The importance of diversity in the workplace is widely reported: increased productivity, enhanced creativity, and positive employer branding, to name a few. So more organizations are considering building a diverse workforce. That’s why we’re looking at the top diversity tips from HR pros.

But, many employers still struggle with building a diverse workplace. For instance, they can’t explain the business case of a diverse workplace. And they also don’t know how to measure their diversity efforts.

A group of employees of different races sited at a round table. They are all smiling. They were likely taking a company group photo. (Diversity tips blog)

Source: Photo by Memento Media on Unsplash

In this article, we have gathered valuable insights from CEOs and HR leaders to help you get started in enhancing diversity and inclusion in your workplace.

1. Organizations should train managers to lead diverse teams

Organizations need managers capable of leading diverse teams for diversity efforts to succeed. A lack of trained managers leads to the hiring of diverse employees and losing them in 6 months.

There are a variety of ways you can train your managers. For instance, pay for their courses, and pay for diversity workshops. And ask them for the resources they need to enable them to lead diverse teams. 

Dominic Monn, CEO at MentorCruise, suggests the below tips to help you train your managers:

  • “Train on unconscious bias: Teach your managers how to identify their biases. Show them how their bias affects how they interact with diverse teams.
  • Education on inclusive communication: Train your managers on communication strategies that ensure all teams’ voices are heard.
  • Performance management training: Equip your managers with knowledge on how to perform unbiased assessments. So this way they’ll learn how to promote employees based on their strengths, diverse backgrounds, and experiences.”

Lastly, teach them how to be empathetic. This way, they’ll know how to create a safe environment so that diverse teams can express themselves without fear of judgment.

2. Create diverse interview panels

The first step to enhancing diversity in an organization is having diverse interview panels. 68% of candidates believe diverse interview panels are important for better hiring experiences.

Diverse interview panels should have interviewers with diverse characteristics such as race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, skills, and experience. 

Having diverse interview panels also makes underrepresented candidates feel comfortable interviewing at your organization.

For instance, Cisco created a diverse interview panel framework. This framework helped them improve the chances of hiring black candidates by 70%. And increase the number of women hired by 14%.

Ritesh Raj, COO at CuddlyNest, recommends these three tips for building diverse interview panels:

  • “Offer diversity training

Diversity training for your interviewers is important. Even the most experienced HR pros need refresher training. 

For instance, train your interviewers to identify their biases. The questions to avoid asking, and steps to doing a good interview.

  • Define the skills, roles, and diversity contributions of the panel

To ensure the success of your interview panel, set them up for success by defining their roles. For example, panelist A assesses the candidates’ personalities. Panelist B studies their work ethic, and panelist C evaluates their skillset. 

And consider the experiences and skills of each interviewer.

  • Get feedback from candidates

Create a form where candidates can provide feedback on their experience with your interview panel. 

Most candidates love talking about their interview experiences. And the act of asking them shows your organization values its workers.

After getting their feedback, put in place the changes in the coming interviews.”

3. Bring diversity to your leadership

Organizations focus their diversity recruitment efforts on front-line employees. But, that isn’t where a major challenge lies. Most companies don’t improve diversity in their leadership teams. So this leads to the failure of the inclusion efforts.

For instance, a 2019 study by BCG (Boston Consulting Group) found that women hardly get promoted to executive positions. And people of color occupy entry-level positions. While most of the top leadership positions are held by white men.

So the lack of diverse leaders makes candidates from minority groups lack a connection to the company’s values. And this makes it hard for them to accept your job offer. 

And if they accept, they end up quitting in the next 6 months.

According to Campbell Tourgis COO at Wainbee, here are two tips to build diverse leadership teams:

  • “Consider the full scope of diversity in leadership

When organizations think of diversity, gender, ethnicity, and race come to mind first. 

But diversity is a broad concept. There are other types of diversity to consider (but aren’t limited to): age, disability status, skill sets, sexual orientation, educational experience, and religion.

  • Provide mentorship

Provide mentorship opportunities to diverse employees who seem like promising leaders. For instance, come up with 8-month mentorship programs to help them transition to senior roles.”

4. Know the business case for diversity and share it

Some organizations launch diversity programs for the sake of it. 

But they don’t share the benefits of embracing a diverse workplace with their stakeholders and executive teams. This leads to the failure of the efforts because the leaders end up not providing funds for DEI programs.

The benefits of diversity and inclusion are proven in different research studies. For instance, research done by McKinsey tells us that organizations represented by women, diverse leaders, and underrepresented groups are more profitable.  

So to share the business case for diversity, put in place the strategies below from Sandeep Kashyap, CEO at ProofHub:

  • “Showcase financial performance: Research studies that show how diverse teams are more profitable. For example, look into different studies from a variety of companies and share them with your leaders.
  • Talent attraction and retention: Highlight how diverse teams lead to high employee retention. And talk about the studies that have shown Gen Z employees and other workers want to work for organizations with diversity.
  • Market reach and customer satisfaction: Showcase how having diverse employees leads to understanding different customer needs. Hence leading to better product development and brand loyalty.

