How to create a more inclusive workplace

- March 8, 2023 4 MIN READ


This International Women’s Day week is a perfect time for business leaders to reflect on company culture and how this could be improved to attract and retain diverse talent, foster innovation and improve overall performance. If we want to imagine a world where gender is equal and free of bias or discrimination, then we must also strive to achieve that equality within businesses, writes Chris Dahl, Co-CEO, Pin Payments.

One of the 2023 IWD Missions is to build workplaces where innovation helps women to thrive and as the Co-CEO of a tech company, alongside my female co-leader Caitlin Zotti, we’re striving to build that balance and culture within our organisation.

However, doing so isn’t always a straightforward process, especially in tech. So, we’ve pulled together some small steps businesses can take to re-examine their inclusivity at work to start making steps towards change.

6 steps to evaluate your business’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I)

diversity, equity and inclusion

1. Start with leadership commitment

The first step towards creating a more inclusive workplace is to ensure that your leadership team is on the same page. You need to establish a clear vision and culture of inclusivity, but this will require a plan of action and milestones which hold your business accountable.

The leadership team set the tone for the business and this is true even for small businesses. Likewise, when you show your commitment to inclusivity it may even assist in attracting and retaining a more diverse talent pool.

2. Educate employees on diversity and inclusion

Education is key to creating a more inclusive workplace, so providing regular training and resources to help employees understand and appreciate diversity, including different perspectives, experiences, and cultures, is key.

Our parent company provides our team with access to workshops, training, online global communities and diversity and inclusion resources. If you haven’t got the resources to implement large-scale education programs like this yet, start by creating avenues like Slack channels for DE&I, committees, or attending workshops with staff that show your commitment to inclusion.

3. Foster a culture of belonging

Creating a sense of belonging is an essential part of an inclusive workplace, which means creating a workplace where people feel like they’re part of a trusted community and can be their true selves. It involves creating opportunities for employees to connect, collaborate, and build relationships with one another, whether this is in an online forum or in person.

Leaders can foster a culture of belonging by encouraging employees to share their experiences and ideas, recognising and celebrating differences, and promoting teamwork. Likewise, establishing team activities which enable and encourage staff to celebrate their identity and culture is a great place to start.

Women shaking hands at community meeting

4. Embrace diversity in recruitment and hiring

Recruitment and hiring practices are critical to create a more inclusive workplace, but it isn’t always easy in industries which have a gender skew, like tech. In these instances, it’s even more important to try to implement practices which showcase your business’ desire for diverse talent.

You can do this by expanding your outreach efforts or engaging a specialised recruitment firm, and by partnering with organisations which help you remove unconscious bias or gender-based language in job advertisements. It’s also important to look beyond mere credentials and instead try to focus on a person who has the right soft or transferable skills.

5. Provide flexibility and support

Inclusive workplaces recognise that employees have different needs and priorities and seek to support and accommodate those needs. This can include flexible work schedules, remote work options, parental leave, and other benefits that support a greater work-life balance.

Businesses should also provide resources for employees with disabilities, mental health conditions, and other life challenges, to show holistic support. Offering flexible parental leave, which puts the power back in parent’s hands, is a great way to do this.

6. Monitor and measure progress

Finally, it’s all well and good to have good intentions, but in order to achieve change, businesses need to monitor and measure progress to hold themselves accountable. Try to track diversity metrics, such as the number of diverse candidates hired, retention rates for diverse employees, and employee engagement levels.

We were recently awarded the Great Place to Work certificate, which we apply for annually to ensure our employees are happy and fulfilled. Allowing your staff to submit feedback through confidential channels like this or through anonymous surveys, helps you understand where your business might need to shift.

Creating a more inclusive workplace requires commitment, education and ongoing effort. However, this should extend beyond International Women’s Day into our everyday attitudes and actions. By fostering a culture of inclusivity and embracing diversity we can create a workplace and world where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.

Want more? Get our newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! Follow Kochie’s Business Builders on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Now read this:

How to support women-led businesses (and why it matters)

KBB Sales and Marketing Workshop