How to Build an Inclusive Business: The Ultimate Guide

Creating an inclusive business brings about countless benefits. Learn what steps to take – and what to avoid – to make your business more inclusive.

Most business owners focus on one thing to measure success: profitability. However, those who focus on the triple bottom line – which considers people and the planet alongside profitability – show even greater gains.

Building an inclusive business is all about considering the people component of this equation. Ensuring that you create a team and workplace where diversity is celebrated and everyone feels welcome has major benefits.

Focusing on inclusivity broadens perspectives and opens us up to richer life experiences. Being surrounded by people who are different to us makes us more receptive to and tolerant of new ideas. This is something we all need if we want to create a kinder world.

What’s more, an inclusive environment will encourage your employees to be more engaged (and therefore productive). You’re also 70% more likely to capture new markets  and attract top talent – which will compound these benefits.

This all-inclusive guide will give you the lowdown on what inclusivity is, the benefits it has for businesses and the people who interact with them, as well as how you can institute processes and create business practices that will help you to build an inclusive enterprise.

What Is Inclusivity?

Inclusivity is far more than just a buzzword or a fleeting fad. It’s a way of approaching social and business relationships that has a plethora of benefits. And it’s here to stay.

Before you can start building an inclusive business, though, you need to have a solid understanding of what inclusivity is and who you should be thinking about when implementing this practice.

How Do You Define Inclusivity?

Simply put, inclusivity is the practice of creating an environment where people who fall into different groups are able to participate equally. It’s about ensuring that people who might otherwise have been excluded or marginalized have the same access to resources and opportunities as others.

The practice is aimed at creating a more harmonious environment by considering individuals of all identities when making decisions, devising rules, and implementing regulations. In doing this, the hope is that everybody will feel accepted and be able to make valuable contributions.

Inclusivity is closely linked to diversity. In fact, the terms are often used interchangeably. But there is a distinct difference between the two. While inclusivity relates to things we do to ensure people of different identities feel accepted, diversity is about the traits and characteristics that make people unique.

This means that you need to consider diversity – the qualities that make people who they are – if you want to create an inclusive environment. 

Diversity and Inclusivity: Who Needs To Be Included?

There are countless characteristics that people can use to identify themselves, from what they look like and where they’re from to who they’re attracted to and what they believe. Diversity is about accepting and respecting all of these different identities.

It can be a bit overwhelming to be inclusive when you’re faced with a seemingly endless list of diversity criteria. Here, it’s best to keep things simple. There are six major social identities that you can home in on when identifying who needs to be included by your business practices.


The way that we talk about gender has changed and expanded over the past couple of years. More than just focusing on biological sex (male vs female), gender inclusivity in the workplace must account for differences in gender identity and gender expression.

As they eschew gender norms, many people with non-traditional gender identities and expressions are often discriminated against, many times through unconscious bias. One example is not having all-gender bathrooms that individuals who don’t identify as either strictly male or female can use comfortably.

In addition to ensuring that men and women are represented equally in leadership positions and decision-making bodies, you’ll also want to ensure that you make space for individuals with varying gender identities and expressions.

Sexual Orientation

Related to – but different from – gender is sexual orientation. This is a person’s pattern of physcial, emotional, and sexual attraction to either one or more sexes or genders. In other words, while gender relates to how you think about yourself, sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to.

Automatically using the gender pronoun for the opposite sex when asking someone about their partner is an example of a common misstep here. This puts an LGBTQ+ individual in the position where they feel the need to explain themselves or their relationship, even when they may not be comfortable doing so.

Creating an environment where neutrality (e.g. using gender neutral pronouns) is favored and employees are encouraged to be themselves (e.g. having pictures of their families on their desks) can help to increase awareness and inclusivity here.

A note: LGBTQ+ is the phrase that you’ll likely have heard most when it comes to sexual orientation. However, it is also used as a blanket term to refer to both non-heterosexual and non-cis gender individuals.


Race is all about inherited biological characteristics like skin, hair, or eye color. While these features have nothing to do with a person’s inherent skills or abilities, centuries of prejudice and discrimination mean that there still plenty of harmful stereotypes that fuel racism in the workplace.

There are a variety of ways that racism can rear its head. Inappropriate jokes or comments based on racial stereotypes are obvious. Rules that have an outsized effect on employees because of their race (e.g. policies about hair that are written based on non-ethnic hair) less so.

Here, non-discrimination policies and sensitivity training can be a great help. Ensuring that everybody you work with is aware of what behaviors are harmful and why – as well as how to avoid them – will make for a more inclusive workplace.


People have varying physical and mental functionalities for a variety of reasons. This may be due to injuries, genetic conditions, or illness, or perhaps they weren’t provided with the same access to nutrition or education as others.

A major factor when it comes to ability is accessibility – for example, ensuring people who aren’t able to walk up stairs are able to access a building.

More than simply ensuring that there are physical enablers to help individuals of different abilities (like installing a wheelchair ramp), you’ll need to ensure that space is made for this type of inclusion in your policies and budget.


As the saying goes, age is just a number. However, there are plenty of stereotypes and prejudices that individuals of different age groups and generations face on a daily basis. These can affect not only the perception of a person’s abilities, but also opportunities they are presented with.

A common example of ageism is overlooking job applicants based on experience. This often happens when someone with many years’ experience applies for an entry-level job or when someone young applies for a managerial role. 

Rather than making snap judgments about someone’s value based on their age – or how young they may look – focus on their proven abilities and competencies. This will give every individual equal opportunity to solve problems and contribute towards solutions.


Sometimes lumped together with race, ethnicity refers to social groupings that are based on nationality as well as cultural and religious traditions. Rather than skin color or other features, ethnicity focuses on your heritage.

There are plenty of ethnic stereotypes. However, like other generalizations, they don’t necessarily hold true for the majority of people in these groups.

The best way to create ethnic inclusivity is to bring people from all different walks of life together in your workplace. Creating an environment where people of all different backgrounds are able to collaborate without the fear of being treated differently will go a long way.

Why Inclusivity Matters for Businesses

For businesses, inclusivity is focused on creating practices and policies that ensure equal access to resources and opportunities for people of diverse social identities. Bringing people of different backgrounds, dispositions, and attributes together encourages cognitive diversity.

Why is cognitive diversity important? Because it creates an environment where different ideas, perspectives, thought patterns, and approaches to problem-solving can be discovered.

There’s an abundance of evidence to show that cognitively diverse teams have major advantages over more homogenous groups. From generating more innovative products and solutions to happier employees and higher profits, there’s plenty of strength in our differences.

Let’s explore some of the most compelling commercial reasons for inclusive business environments

Increased Innovation

Diversity of thought does double duty when it comes to innovation. 

First, it can lead teams to evaluate and improve established systems and procedures. This can help your business to optimize the way it does things, leading to greater productivity and impacting its bottom line.

A 2019 study showed a positive relationship between cognitive diversity and innovation. Looking at 101 teams from 10 Chinese manufacturing companies, researchers from the University of Lancaster found that more cognitive diversity meant more task reflexivity.

In other words, teams with more varied ideas and approaches were better able to think critically about the way tasks had traditionally been executed and improve those processes. Resulting in increased efficiencies and less time wastage.

The second way diversity of thought affects innovation is through outputs. Teams with greater cognitive diversity are generally able to come up with more creative solutions to end problems. Plus, they’ve been shown to have better decision-making abilities.

Research released by Deloitte in 2020 supports this. The financial services company found that diversity of thinking encourages creativity and has the ability to boost innovation by 20%, leading to faster problem-solving and greater agility.

Happier Employees

Although what you pay your people matters – 61% of job seekers say salary is the most important piece of information on a job advert – how you treat them has a huge impact on productivity and staff retention. Both things impact your business’s profitability.

According to research from American analytics and advisory giant Gallup, there’s a direct correlation between diversity practices and employee engagement. 

Having a staff made up of people from all different walks of life creates a sense of belonging among employees. That encourages more openness and curiosity from team members when they’re faced with challenging tasks.

In addition, research published in the Harvard Business Review showed that creating an environment where employees feel like they belong can increase job performance by 56%, reduce levels of absenteeism, and cut staff churn in half.

Diverse environments also promote increased levels of employer-employee trust. This trust creates a sense of psychological safety that can lead to 76% higher employee engagement, which is extremely important for businesses that use a remote or hybrid work model.

On top of all of this, 83% of workers born between 1981 and 1996 report being more actively engaged in their work when their employers have diversity and inclusion practices. And with this group set to represent 75% of the global workforce by 2025, a focus on inclusivity promises to have big benefits in the long term.

Stronger Brand

Branding is crucial for business success. Having a strong brand not only helps you to build a relationship with your audience to create a loyal customer base, it also contributes towards attracting top talent.

Job seekers see equitable employers as being more respectful of their team’s unique needs and perspectives. This image, in turn, drives more diverse job seekers to apply for open roles. With access to this larger pool of talent, you can more easily hire employees with the experience, skills, and knowledge needed to build a high-performance team.

Having those diverse hires on board also has benefits for your brand overall. With more varied outlooks and understanding, your business will have an increased ability to market to a wider range of customers. 

Plus, you’ll be less likely to make marketing blunders that lead to brand embarrassment and negatively affect public perception of your business. 

Better Performance and Higher Profits

Everything we’ve already discussed – increased innovation, happier employees, and stronger brand – comes together to create better business performance, which contributes to increased profitability.

In its investigation into the effects of project overruns on businesses and the American economy, Gallup found that projects which failed because of costs, time, and resources represented an economic loss of between $50 and $150 billion per year. 

So, how do you get around incurring these losses? Include diverse people on your team to ensure that ideas are stress-tested before you go to market.

Besides reducing the risks involved with potential product failures, we know that having a more diverse and inclusive team also leads to greater employee engagement. 

Gallup’s research shows that companies with more engaged employees see 21% higher productivity and 22% greater profitability than their competition. What’s more, diverse organizations have 35% better performance than those with no inclusivity efforts.

What Does an Inclusive Business Look Like?

More than just hiring or working with the ‘right’ people, inclusive businesses also implement strategies that help them to put more back into society, the environment, and the economy than they take out. 

There are a few internal and external practices that inclusive businesses have in common.

Fair Hiring Practices

Building a diverse team starts with inclusive hiring practices. These practices reduce potential discrimination and ensure that you give every job applicant a fair chance. This not only serves to combat discrimitation, but also makes candidates feel empowered and valued.

One of the main objectives in creating an inclusive recruitment process is removing unconscious biases

Unconscious bias can creep into the hiring process where the presentation of your job advert or hiring approach unintentionally exclude a certain group. You’ll want to avoid using gender-binary pronouns or difficult-to-read formatting in your job adverts.

The people responsible for recruiting new employees often introduce unconscious bias to the hiring process. Here, someone’s previous experience with or opinions can impact their outlook, understanding, and choices when it comes to candidates from a certain group.

There are a few strategies that you can use to keep unconscious bias at bay during the recruitment process:

  • Write inclusive job descriptions: Use gender-neutral pronouns (‘they’ and ‘you’ both work well) and inclusive language (like ‘we’) when speaking about the role and your business.
  • Make your content easy to read: Use a simple font in an adequate size in both your job description and on your website. Add bullet points and bold certain words to make the copy scannable.
  • Account for accessibility: The design of your website should make it easy to navigate. Ensure you include content tags that can be read by assistive reading tools. Avoid color combinations (like red on green) or finicky designs (think fonts with loads of flourishes) that might hinder those with visual impairments.
  • Make inclusivity a priority: Emphasize the fact that your company wants to hire people from all walks of life and highlight why this is important – both to your team and the job seekers you’re looking to employ.
  • Do blind CV reviews: Either use recruitment software to sort through CVs or remove any identifying information (like names or photographs) from the documentation before the initial screening.
  • Standardize the interview process: Have all applicants answer the same questions and complete the same assessments. This will help you to compare their skills fairly.
  • Train your team: Provide training in unconscious bias and fair hiring practices to every member of your team who’s involved in recruitment. It’s easier to spot inequity when you know what to look for.
  • Select a diverse interview panel: Include employees from different backgrounds and with different levels of experience on the interview panel. This will ensure you get a multi-faceted view of the candidate.

