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4 Components of a Dynamic, Welcoming Work Culture: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

April 17, 2023

By: Jennifer Lucas

There is a growing demand among employees, job seekers, and consumers to work for and with companies that show a commitment to cultivating a diverse culture. Organizations who put in the effort to build this inclusive workforce experience measurable benefits in increased talent pools, greater productivity, and higher profitability.

More and more, employees are looking for careers that align with their personal beliefs. That means working for companies that give diversity more than lip service. In order to bring their authentic best selves to positions, they need to feel that companies are authentic in their commitment to fostering a supportive, diverse work environment.

Creating this culture starts with supporting four major components:

1. Diversity

This refers to the unique qualities and characteristics that make each person or group different from one another. These characteristics can include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, and abilities.

When you have a diverse group of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, you can tap into their unique ideas and insights, which can lead to more innovation and creativity and a greater variety of problem-solving approaches.

Employees who can relate to your customers' backgrounds and experiences are more likely to understand their needs and preferences and create products and services that meet these needs. Without that real world experience with different customer backgrounds, these needs could go unaddressed, potentially missing out on important opportunities.

You can increase diversity in hiring practices by:

  • Expanding recruitment channels to include a wider range of candidates.
  • Identifying and mitigating biases among the hiring/executive teams.
  • Reviewing job postings to make sure they appeal to a diverse range of candidates. Use gender-neutral language, avoid biased language, and highlight the ways in which your organization values diversity.
  • Diversify your selection committee. Ensure that your selection committee includes members from diverse backgrounds to help identify and evaluate diverse candidates fairly.

Hiring practices alone do not ensure a lasting and effective diverse workforce. To hold onto employees, there also needs to be…

2. Equity

Equity ensures that each person has the same opportunities to succeed in an organization. Though they sound alike, this isn’t the same as “equality.” Equality means that everyone is treated the same regardless of their situation. For example, equality in onboarding could have a hearing person and a deaf person given the same training, even though the training is apt to be much less helpful to one of the learners.

According to Gallup, equity means “…fair treatment, access and advancement for each person in an organization. This definition considers the historical and sociopolitical factors that affect opportunities and experiences so that policies, procedures and systems can help meet people's unique needs without one person or group having an unfair advantage over another.”

Ideas for ensuring equity include:

  • Conducting a pay equity analysis to help identify and address disparities among gender, race or other characteristics.
  • Providing equal access to training to ensure employees have the resources they need to develop their skills and advance their careers.
  • Offering flexible work arrangements such as remote work, part-time work, or job sharing to allow employees to balance work and personal responsibilities.
  • Providing reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities to ensure that they have equal access to job duties, training, and advancement opportunities.
  • Developing and enforcing policies that prohibit discrimination and harassment and ensuring that all employees are aware of these policies and understand how to report any violations.
  • Providing opportunities for employees to provide feedback and engage in decision-making processes. This can help ensure that all employees have a voice and are treated fairly.

A company that commits to equity allows each individual to feel respected, which is essential to employee longevity, as is…

3. Inclusion

Inclusion means making a committed effort to ensure that diverse individuals feel welcome to participate in all aspects of organizational work, including decision-making processes. This means soliciting, listening to, and showing respect for people’s ideas and experiences.

Some examples of inclusion include: amplifying diverse voices, providing a sense of physical and psychological safety for all employees, celebrating diverse holidays, and providing training to help employees understand and appreciate differences in culture, race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.

4. Belonging

A sense of belonging grows naturally from inclusion. Belonging means feeling connected to a group, valued, and accepted for who you are. It's about feeling like you are part of something larger than yourself and that you have a role to play. You can foster a sense of belonging by:

  • Creating a safe space where employees can express their opinions, share their ideas, and provide feedback. This can be done through regular team meetings, one-on-one conversations, and anonymous feedback channels.
  • Building strong relationships by encouraging team-building activities that foster a sense of community and connectedness.
  • Offering professional development opportunities, mentorship programs, and leadership training.


To break down the four components:

Diversity means having people with a variety of characteristics and backgrounds working at the organization. Equity ensures people have the same possibility to learn, grow and succeed. Inclusion means putting measures into place to ensure everyone feels welcome and involved, and Belonging is the feeling that comes when inclusion measures are successful.

According to an analysis of F500 manufacturing companies conducted by Deloitte, “companies fostering diversity and building inclusive environments are more likely to have stronger financial performance.” The benefits included: 30% higher customer satisfaction, 34% improved financial performance, 39% improvement in innovation, 46% increase in competitive advantage in the industry, and a 53% increase in productivity. It’s also the right thing to do.

The path to creating a culture that supports DEIB is complex and starts from the top down. When executive level leadership is committed to fostering an inclusive environment, it makes it easier and much more likely for the rest of the company to follow suit. Solicit outside help, and be prepared to learn from some mistakes along the way. Aim for progress, not perfection.

The goal is to create a workplace that is welcoming to all. Promoting DEIB creates an environment that celebrates differences, fosters development and growth, and helps both employees and organizations thrive.


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Jennifer Lucas

Jennifer originally joined The Omnia Group in 2005 as an analyst. After a brief stint away to work in project management and to start a family, her fascination with behavioral assessments pulled her back. She returned in 2011 as a member of the in-house analyst/project team. She writes and edits Custom Profiles, Targets, special projects, and articles. She enjoys being able to provide guidance to build effective, productive teams and help find strong matches for both clients and candidates.

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