. Prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion is more important than ever given current global contexts and social movements. As you develop your team and grow your business, it’s crucial to focus on building a diverse team and create an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.
of Millennials and Gen Zers – who comprise the youngest generations of the current workforce but make up 60% of it – found that almost 50% say they’re taking a company’s diversity and inclusion efforts into consideration when deciding where to work next, and are more likely to stay at a company that prioritizes DE&I. We also know that consumers are increasingly attuned to how companies address diversity and inclusion internally and in their products/services.
Building diversity and inclusion initiatives into company values, day-to-day operations, leadership, culture and corporate branding is important, and can help you build a strong, high performing organization. But it’s hard to know what works best or where to start, and how to implement these principles. Two of the most important practices for fostering diversity and creating inclusion are structure and consistency.
A great place to start if you haven’t already is:
Step back and outline why diversity and inclusion matter for your organization
Determine what role these goals should play as you define your organizational culture and people processes
Set specific goals to define the progress you hope to see as you engage in DE&I initiatives
For our portfolio companies, Kleiner Perkins and Paradigm have put together a best practices guide to help build and retain a diverse workforce and create an inclusive culture. Below are some actionable ideas we wanted to share to support you in your efforts in building a more diverse and inclusive organization.
💡 Actionable Ideas:
Invest in diversity at the top (executive and board level) while supporting grassroots efforts. Several studies have found that support from leadership plays a key role in creating an inclusive culture. At the same time, company culture is maintained (and improved) by all employees.
Proactively source a diverse pool of candidates when recruiting for open roles to ensure you have a pipeline that looks like the desired demographic of your workforce.
Include bias-free language in job descriptions.
Creating an Effective and Unbiased Hiring Process:
Provide interview guides for candidates to level the playing field.
Utilize the same interview questions for every candidate to ensure that 1) every candidate can perform as strongly as possible, 2) interviewers are able to fairly access candidates.
Create and consistently use diverse interview panels whenever possible. This not only improves the quality of your decision-making, but shows candidates that people with diverse identities can be successful at your company.
Evaluate assessments of candidates against criteria and qualifications at every phase of the hiring process.
Have a clear process for setting compensation. See
Provide training and tools for managers. Training for all managers, and especially first-time managers, on topics like giving feedback, evaluating performance, and fostering a healthy team culture is valuable. If designed around principles of inclusion, training can also reduce bias in everyday decision-making and cultivate stronger, higher-performing teams.
Cultivate Allyship. Creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels like they belong takes intentional effort from everyone. Allyship is about committing to ongoing learning and taking action to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace, resulting in the best environment for all.