Thoughtful Internal Policies

Once you’ve built a diverse team, you’ll want to ensure that they’re able to cooperate and collaborate in an open and fair environment where curiosity and accountability are championed.

This type of company culture doesn’t just happen. You will need to create policies that encourage inclusive practices and behaviors to ensure that everyone on your team feels secure.

As with other areas of inclusivity, there are nearly endless opportunities for creating internal policies. We’ve selected five that will help you to create a more harmonious environment.

1. Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Your diversity and inclusion policy will be the cornerstone of your business’s inclusivity policies. It details your approach to many inclusivity and diversity factors, from race and gender to sexual orientation.

This policy highlights your company’s commitment to ensuring a diverse and fair workplace. What’s more, it establishes the various mechanisms that you’ll use to achieve inclusivity.

It should set out the inclusivity and diversity goals your company wants to meet. For example, it may include a section on hiring or employment equity. Plus, it should provide a roadmap for meeting those goals as well as processes for reporting and addressing discrimination.

2. Code of Conduct

The code of conduct is another foundational policy that you can put in place when starting your business inclusivity journey. Here, you can include all sorts of standards around how you expect your employees to behave at work. 

Clauses can cover everything from your expectations about communication and collaboration to dress code and honest business practices. Like the diversity and inclusion policy, your code of conduct should also set out the processes for employees to report grievances along with disciplinary measures.

3. Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination Policy

One of the key drivers for creating an inclusive environment is to ensure that every person on your team feels secure and happy at your company. As such, it’s essential to have a strategy in place to deal with instances of unwanted behaviors.

The bullying, harassment, and discrimination policy sets out unacceptable conduct where someone is treated unfairly or targetted based on their identity. It also puts formal procedures in place for dealing with complaints about these actions.

4. Disability Policy

Your disability policy will detail how your business will support and provide access for disabled individuals. It should cover both visible disabilities (like the loss of a limb or blindness) as well as hidden disabilities (think learning disabilities or partial deafness).

You can include terms that make provision for adaptations to your workplace like altering the building, buying specialized equipment, making provision for flexible working arrangements, or simply providing additional support where necessary.

5. Whistleblowing Policy

All of the policies we’ve already discussed only work when the people your business interacts with are able to report objectionable behavior. Having a whistleblowing policy in place will help your employees to feel comfortable raising and reporting any issues or concerns they might have.

It should outline the actions or conduct that can be reported, how your business will address these issues, as well as the process for handling the investigation.

Considered Community Involvement

Building partnerships with local communities and providing support to marginalized groups can help to uplift neighborhoods. At the same time, it can boost your business’s reputation and increase employee engagement. 

On top of this, you get a chance to showcase your company’s values and products (potentially opening you up to new markets), and promote skills development in a community that could later serve as a talent pool.

Examples of community involvement initiatives include financial donations, volunteer days, and partnerships with nonprofit and charitable organizations.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the community in which your business operates. To make the most of these, it’s essential that you take some steps to set yourself up for success:

  • Get to know the community: Connect with key stakeholders from the community you want to engage. This will ensure that you understand and can address their needs, hopes, and frustrations while also including marginalized groups.
  • Design a purposeful program: Identify the groups you want to target to ensure that your outreach efforts address their needs or frustrations, and enable the community to actively contribute.
  • Publicize your plan: Encourage the community to take advantage of the programs you’re offering by promoting them to the different groups you’re seeking to target. This could be via online platforms (think social media groups) or in-person campaigns (like getting community leaders to spread the word).
  • Set the community up for success: Give the community or group that you’re trying to engage the right tools, knowledge, and means to participate meaningfully. 
  • Reflect on your progress: Take time to analyze your successes and failures. Think about how deeply you were able to engage the community, the outcomes that achieved, and what you can do to improve your next community involvement initiative.

Sensible Supplier Relationships

A program that focuses on supplier diversity and inclusion drives business growth in more ways than one. Besides boosting your bottom line, working with diverse suppliers and vendors also has social benefits.

