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Published: 2023

It’s hugely frustrating to see big firms “diversity washing” in order to up their company’s ESG profile and subsequently its value. Start ups and scale ups don’t need to employ such fakery! Embed inclusion from the beginning and you’ll have real stories and real stats to share when it comes to raising funds.

Follow my top 5 tips for being an inclusive small business or contact me to let me know your challenges and how I can help you to drive DE&I forward:

  1. Promoting a culture of inclusivity starts from the top. Company leaders should champion diversity and prioritise it as a core value, making it clear that everyone’s voice and contribution are valued and respected. Set diversity goals, establish inclusive policies, and ensure diverse representation at all levels of your organisation. If a board of directors or an exec team are all white males, you simply don’t have the expertise or lived experience to drive DE&I forward. Remember, a diverse team can reach new markets based on in-depth knowledge from their own lived experience.
  2. Recruitment and hiring processes play a key role in building a diverse workforce. Adopting blind hiring techniques, removing bias from job descriptions, and implementing diverse interview panels can help mitigate unconscious biases and ensure a fair selection process.
  3. Creating a supportive and inclusive work environment is equally essential. Companies can provide diversity training to employees, raising awareness about unconscious bias, fostering empathy, and promoting cultural sensitivity. Employee support groups can also be established, offering a platform for underrepresented individuals to connect, share experiences, and advocate for change. Remote or hybrid working can attract a far wider range of talent to your business and make it more inclusive of working parents and disabled workers.
  4. Implementing mentorship programs can help promote equality in the tech workplace. Pairing junior employees, especially from marginalised communities, with experienced mentors can provide guidance, support, and opportunities for career advancement. Encouraging networking and professional development initiatives will further contribute to a more inclusive and equal environment.
  5. Ongoing evaluation and measurement of diversity and inclusion efforts are crucial to gauge progress and identify areas for improvement. Regularly collecting data on diversity metrics, such as gender, race, and ethnicity, can provide insights into the organisation’s diversity landscape and guide targeted strategies to address any disparities. If you’re transparent about these metrics right from the start, you’ll gain trust from your employees and they’ll want to stick with you for the long term

Angela Rieu-Clarke, MD, Buzzqube

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