Finally, share studies on ways diverse teams have led to better decision-making. Because of bringing together different perspectives and experiences.”

5. Celebrate diversity

Recognizing holidays, customs of different cultures, and special events at work is essential. This helps all diverse employees feel included. 

Here are tips to celebrate diversity at the workplace from Michael Nemeroff, CEO at RushOrderTees:

  • “Create a diversity wall

A diversity wall can serve as a visual celebration of the different backgrounds of your employees. 

For instance, provide an area in the office where your workers can post quotes, artifacts, artwork, and pictures representing their heritage, religion, and culture.

Employees can also use the wall to share their thoughts on how they feel about diversity in the organization.

  • Host a multicultural potluck

Hosting a multicultural potluck allows your employees to share their culture through food. And it creates a platform for meaningful connections and conversations. 

Let them bring traditional dishes from their ethnicity. And encourage them to share more information about the significance of the dishes.

  • Celebrate diversity holidays

Honoring diversity holidays is a meaningful way to celebrate diverse cultures and identities within your organization. For example, create a calendar of diverse holidays such as Diwali, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Hanukkah, and more.

Finally, organize events and activities to commemorate them. For instance, this can include workshops, discussions, and cultural performances that educate different employees about the importance of these holidays.”

6. Start a diversity mentorship program

A group of employees sited at a round table. They are having a meeting and they have sticker notes on the walls. They are discussing each goal they want to achieve.

Source: Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Underrepresented talent face a lot of challenges in the workplace. For instance, they experience barriers to career growth and higher pay. 

So starting a diversity mentorship program can help your minority employees grow in your organization.

For example, research has shown that mentorship increases confidence and satisfaction in women and minority employees. These programs can provide support, a listening ear, and help the employees know how to advocate for their work.

To build your first diversity program, follow these strategies from Jason Boyd, director at Evolve SEO agency:

Choose a goal for the program and inform your employees

A diversity mentorship program should have a goal. So, when considering your goal, find out from your diverse employees what they want. 

For instance, do they want promotions? Do they want better pay? Or do they want more diverse employees in the office?

After knowing their needs, use those insights to build your mentorship program.

Train mentors

Train mentors from different backgrounds. For example, ensure the mentors are of different gender, sexual orientation, race, age, and educational backgrounds. Pair up employees

The pairing process is an important element of good mentorship. You’ll need to determine which employee will get matched with which mentor. To do this, weigh the goals and experiences of the mentees to know the perfect mentor for them.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Ensure the mentor has the experiences and skills the mentee wants
  • Let there be a common ground between the mentee and the mentor. These can be career background, communication styles, or even interests and hobbies
  • Allow the mentees to have a say in the process. For instance, let them select the mentor they want from your list

If the matching process isn’t successful, create a simple process for terminating the mentorship.

  • Get feedback from your participants

Getting feedback from both your mentees and mentors is essential. You’ll want to know if they feel the program is helping them grow. So, asking for feedback will help you determine what’s working and what’s not working.”

Provide mentorship metrics to your executive team. Highlight how the diversity mentorship program is helping both the minority employees and the organization.

7. Measure your diversity efforts

Embracing diversity and coming up with programs to support inclusion is great. But most of these efforts end up failing if you don’t set up diversity and inclusion metrics to measure the success.

So to succeed, measure some of these diversity and inclusion metrics below:

Recruitment figures

Look at your hiring figures to determine how broad or biased your recruitment process is. You’ll manage to know if minority groups, black employees, and LGBTQ workers are applying at your organization or not. 

For instance, you might find that women employees hardly apply for jobs at your organization. And it’s because your job descriptions are gender biased.

So to avoid using biased words in your job descriptions, you can use Ongig’s Text Analyzer to identify gendered language. This way you can make your job descriptions as gender-neutral as possible. 

Using gender-specific words can discourage candidates of any gender. So, by removing these gender specific-words, you can boost your application rate by even 29%.

Moreover, certain complex phrases used in the business world might discourage applicants from different backgrounds. Ongig identifies these biased phrases and words. Allowing you to attract candidates of different backgrounds. And also avoid racial bias in hiring (and 12+ other types of bias).

Employee retention rate

“ Employee retention can help you know whether your workplace is inclusive or toxic. If your recruitment process helps you hire workers from minority groups, that’s great. But all the gains are in vain if you experience a high turnover rate with these groups.

So track your retention metrics to know which groups are leaving. Their reasons for leaving, and the time it takes them to quit. This will help you know the areas that need improvement.” says Lilia Tovbin, CEO at BigMailer

Employee promotion metric

Research from McKinsey shows it’s easier for White people to advance in careers than Asian and black people. 

And 86 women get promoted compared to 100 men who get promoted. So to determine the inequality in promotions. Track promotions by checking race, gender, age, and educational background.