Just as creating more diversity in your team drives advancements, working with minority- and women-owned businesses (MWOBs) increases innovation. Plus, having a diverse network of suppliers can unlock additional value by improving your company’s competitiveness and resilience.

Working with MWOBs also provides access to a wider consumer base. Research from McKinsey shows that there’s opportunity to take advantage of $300 billion in unmet spending demand from Black consumers when working with minority- and women-owned brands. 

You don’t need to look too far to find diverse suppliers, either. There are an estimated 10,000 businesses in the US alone that are owned by women and minorities as well as LGBTQ+ and disabled people that are ready to compete for business.

What’s more, diverse suppliers are usually smaller businesses. More often than not, they have an outsized effect on the communities in which they operate, creating jobs and building local economies.

The cherry on top? Having a plan in place to create an inclusive supplier network will increase your business’s agility. The skills and policies that are necessitated by building relationships with these suppliers will ensure that you can effectively procure goods and services in a pinch – for example, if supply shortages hit.

Examples of Inclusive Businesses

Let’s take a look at a few examples of businesses that have been – and are – taking steps to be more inclusive.


Sporting apparel brand Adidas made a commitment to championing individual uniqueness and cultivate a culture of belonging so that every person who works for the brand can do their best. 

The company began redefining its hiring and career development processes in 2020 in an effort to increase representation on its teams. 

The brand has also launched a program that empowers women in Pakistan to gain skills and increase their employability. 


The biggest search engine in the world is also big on inclusivity. Google has committed to donating $1 billion to nonprofit organizations and dedicating a million employee volunteer hours since 2005. 

The business committed to creating a more inclusive workplace, aiming to create an environment where every employee feels seen, connected, supported, and able to participate fully.

Google has since increased the representation of Black, Latinx and other minority groups in leadership by 30%. They’ve also developed initiatives to support ‘Googlers’ with disabilities and set up additional programs for giving back to the communities where they operate.


Inclusivity and diversity are essential building blocks for every successful business, and toy giant Lego proves that.

Lego has two global inclusivity priorities: valuing differences and improving representation. These concerns are rooted in their pledge to encourage inclusive behaviors and ensure equal opportunities for all.

In addition to focusing on the people who work for them, Lego has committed to inspire all children to learn through play. In this vein, the company has moved away from marketing its bricks based on gender. Instead, it focuses on ‘passion points’.

The Biggest Hurdles for Inclusive Businesses – and How to Overcome Them

You’re likely eager to get started with turning your enterprise into a more inclusive business. Before you start creating policies and implementing processes, it’s important to have an understanding of the most common challenges to building an inclusive business.

Every project and initiative will have roadblocks. Identifying those that you’re most likely to run into will help you to set reasonable expectations and plans for achieving your inclusivity goals.


As mentioned earlier, unconscious bias is a major impediment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Stereotyping is the most common – and easily identifiable – form of unconscious bias.

These generalizations are used to describe all members of a certain group of people, regardless of whether the assertion is true or not. Basketball players are tall. Girls like pink. Motorcycle riders are tough.

Part of the reason these stereotypes exist is because the human brain is hardwired to group things together. This helps us to solve problems and make decisions more quickly. But it can also easily lead to misunderstandings.

The difficulty with stereotypes is that they can be tough to spot. The first step to overcoming stereotypes is to be aware that they exist. The next is to understand our brains’ need to categorize everything – including people – and be willing to examine that classification and whether it’s based on preconceived ideas or observation and understanding.


Also known as following a tick-box approach, focusing on appearances is detrimental to any inclusivity and diversity mission. This is all about doing things that make your business look good on paper without having any real effect.

Let’s think about this in terms of representation goals. Aiming to have 30% of your staff come from minority groups is a great objective. However, if you’re hiring people because of the color of their skin, their gender, sexual orientation, or disability only to avoid criticism or give the appearance that you’re treating people fairly, those hires aren’t in line with the spirit of inclusivity.

