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Michelle Palasek has 20 years in the staffing industry working in sales and marketing operations. She currently serves as a Sr. Marketing Communications Specialist at SGA.

How to Promote DEI at Your Company in 2024 and Beyond


Committing to a workplace that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is almost expected today. However, it needs to be more than just lip service. You can’t adopt diverse hiring policies but then neglect to create an inclusive and equitable workplace where all employees feel safe, comfortable, respected, and valued.

You need to embrace comprehensive DEI initiatives that span all facets of your organization, from recruitment and hiring practices to the goods and services you offer to the consumer markets you approach to your public image and reputation.

You’ll enjoy many benefits as a result, including a company culture that drives innovation and success and attracts and retains top talent.

First, however, you must understand what DEI is and what steps you need to take to make it work. How can you effectively promote DEI policies and initiatives within your workplace?

What Is DEI?

Any company’s core values typically include creating a work environment where employees are valued and provided opportunities to develop, advance, and succeed. Committing to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment ties in with this stance, but what is DEI?

Simply put, it’s a set of interconnected values that center on embracing and supporting a diverse workforce. It starts with the representation of people from different groups and circumstances.

Diversity could include factors like age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, and even neurodiversity, for example.

That’s just the beginning, though. Pulling together diverse individuals to create a team won’t work unless you also implement inclusive policies that ensure a safe and comfortable environment where employees feel respected and valued for their contributions.

It requires a focus on equity so that employees have reasons to engage and innovate as part of the larger community.

The question is, what does this look like in practical terms? What steps can you take to build a work environment that matches your ideals?

Promote Diversity

Promoting a diverse workforce starts with educating the people responsible for recruitment, hiring, workplace management, setting objectives, and developing operational strategies from the top down. You want to make sure that decision-makers

understand what diversity looks like and how it benefits the company so they can adjust the way they view employees and the workplace.

If qualified candidates are being overlooked because of factors like age, names that identify ethnicity, or social media accounts that point to gender identity or sexual orientation, for example, you need to understand why. Is it merely an oversight or unconscious bias, or is it overt discrimination?

Diversity training and hiring policies should help weed out this behavior, but you’ll also want to use diverse recruitment strategies, including reliable hiring channels and an interview process designed to curb unconscious bias.

Drive Equity

Equity is important because it takes differences into account so that you can provide employees with the support and resources they need to succeed. Creating conditions where employees are treated equally is great, but it fails to recognize that the playing field isn’t even.

Employees from different racial or socioeconomic backgrounds, or those who face mental or physical disabilities, for example, may not have the same privileges and advantages.

To ensure employee satisfaction, you need to make sure that employees are treated not only equally but equitably. This means taking the time to understand your employees, including goals and challenges so that you can provide the support and resources they need to enjoy equal outcomes.

You might make a point of observing diverse holidays and celebrating different cultures and perspectives. When you strive for equity in hiring and promotional practices, pay, working conditions, and more, you increase engagement. Invested employees are motivated employees.

Create an Inclusive Environment

It’s not always easy to create a positive employee experience for every person on your staff, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. Inclusivity is about making every employee feel like they are valued and respected. It’s about empowering them to speak up and contribute.

Creating a safe and welcoming work environment starts with policies that drive inclusion and eliminate behavior like discrimination and microaggressions.

You might start with an open-door policy that encourages employees to report challenges or discriminatory behavior without fear of reprisal. A zero-tolerance policy for discriminatory practices is also wise.

From there, you can mandate diversity training for all employees. People who have never been the target of microaggressions might not even know what they are or that they are unconsciously engaging in such behavior and upsetting their coworkers.

Encourage open dialogue about DEI. It may be uncomfortable, but open, honest discussions are the cornerstone of understanding, and when people understand and care about each other, safe and inclusive communities can flourish.

Enjoy the Rewards of Effectively Implementing DEI

An equitable and inclusive workplace offers many advantages, including creating an environment where employees feel safe and supported. This can boost recruitment, not to mention retention, when word gets out. Naturally, it can also enhance your public image and reputation.

Studies have shown that increasing DEI in the workplace can increase employee performance and even profits. Developing a diverse workplace is no easy undertaking, but when you promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of your organization, you’ll enjoy incredible benefits as a result.