Additionally, check the time it takes for these groups to get promoted. After getting this data, create better career advancement opportunities for all your diverse employees.

More diversity and inclusion metrics to measure are accessibility, mentorship programs, employee satisfaction, representation, pay, and benefits.

8. Build safe places

Part of fostering diversity and Inclusion is addressing all employees’ safety and comfort. Especially employees from minority and underrepresented groups.

So to build safe places for your diverse employees, consider these strategies from Tasia Duske, CEO at Museum Hack:

  • Build inclusive office spaces to enhance accessibility. This is important for your disabled employees
  • Provide assistive technology to help employees with motor, auditory, cognitive, or visual disabilities. For example, include screen readers, or ergonomic equipment
  • Use inclusive language in all communication channels. For instance, respect the pronouns and names each employee wants to identify with
  • Provide lactating rooms for employees who are breastfeeding
  • Build toilets or unisex comfort rooms to cater to transgender employees.”

Also, safe places can be built by allowing employees to spend time together. For instance, host team lunches, networking events, or team-building activities. Lastly, get feedback from your employees to know what safe places mean to them and how you can help.

9. Be open to employees’ feedback

Establishing feedback mechanisms allows your employees to offer suggestions, express concerns, and take part in building the organization’s diversity efforts. The goal is to have honest conversations.

So, be ready to receive positive and negative feedback on your diversity efforts. For example, you might find that black employees feel discriminated against. And they don’t get promoted.

Not every employee will feel comfortable sharing their feedback with you. So to succeed at this step, follow these steps:

  • Create an anonymous feedback environment 

Create a comfortable and safe environment. This way, your workers will feel comfortable sharing their concerns and thoughts. 

Provide an anonymous feedback platform where all employees can express themselves without fear. This will lead to accurate and honest feedback.

  • Use different feedback methods

Gauri Manglik CEO & Co-founder of Instrumentl, recommends, “Collecting feedback through a variety of channels can provide a comprehensive understanding of every employee’s perception. For instance, use a mix of methods such as focus groups, suggestion boxes, surveys, interviews, and one-on-one meetings. 

And, ensure all the methods you use are accessible to all your employees regardless of their disability and location.”

  • Act on feedback

Collecting feedback is important, but it’s critical to act on it. So show appreciation by implementing the diversity changes the employees suggested. 

Communicate the changes across your company. And discuss how the feedback you collected contributed to the decision-making process. 

This way, your workers feel valued, heard, and understand the impact of their feedback.

10. Build employee resource groups(ERGS)

“Building employee resource groups (ERG) is a great way for groups of people to connect at work. ERGs allow employees across the company to:

  • Be the voice for change
  • Share their values, experiences, and culture with others
  • Grow in their careers and personal lives

And advocate for underrepresented groups in the organization, “says Isaac Robertson, CEO at Total Shape.

For instance, consider starting an LGBTQ+ network, a women’s network, and disabled employees ERG. To succeed in creating employee resource groups, do this:

Gauge your employees’ interest

Ensure there’s enough employee interest for your efforts to succeed. Gauge the interest in building the group by asking for a show of hands during company-wide meetings and using an employee pulse survey.

Get leadership buy-in

Your top leadership team needs to support, fund, and endorse any type of ERG for it to succeed. To convince them, explain the benefits ERGs offer both the organization and employees.

Define your ERG mission

Before you launch your ERG, give it a mission or purpose. 

Ensure the mission statement is one or two sentences that share what the group is for and its importance. Make the mission statement available to all your employees after writing it.

Host the first meeting

Once the group is up and running, host your first meeting. Create goals, review the mission statement, and discuss any topic you feel will help the group grow. Also, decide on a leadership committee to help keep the group organized. 

Regularly take feedback from the group members to know where you need to improve.


Ongig’s mission is to support your commitment to achieving your diversity goals. Writing inclusive job descriptions is important to building a diverse workforce. Book a demo today to learn how you can write inclusive job descriptions with our Text Analyzer software.


  1. Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters by (McKinsey)
  1. Campbell Tourgis COO at Wainbee
  1. Dominic Monn, CEO at MentorCruise
  1. Ritesh Raj, COO at CuddlyNest
  1. Sandeep Kashyap, CEO at ProofHub
  1. Michael Nemeroff, CEO at RushOrderTees
  1. Jason Boyd, director at Evolve SEO agency
  1. Lilia Tovbin, CEO at BigMailer
  1.  Tasia Duske, CEO at Museum Hack
  1. Gauri Manglik CEO & Co-founder of Instrumentl
  1. Isaac Robertson, CEO at Total Shape.
  1. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Mentoring Interventions for Underrepresented Minorities by (National Library of Medicine)
  1. Fixing the Flawed Approach to Diversity by (BCG)
  1. Diverse Representation Framework & Diverse Interview Panels by (CEOAction)
  1. Inclusive Communication: What Is It and Why It Matters by (AIHR)

16. Candidate interview and employer brand report by (Greenhouse)

by in Diversity and Inclusion