So, how do you avoid tokenism? Build your inclusivity goals around the type of environment you want to create. This will help you to engage with people who bring different ideas and perspectives to your business and ensure that you create a space where people feel welcomed and valued.

Failure to Plan

Building a diverse and inclusive workplace requires that you build a company culture where everyone feels valued. This starts with setting attainable goals and drawing up functional policies.

There are a few ways that you can go about building an inclusive culture:

  • Be intentional: Do some research on the people, initiatives, and businesses where your enterprise operates to figure out which groups need the most support. Then figure out what programs or policies you could put in place to help these groups.
  • Make commitments: Set goals that can be measured with actionable metrics that will help you to identify whether your inclusivity efforts are making a difference and how they can be improved upon.
  • Be accountable: Put together a team that will assess your progress towards your inclusivity goals and review your achievements on a regular basis.

How to Make Your Business More Inclusive

Now for the big question: How do you make a business more inclusive? Of course, there isn’t an easy answer here. But there are a variety of approaches that you can take to creating a more diverse enterprise with an inclusive company culture.

Thinking about how you interact with various stakeholders in different capacities – for example, as an employer, client, or supplier – will make it slightly easier to tackle the task.

As a Leader

Inclusive company culture starts at the top. For inclusivity to be successful, it needs to be a business goal that’s backed by the enterprise’s leaders.

How you interact with and treat your team sets the tone for how your team members will interact with and treat one another. If you’re focused on inclusivity and creating a space where diverse people can come together to share ideas and solve problems, it’s likely that your team will follow suit. 

Education and awareness are extremely important for leaders. Knowing the potential pitfalls involved in building an inclusive business can help you to overcome these hurdles.

Commit to learning about different groups as well as the challenges that they face. This will ensure that you’re able to create structures and policies that recognise diversity and encourage inclusion. The good news is that by reading this article, you’re already on the right path.

Having equipped yourself with the knowledge you need, create workplace policies that champion inclusion. Provide protection for groups that are often marginalized or discriminated against. And ensure that your team feels safe talking about behaviors that don’t align with your culture.

As an Employer

In terms of being an employer, inclusivity starts from the moment you make the decision to grow your team. The first step is to identify where you’re currently falling short and set goals to improve your standing. 

When you’re hiring new staff, make an effort to ensure that your job adverts reach and are accessible to a broad range of potential employees. Look at the community your business operates in and figure out how your company could be more reflective of this. Consider applicants from all different walks of life, educational backgrounds, and levels of experience.

Try to remove as much bias from the recruitment process as possible. This will help you to ensure that every candidate has a fair chance of being hired – regardless of their identity. Plus, it can help you avoid tokenism.

It’s also important to equip your employees with all of the tools and skills that they need to do their best. Aside from on-the-job training and support, inclusive policies and attitudes help to create a sense of belonging. This lets your team know that they can be exactly who they are and will help them to thrive.

As a Consumer

Where you spend your business’s money has power. Working with diverse suppliers and other partners is a great way to promote inclusivity in the world beyond your business. 

Considering the diversity of the people and companies you do business with is a great way to ensure that you’re not reinforcing exclusionary practices. This can include assessing their ownership demographics, employment and hiring practices, inclusivity policies, and upliftment initiatives.

By focusing on engaging business partners from traditionally underrepresented groups that value inclusivity, your business can contribute to making the entire supply chain more diverse. What’s more, you’ll unlock more opportunities and build a more agile enterprise.

It’s likely that you’ll come across suppliers who meet your inclusivity requirements but can’t quite do the job you need them to. Fortunately, there are some strategies that you can use to get them up to speed:

  • Drive engagement: Identify the inclusive suppliers that exist in your supply chain, and work with these businesses or individuals to understand the challenges that exist and determine possible solutions to these problems.
  • Create roadmaps: Devise a plan for implementing the fixes available to suppliers. Using a roadmap will help you and your supplier to monitor and measure the progress of the strategies you’ve put in place.
  • Be committed: Formalize your strategy and conclude agreements with the suppliers you’re working with to integrate supplier development into your business plan.  

As a Brand

Being an inclusive brand will help you to boost engagement to reach more consumers and increase leads and sales. What’s more, it can help you to build trust to turn clients into loyal, return customers.

