You already know that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has come into the spotlight over the past two years, but the Google Trends chart below shows just how drastic this shift is.
From the beginning of 2020 to today, the popularity of this search term has increased 700%. And there’s no doubt that a good portion of those searches is coming from businesses trying to figure out how to do their part.
So if you’re one of those businesses, read on to get 10 resources to help you in your DEI efforts. But first, a quick overview on what these terms mean.
What is diversity, equity & inclusion?
According to the eXtension Organizing Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, diversity is the presence of differences, equity is fair treatment to those different groups, and inclusion is making sure each of those groups actually feels welcome.
So in the popular party analogy, diversity is having guests of different races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, ethnicities, nationalities, socioeconomic statuses, languages, (dis)abilities, ages, and political perspectives. Equity is making sure everyone who wants to attend the party can do so—such as by adding a wheelchair ramp. And inclusion is commonly referred to as being asked to dance, but some better definitions have emerged such as choosing the music and being part of the party-planning committee.
10 helpful DEI resources for small businesses
Use these resources to incorporate true accessibility and inclusivity into your marketing and business strategy.
1. Allyens’ testimonials page
Allyens is an inclusive marketing agency with an inspiring mission to create “communications that open minds, connect every single identity, and reach people and goals never seen before.” Its entire website can serve as a resource for you (as well as an excellent example of conversational copywriting), and its case studies page provides specific examples of how DEI and marketing goals can come together to benefit both your business and society.
In addition, its Instagram and other social accounts provide excellent tidbits, like so:
2. LinkedIn’s Inclusive Language for Marketers Pocket Guide
LinkedIn’s Inclusive Language for Marketers Pocket Guide is an excellent resources to help you incorporate diversity and inclusion into your brand identity and messaging.
The guide covers
- What inclusive language is and why it matters
- Different forms of inclusive language
- Tips to stay inclusive with your language
- Common exclusionary language and inclusive alternatives
Accessibilitytest.org tool is also on our best website graders list. Accessibility Test does an accessibility evaluation of your site using the four leading testers: AudioEye, WAVE, axe, and HTML_CodeSniffer. allows you to test both single pages and full sites. You’ll get an overall score and then specific recommendations surrounding:
- Missing alt text for images
- Empty headers
- Non-descriptive link text
- Missing form labels
- Low contrast between background and foreground colors
As an added bonus, accessibility optimizations can also improve your SEO and help you drive more traffic to your website.
4. The Ethical Move
This inspiring organization reminds us that how we sell matters. In an effort to combat manipulative marketing and improve transparency, responsibility, and honesty—it has a pledge and a badge that businesses can obtain to join the movement.
To take the pledge and receive your badge, go to theethicalmove.org. It also has plenty of free resources for nonmembers, and you can follow them on Instagram @theethicalmove or sign up for their newsletter.
5. Google’s Inclusive Marketing Toolkit
Google’s Inclusive Marketing Toolkit is pretty awesome. It has all the standard components like how to incorporate inclusivity into your marketing, hiring, and company culture, but if you scroll down, there’s a section that provides facts and stats about a number of marginalized groups. