Prioritizing diversity and inclusion in the office

Modern workplaces are changing, and not just in terms of what the physical space looks like. In a previous post, we touched on how Generation Z will be the most diverse generation in history. How is this shaping the way corporations are evolving and what can you do to make sure your office embraces diversity and inclusion?

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Find inspiration in the work other large companies have already started! WeWork recently brought a Harvard Business School professor into their office to talk about how to make your workplace more inclusive and diverse. The main takeaways are centered around not just tolerating differences, but welcoming them by making your employees feel comfortable and cherished.

Some of the biggest companies are creating roles specifically designed to focus on their diversity and inclusion. Depending on the size of the company, there may even be an entire department focused on this important topic.

At Ernst & Young, an Americas Inclusiveness Team helps “maintain an environment that respects and builds on the assets and talents of each person, valuing their differences.” The team’s focus in the office is to breed innovation through diversity. Different perspectives and backgrounds will challenge the status quo, making for more efficient processes, creative new ideas, and developing collaboration across multiple teams. 

What if your office is a little smaller than several thousand employees nationwide? Accomplishing inclusion in the office doesn’t mean you have to create a role for it! Everything starts with the tone and expectations that current employees and management set in the workplace. Actions speak louder than words, which means you can’t just say you have an open door policy or will listen to your employees. You have to actually do it.

Implementing specific policies designed to create an equal playing field is a good start. Make your salaries equal and transparent for equal roles across gender and race, and continue to check in over the years. In 2015, Salesforce’s chief personnel officer discovered women were being paid less than men across the board, even for the same positions. Rather than sweeping it under the rug, they made a conscious effort to level the playing field — and have published updates about it every year on their company blog.


It’s getting easier for potential talent to get picky about which companies to choose. As employees begin to have more of an upper hand in job negotiations, it becomes more imperative to make sure your office is cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment. Having a more progressive office in the modern age will only increase your talent pool.

Showcasing your company on social media is a great way to interact with the talent you want to attract as well! Use your company’s Instagram account to give potential hires a sense of who works in your office and how you value them. Take time out of your blog to feature what your company is actively doing to promote inclusivity and equality — as long as you’re actually doing it — and you’ll be sure to attract plenty of great hires.