How to promote equality and diversity in your small business

how to promote equality and diversity in your small business by CoWomen on Unsplash

As a small business owner it’s your job to promote equality and diversity in your team

Making sure that you promote equality and diversity in your small business should be one of your top priorities. And not just because it’s a hot topic right now, but because:

But how do you properly promote equality and diversity when you have to run a small business? Where do you find the time in the day?

We’re going to show you how.

1 – Be aware

The first step to solving a problem is fully acknowledging it. This means that you need to get your business under the microscope and see if you’re already in a bad situation. Is your team a good reflection of society?

The Equality Act (2010) named these things to look out for:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

If yours is a business with less than 10 employees, reviewing your team’s diversity is going to be quick. But even if you don’t have a big team, you can always improve your company’s diversity and inclusion.

how to promote equality and diversity in your small business by Christina @ wocinthechat on Unsplash

2 – Start from the bottom

Now that you know where your employee bias lies – maybe middle-aged white men rule your ranks or perhaps most of your employees are Catholic – it’s time to tackle it.

Why does your team look the way it does? It all comes down to your gatekeepers.

  • Do your employees look exactly like the person that’s in charge of hiring? Maybe there’s some unconscious bias going on.
  • Perhaps they think – in the back of their mind – that a certain type of person is untrustworthy or lazy.

To change the face of your business, hiring into your lower ranks is always a good place to start.

Once you’ve hired a more diverse team, it’s time to think about equality and inclusion. All of your employees need to feel valued, respected and safe in their job, so dedicate some time to making them feel just that.

Larger companies create diversity committees and invest in support structures and training, but as a small business owner there are other routes you can take. Be sure to:

  • Use careful, non-discriminatory language
  • Challenge micro-aggressions and take formal action where you need to
  • Pull up your co-workers on any ‘jokes’ that make others uncomfortable
  • Promote open communication
  • Listen to everyone’s point of view and value it

3 – End at the top

Speaking of things that you can do… why not lead by example? You’ve created a company that values diversity and equality – act like it! Champion it through every conversation you have and decision you make.

Pull up your senior team members and make sure that you’re all on the same page. When it comes to diversity, inclusion and equality the whole team has to be on board.

And your new dedication to hiring diverse employees into your lower ranks means that in a couple of years, your higher ranks will be just as diverse. This kind of thing takes time.

Speaking of hiring…

At DigitalGrads we champion quality over quantity. That’s why you can be sure that every role you advertise through our site will only have the best applicants around.

If you’re looking to diversify your team with top tier talent, sign up today and get started!