If your idea behind creating a workforce diversity plan is restricted to filling quotas or pitching yourself as an EEO employer to new clients, then you’ll be making the same mistake that 90% of organizations make. Creating an actionable workforce diversity plan is much more than just being compliant, it requires time, effort, and most importantly, it requires commitment from the managers and employees at an individual level.

An ideal workforce diversity policy is committed towards developing a workforce that reflects the communities you operate in, represents the clients you work with, and has equal space for under-represented groups like minorities, people with disability, women, and more. It should practice fair and inclusive procedures and stand tall on these four points:

  • Provide equal opportunities to people from all communities
  • Create a workplace that is inclusive and free of discrimination
  • Train leaders to follow bias-free recruiting practices
  • Promote you as an employer of choice among different communities


Step-by-Step Process for Creating a Workforce Diversity Plan

Following is the step-by-step practical approach for creating an actionable workforce diversity plan that matches your organization’s requirements.

1) Identify the Make-up of Your Organization to Highlight Improvement Areas

The first step is to identify the make-up of your organization in terms of ethnicity, age, and sex. If you have access to your organization’s EEO data then it can really help but since most professionals don’t have access to that data and holding employee surveys is simply out of question, you have to follow a more practical approach. To conduct practical analyses simply ask these 4 questions:

  • Does your management largely comprise of employees from a particular community or religion?
  • How many women do you have in senior leadership roles?
  • How many veterans or people with disability (merit candidates) are on your payroll?
  • Does your make-up resemble the communities or clients you serve?

The answer to all these questions will help you identify the under-represented groups in your workforce as well as identify departments that are over-represented by people from a certain community.


2) Participate in Community Development Programs

Collaborating with associations that work towards the representation of minority groups is a great way to attract and recruit more diverse candidates. Make sure you strengthen your partnership with local job agencies, minority universities, and also dedicate time in community development programs (Veterans Hiring, Women in Tech initiatives and more). You can also sponsor diversity and inclusion events and encourage your employees to volunteer in any one of these programs.

Meeting for community development initiatives taking place


3) Look Beyond the Obvious When it Comes to Sourcing

Traditional channels like job boards and social media are not sufficient to meet your diverse recruiting needs. Expand your sourcing strategy and use diversity job boards (blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc.), diversity referral platforms, and targeted email campaigns. Organizations have reported some of the best results from diversity referrals so make sure you have a solid network for the same. Some of the best tools that you can use for diversity sourcing are TalentDome and Aevy.


4) Train the Leadership on EEOC Guidelines

The success of your workforce diversity policy would largely depend on the active involvement of the leadership. Train your managers on bias-free recruiting practices which are gender, race, and religion-neutral. Make sure they are trained on blind hiring, diversity-friendly job descriptions, consistent interview formats, and much more. Also, hold cultural awareness sessions which not only inform them about various cultures but also make the leadership adept in handling these differences.

Leadership meeting on equal employment opportunities


5) Report the Outcome of the Plan in Annual Meetings

A workforce diversity plan that is not being monitored or improved iteratively is bound to fail. So develop a robust reporting mechanism and define the parameters that would define the success of your program. Some of the parameters that you can track include:

  • Increase in the number of employees from under-represented communities
  • Implementation of bias-free recruiting practices at the lowest level
  • Active involvement of management in the execution of the program at a local level
  • Increased employee satisfaction when it comes to a progressive and discrimination-free workplace
  • Partnership with communities your organization feels connected with (women, veterans, etc.)

The only way to make your workforce diversity program actionable is by continuously training your leadership and HR team on diversity and inclusion initiatives. Be ready to learn from your mistakes, be patient, and make sure that you measure the outcome at each and every step.

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