Prioritize getting to know your potential customers. Learning about the people who you want to sell your goods or services to – especially if they’re part of minority groups – will help you to gain a better understanding of their needs and wants. Market research and community engagement drives are both important here.

Once you know who you’re talking to, focus on creating inclusive customer experiences. Use inclusive language and represent people of all appearances and abilities in your marketing materials. Favor gender-neutral pronouns and avoid exclusionary terms in your copy. Plus, use images that feature people of all different identities.

Inclusive Language for Your Marketing Efforts

Inclusive Language for Your Marketing Efforts
Instead of this ⛔️ Say this ✅
Males, females People, individuals
Both genders All genders
Chairman, salesmane Chairperson, salesperson
Man-made Synthetic, artificial, machine-made
Blacks, Asians, Muslims People who are Black, Asian, Muslim
You, them Us, we
Ladies and gentlemen, guys Everyone, folks, team
He, him, she, her They, them
Addict Person with an addiction
The elderly Older adults
Disabled, differently abled, handicapped Person/s with a disability
Normal Typical
Turn a blind eye Ignore
Crazy, insane, nuts Wild, unbelievable, strange

Another great way to build brand equity is through creating and promoting initiatives that assist different groups. Perhaps you donate a portion of your profits to charities that help people in the LGBTQ+ community. Or maybe you have an employee program that provides support for single parents you employ.

Finally, continuously evaluate your efforts. Map and audit your customer journey to see whether the experience that you provide measures up with the one you want to offer your audience.

The Bottom Line: Is an Inclusive Business Possible?

In short: Yes!

Building an inclusive business is certainly possible. It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Putting measured inclusivity policies and programs in place go a long way to guiding your team – whether they’re leaders or employees – about how to create an environment where every person feels at ease and able to contribute meaningfully.

Profitability is usually up front and center when you make choices about the business practices you want to implement. But thinking beyond the balance sheet and creating an inclusive workplace will help to attract top talent, keep your employees happy, and open you up to a wider customer base. 

All you need here is a bit of foresight. Think about what you want your business to look like and how you want it to behave. Then create codes and protocols aimed at helping you to achieve that vision.


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What does inclusive business mean?

An inclusive business is a concern that integrates marginalized groups into its supply chain. These types of businesses are focused on ensuring that every person who interacts with the brand – from employees to customers – has equal access to the resources and opportunities that you provide.

What are inclusive business practices?

There are a variety of business practices that you can adopt to move your company towards being more inclusive. Look at your hiring process and identify ways that you can make it more equitable. 

At the same time, consider policies and structures you can put in place that will make all of your employees feel they are able to participate equally. You’ll also want to build thoughtful community engagement initiatives and supplier relationships.

What are the benefits of an inclusive business?

More inclusivity has been shown to boost innovation, increase employee happiness and engagement, and create a stronger brand image. All of these, in turn, help inclusive businesses to achieve better performance and earn higher profits.

How do you create an inclusive business culture?

Creating a culture of inclusivity within your business requires thoughtful planning and action from a variety of perspectives. As a leader, you should act as a role model for your team. As an employer, implementing diversity policies and practices is important. 

While acting as a consumer and brand, you need to ensure that you’re engaging the people your business comes into contact with in a meaningful way.

Is inclusion important for diversity?

Inclusion and diversity are two sides of the same coin. It’s impossible to drive diversity without having inclusivity practices in place. And you can’t create an inclusive environment if your workplace is homogenous. Taking steps towards building a culture of inclusivity within your business is extremely important for diversity.

Does inclusion affect business performance?

Yes. There’s plenty of evidence to show that more inclusive businesses consistently outperform their less inclusive counterparts. Not only are 21% more productive on average, but they’re also 22% more profitable. On top of this, inclusive businesses are more likely to attract top talent and compound these benefits.

Meet the author
Nicole Forrest
Nicole Forrest is a writer and editor who has been using storytelling to help build brands for more than a decade. With a special interest in fintech and a passion for creating compelling content, she focuses on making complex topics easy to understand.

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