What to consider when creating workplace diversity

By Emma Williams

No matter how progressive you think our society is, inequality in the workplace is still a big issue we collectively face. More often than not, a diversified team is something companies only have in theory.

Consciously or subconsciously, businesses create homogenous teams and groups. But employing people from different ethnic groups and mixing genders means having valuable insight into the world. Heterogonous groups are more creative, work better together, and solve problems more quickly.

Creating workplace diversity doesn’t have to be hard, either. A good place to begin is by surveying your current workforce to give you insights into your company’s existing situation regarding diversity, inclusion and attitudes towards these key issues. A company like Divrsity can help you conduct such an employee survey.

Once you know where you stand now, you have numerous ways to move forward, such as these:

Create mentorship programs

The most important part of every small business is to encourage employee growth. One amazing way to do this is through mentorship programs. Employees with a lot of skill and experience should be able to share that knowledge and mentor those who have a long way to go. Mentors are people of the highest skill sets regardless of their sgender, race, or any other factor. They’re basically the face of diversity in business.

Another alternative is to use some less-structured opportunities in professional development. One of the best examples is women’s leadership, empowering younger professionals, and continuing education. Other culturally-relevant factors also play a huge role in the type of opportunity you provide. This is why keeping up with current affairs and cultural issues is a must.

Look at cultural relevance

How diverse is your small business doesn’t depend only on whom your team consists of. As well as that, it’s important to be aware of your cultural relevance. Your value chain should be examined and altered to update your views on the importance of diversity. What’s more, suppliers and vendors make a big part of having a diverse system. Also, take a look at your partners. Does your team reflect the diversity they’re trying to create?

Your competitors can be valuable insight too. If you’ve found a model of business that you like and think is very useful for your firm, there’s nothing stopping you from using the same basic principles. Coming up with strategies to stay culturally and socially relevant in the marketplace is key to maintaining your workplace diversity. The image you’re trying to send is only worth something if it’s reflected in all areas of business.

Educate and train

Like with pretty much everything else, proper education is key. Your workers won’t really have an issue with diversity and will most likely welcome it with open arms. If you’ve created a team of ambitious and creative people, they’re bound to love every opportunity they get to experience something different and meet new interesting people.

Simply assuming managers are equipped to handle a highly diverse environment isn’t fair, and you should be there to support, encourage, and educate them. They need some help and direction, and the best way to do that is to give them learning opportunities. Cultural and sensitivity training will help managers to understand the people they’re working with, and eliminate common stereotypes and gaps between people of different backgrounds.

Take part in an employee exchange

If your small business is growing and opening offices in other areas, it’s awesome practice to have employees for one office visit the other and get to know their colleagues. Not only does this create a sense of community for your employees, but it also helps in expanding their minds by interacting with various different people in a whole new environment.

Employees will come back to their regular positions with a completely changed outlook on the world and the business. They’ll refresh the thinking process of the whole office and give more creative and original results and ideas. Mixing things up in employee exchanges can often bring the office out of a slump.

Take legal action

Sometimes the perfect fit for a firm lives somewhere across the border. The safety of your employee should come first, which is why you need to be a responsible employer. Before you hire someone, make sure to visit a trusted immigration lawyer. Most firms like Withstand Lawyers offer quality services so it won’t be hard to find an expert.

Immigration lawyers are the ones who give you advice, draw up the papers, and make sure there’s nothing stopping your foreign employee from joining your team. Though hiring someone from abroad is a complex process that takes time, the end results are worth it. By hiring someone from a different country, you’re integrating a new culture and perspective into your office directly.

Change your policies

Last, but certainly not least, you should change your policies so they’re diversity-welcoming. As well as hiring people of various ethnical backgrounds, you need to make sure they feel welcome, too. In fact, most employees state that they left their jobs because of policies that didn’t consider their needs at all. From the recruitment process to employee evaluations, everything should be updated.

If you’re posting a job opening, make sure that the description is targeted at a wider audience. You should also make sure to advertise your job opening post on more job fairs and through more community hiring offices. As well as that, you should allow people to take days off for religious holidays that aren’t part of Christianity. Office daycare centers and flexible work hours are also two good examples of a welcoming environment.


Diverse small businesses tend to grow into something amazing. Innovation and productivity are key to success, and by creating workplace diversity, you’re ensuring your office never lacks these properties. Besides that, diverse firms tend to make higher profits. Employees also feel much more comfortable working and are generally happier with their workplace. It may be nice to have someone similar to you close, but getting to know different people makes you grow and expand your horizons.


Emma Williams is an Australian writer with a master‘s degree in business administration. She has a passion for anything lifestyle and design related. She spends most of her time redecorating and participating in house projects. As a great nature lover, her biggest pleasure is spending time in a small cottage by the river. Check her out on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

The Self-Employment Survival Guide can help you succeed. Learn all about it here.

Self-Employment Survival Guide book cover