Inclusivity is not a trend. Anti-racism is not a fad. These are ongoing practices that should always be prioritized not only in your personal life but in your professional one as well. If you are in a position of leadership within your business, it is your responsibility to ensure you are building an inclusive and diverse company culture no matter the size or status of your business.
Diversify your content
Does the content on your website and social media portray a balance of people from all races, genders, and sizes? Even if your audience focus caters to a specific demographic such as females, for example, reflect on your content to ensure it’s accurately representing a diverse spectrum of people who identify as women.
UPHOLD YOUR BRAND VALUES
Is your brand presence reflective of your values? Do they resonate with your customer base? Do your customers even know what your values are? Let people know where your business stands on issues of importance and ensure your practices support your guiding principles.
MANAGE YOUR LANGUAGE AND TONE OF VOICE
Even the language we use in our messaging can be discriminatory. This includes stereotyping, terms of racial identity, slang, and differential treatment because of accents. Be considerate of your audience when marketing, engaging with the community on social media, and even listing a new job posting. Here is a great article from Recruiter.com to ensure you are not using discriminatory language in your next job listing.
Work with people of different experiences.
It’s hard to build a diverse brand if you’re only viewing the world through one lens. Expand your brand’s perspective by actively building a team of people with varied experiences and backgrounds. This can be done no matter how big or small your business.
HIRE A DIVERSE STAFF
Take a good hard look at the team you’ve built. How many different voices can be heard? Besides trolling through Linkedin, reach out to diverse talent pools within specialized fields. Some examples include Distinctly Creative’s Black Creatives Directory, Women Who Code, and RecruitDisability.org.
If you are the single team-member of your business then consider who you work with. Create an inclusive mindset and collaborate with other creatives and contractors who are from different backgrounds. Build your network to learn from diverse peers.
Engage with your community.
You cannot keep silent and expect change to occur. It takes everyone working together to create a healthier culture.
KEEP CONVERSATIONS GOING
Creating a truly inclusive business means more than making a social media post during Pride month. Continue to promote inclusivity throughout the year. Listen to your clients and followers. What do they care about? What are their needs and goals? Show you see them and care about their experiences by reaching out and genuinely talking back.
Are their charities and foundations that reflect your brand values? Consider donating a portion of your profits and spread awareness throughout your network. Share what your business is doing with your followers to build trust, gain support and make an even bigger impact.
The most important thing to remember is to continue to learn, listen, and grow. Make the commitment to be better and vocally self-critical. Admit when you make a mistake and take action to fix the problem. No one is perfect, but we must work together to build up our communities and promote positive change. Let’s build a better world together.