underrepresented groups and challenging discrimination when it occurs, whether it's in-person or in virtual spaces like comment sections on social media.


Examine Your Company Culture

To build an inclusive business, you must first examine your company culture. Even if you're a solo entrepreneur, you still set a culture for your business. Is it inclusive, or does it prioritize the majority group? Do you offer opportunities for all team members to share their opinions and feel recognized? Begin by assessing your company culture, and identify areas for improvement. Establish open communication channels that invite collaboration and feedback, and consistently seek to promote inclusivity in all aspects of your organization.


Provide Training for Your Team

Providing training for your team members to be aware of implicit biases and the impact of identity in the workplace is crucial to building an inclusive business. Offer comprehensive learning opportunities that go beyond standard diversity and sensitivity training, and promote thoughtful discussions about the impact of identity on employees' experiences. When employers prioritize education on inclusivity, they empower their team members with the knowledge and skills to create a safer, more productive, and happier work environment.


Take Action to Address Diversity Gaps

Inclusive businesses actively address diversity gaps and seek to close them. Take measures to diversify recruitment and hiring practices, human resources, company leadership, and network partnerships. Additionally, offer opportunities for advancement and support to employees from underrepresented communities. Including diverse perspectives in decision-making leads to better results for the business and creates a more collaborative and innovative culture.


Hold Yourself Accountable

Finally, hold yourself accountable for building an inclusive business. Set data-driven goals that measure progress in diversity, inclusion, and equity. Establish metrics to monitor your progress and hold your company and team members accountable. Prioritize transparency and accountability in your company culture to create a more open and welcoming environment.

Moving from diversity to inclusion requires effort and it’s well worth it. By prioritizing inclusivity in your workplace, you will create a culture that values every person's unique perspective and considers their contributions to the company regardless of identity or title. It's up to business leaders to take the necessary steps to build truly inclusive businesses that drive future success. Incorporating these tips will help leaders create a more collaborative, productive, and harmonious work environment. If you're seeking more support with creating an inclusive environment, connect with us to learn how our approach using The Aligned Values Framework™ can help.

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