As a woman business owner, you believe in and work hard to create an inclusive, equitable and inspiring environment, but want to take steps to be more intentional in your diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) approach. So where do you begin?
1) Start with you: You are your organization’s the #1 champion for DEI&B. As a champion, you should be vocal about your goals, but also walk the talk. Is your management team diverse? How about other levels of your organization? Do you have diverse suppliers? Look first at yourself and what you have already created.
2) Reflect as a team: A fully diverse, equal and inclusive environment will likely require change. Promote an environment of self-refection through things like DEI&B webinars and workshops you participate in together as a group and action planning where you develop companywide DEI&B goals and write a DEI&B policy for accountability.
Examples of DEI&B goals you might set include:
• Rewrite job descriptions with inclusive language before next hiring.
• Develop retention strategies to keep underrepresented talent.
• Build a transparent salary strategy to reduce compensation bias.
• Establish a system to address microaggressions toward underrepresented groups.
• Create career objective frameworks to reduce barriers to growth and development.
3) Dedicate an employee or team: Depending on your company’s size, you’ll want to select an employee or team who can take on DEI&B as part of their core job responsibilities. Make sure they have a seat at every table. Their eye for DEI&B will come in handy in everything from proposals and marketing materials to hiring and purchasing.
4) Commit support and resources: Provide your DEI&B employee or team with not only your full support as the company’s top leader, but also with resources so that they can really make an impact. This might mean investing in some learning opportunities, giving them access to technology tools to collect and track data and more.
5) Remember, it’s a journey, not a sprint: Building a diverse and inclusive workplace takes time. To achieve real, meaningful change and, by extension, higher performance, you must look into implementing a series of DEI&B best practices that lead to companywide, long-term transformation.