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How to Build an Inclusive Startup: Learn from These 4 Companies

diversity + inclusion

Companies need to prioritize DEI – it’s as simple as that. But, it’s more than just hiring diverse talent and calling it a day. It is the environment that the company creates and fosters that molds an employee’s experience and determines their success.  

Let’s look at some numbers: 

According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, 80 percent of the 1,300 respondents said inclusion efforts and initiatives play a big part in their decision when choosing to work for a company. However, inclusion and diversity is not only important amongst job seekers, but also plays a vital role in business success. According to Boston Consulting Group, companies with diverse management teams, on average, have seen a 19 percent increase in revenue compared to companies with less diverse leadership. 

If your startup isn’t doing anything to create an inclusive culture, it’s time to rethink and revamp! We’ve gathered a list of 3 companies and their diversity + inclusion initiatives to give you an idea of where to start:  

 

 

Asana’s strategy can be broken down into 3 parts: build, recruit and thrive.  

Build: It’s all about creating a foundation and starting from the beginning. Having support in place for employees is so key in allowing them to be successful. Asana has put into place things like: customized training in allyship and inclusive leadership, policies that ban hate groups from using Asana, and quarterly ‘Ask Me Anything’ events. It’s one thing to say your company values DEI, but actually building out programs to establish inclusion in the workplace creates a culture of transparency and trust. It opens dialogue, encourages people to take action and share unique perspectives.  

Recruit: Hiring talent from underrepresented groups and backgrounds and ensuring their interviewing and candidate experience policies are being met along the way. Looking at ways you can attract and hire more diverse talent is the first step. Check out this blog for more tips!  Here are some ways that you can attract and hire more diverse candidates.   

Thrive: Creating a work environment and culture that lets their employees SHINE! Mental health benefits, standing up against inequality and hate, and having open conversations about inclusivity all help Asana create a workplace where people can be their best selves.  

  

Slack makes communicating as a team and with networks worldwide possible. Not only can their tool help foster open dialogue between colleagues, it facilitates easier conversation between people who have diverse interests, passions, hobbies and so much more. From creating specific channels for specific topics, like sports, people’s favourite tv shows or even channels that are targeted to opening the conversation of DEI, Slack can create the transparent dialogue necessary to foster a diverse workforce. From being able to customize the emoji that represents you or your profile picture, to customizing your profile information, Slack makes getting to know your colleagues easier.  

Not only does Slack make it easier for startups to foster an inclusive work environment, diversity, engagement and belonging (DEB) are all embedded into their hiring practices and internal workplace culture. From recruitment to training and ongoing programs the team at Slack is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment for their employees. 

That means training managers to properly manage inclusivity within their teams so everyone feels comfortable coming to work, and can do their best work. Fostering an open environment not only as a company, but also down to the team level brings out that sense of community and trust.  

Making sure employees have career development opportunities at their fingertips is another way Slack fosters DEB. Everyone should have equal access to learning opportunities, and opening that door for employees has such a large impact when it comes to inclusion.  

Creating an inclusive environment also means recruiting from a diverse group of talent. No one wants to work for a company where everyone looks and thinks the same. If your company puts diversity on the back burner, it’s time to look for something else!  

And finally, inclusivity at work means fostering current and developing new programs around inclusivity like Slack’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), their Rising Tides sponsorship program, Slack for Good, and so many more. All these programs have been essential in opening doors for feedback, community outreach and support, and career development. As you can tell, Slack has no shortage of resources when it comes to all things DEI, and they know that creating an inclusive culture is at their core of their success.  

Slack is truly committed to creating a more inclusive future of work for their team and yours, and we LOVE to see it.     

  

  

Canada Learning Code (CLC) is on a mission to bring accessible computer science to communities across Canada. Their particular focus is providing women, transgender, Indigenous peoples, immigrants, and people with disabilities digital skills for the workplace.  

In this digital and modern world, CLC helps people feel confident, and promotes a world where DEI is center focus. By creating a positive and welcoming learning environment, their learners can be themselves, discover their passions, and shine light on their influence and potential. From Girls Learning Code and Ladies Learning Code to Teens Learning Code and Teachers Learning Code, CLC creates programs with specific communities in mind, all meant to spearhead DEI, challenge the tech gender gap, and empower underrepresented learners. Their commitment to creating a culture of belonging does not go unnoticed.    

CLC’s whole mission is wrapped around inclusivity and diversity, and there is no doubt that their impact will inspire millions of people in Canada to open up the conversation around DEI. What an incredible mission and focus!   

  

 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many forms of learning have shifted to an online model and companies were forced to rethink how they operate. Enter Crescendo, a platform that is working to create more inclusive companies across the globe by delivering L&D experiences including AI-powered microlearning, courses by some of the world’s leading subject matter experts, and analytics, insights and reporting capabilities.   

Crescendo knows that DEI is vital to your company’s success, and that it should be ingrained in every aspect of your company culture. That’s why part of their solution is a DEI program to help provide continuous learning opportunities in that area for employees, track learning and identify any weak areas. Their platform ensures that everyone is properly equipped to create a culture of inclusion and diversity and starts conversations around accepting and welcoming workplaces It helps cover nearly all the bases when it comes to educating workers, we can only hope that more company’s take advantage of this amazing product!  

 

 

These 4 companies don’t shy away when it comes to making sure their employees feel safe and encouraged to be their true self at work, and that should be your start-up’s ultimate goal as well. If you’re trying to figure out how to be more diverse in your hiring, our new blog titled Hiring for Diversity in 2022 and Beyond may be for you!  

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Here are 4 ways to foster diversity + inclusion in your startup TODAY

Laying the groundwork for long-term change and improvement is extremely important. However, sometimes you need to implement strategies ASAP. As you're progressing for the future, check out these four ways to foster diversity in your startup, starting today. After all, it's nice to know that there are areas where you can have an immediate and positive impact on your employees!

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