7 Tips to Building Diversity in the Workplace

A truly diverse workforce brings different perspectives and approaches together to solve challenges, leading to more creative and effective solutions. A company that commits to building a diverse workforce reaps the benefits in innovation, productivity and can ultimately positively impact their bottom line.

McKinsey found that committing to building a more diverse senior leadership correlates to greater organizational success. Companies in the top quartile of racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry medians. Similarly, those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely. It is clear that the positive correlation between diversity and financial performance can be a company’s competitive advantage. 

Extending beyond profitability, building a diverse workplace has profound impacts on employee well-being and other operational areas. For example, candidates are more likely to seek out companies with strong diversity commitments. Additionally, a more diverse workforce can better service a diverse customer base as a company expands into global markets. Similarly, employees who hold a strong sense of belonging and psychological safety are more engaged, productive and innovative. Ultimately, within an organization, DEI fosters a positive cycle for both individuals and organizations alike that contribute to the bottom line. 

Here are a few tips that companies can take towards cultivating a diverse workforce:

1. Review and Update Hiring Practices

A great place to start is by diversifying your candidate pool. By assessing your hiring practices, it is imperative to ensure the demographics of your candidates reflect the communities in which you recruit. This may involve using more inclusive language in job postings, diversifying which job boards you post on, implementing standardized interview questions, expanding the types and amount of sourcing tools, outreach to underrepresented professional groups, and annual hiring manager interviewer training sessions.

2. Offer Diversity and Inclusion Training

Continuous education and training for your employees contributes to increased awareness and comprehension of diversity issues. A diversity training program should cover key foundations of diversity and inclusion such as unconscious bias, cultural awareness competency, and inclusive communication, as well as advanced topics such as inclusive leadership and cultural competency. A DEI consultancy like Strasity, can help create robust training programs that are specifically tailored to your company’s unique challenges and workforce.

3. Create Employee Resource Groups

Establishing employee resource groups (ERGs) that focus on specific underrepresented groups offers employees a safe space for support, professional development, advocacy, cultural education and many more benefits. Some common ERGs are BIPOC, LGBTQ2+ individuals, ethnic groups (i.e. Asian ERG, Afro-Caribbean ERG, etc), and individuals with disabilities. ERGs can also work to raise awareness of the unique challenges and experiences faced by their respective group within the workplace and act as advocates for key policies and initiatives. It can progress towards establishing ERGs to furnish an internal support network, fostering a sense of inclusion and ensuring employees feel valued and heard.

4. Build Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs

These programs can provide guidance and support to marginalized employees, helping them to develop their skills and advance their careers. Mentorship programs can take various forms, such as pairing individuals with more experienced mentors who can provide guidance and advice or creating group mentorship programs where multiple mentees can learn from and support each other.

5. Create Inclusive Policies and Practices

 Policies and practices should be regularly updated to ensure they are not only compliant, but also inclusive and supportive of all employees. This includes building an inclusive hiring framework, pulse surveys, benefits and harassment policies. They should also be analyzed with an intersectional perspective to ensure they address the full range of barriers faced by marginalized employees. Each individual has distinct life experiences and challenges that shape their perspectives. It’s important to recognize that their workplace hurdles will vary and cannot be categorized uniformly.

6. Provide Flexibility and Accessibility

To accommodate diverse needs, companies can offer flexible work arrangements, accessibility resources and support for employees with disabilities. Some employees may  demonstrate a preference for hybrid work due to their circumstances. For instance, in situations where an employee may prefer to conceal aspects of their identity, such as a disability or gender identity, to avoid potential stigma, hybrid work arrangements alleviate this pressure. However, it should be noted that providing flexibility should be coupled with additional support for team building and inclusivity to mitigate any sense of isolation.

7. Starting from the Top

A commitment to diversity should be demonstrated at all levels of an organization, starting at senior leadership. Senior  leaders must model inclusive behaviour, educate themselves on diversity topics, and hold themselves and others accountable for fostering a diverse workplace. Companies need to reflect on who they are promoting to their leadership and manager population.


It is worth noting that diversity and inclusion are not status goals, but ongoing commitments. After implementing your initiatives and policies, companies need to regularly assess their effectiveness through metrics and employee surveys, and identify areas of opportunity to adjust initiatives accordingly.

Final Words

To better promote diversity and inclusion in your organization, it’s important to develop a clear strategy and roadmap that includes setting measurable goals and actions, gathering data and input, creating a timeline and budget, and engaging with employees and stakeholders. By implementing and continuously improving these strategies, companies can create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace where employees from diverse backgrounds feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their best work.

The path to a truly inclusive and diverse workplace is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage. By embracing diversity, companies unlock a wealth of perspectives, experiences, and talents that drive innovation, productivity, and ultimately, financial success.

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Strasity is your partner in strategic diversity. Request a free consultation to discuss how we can join your team on your diversity journey.


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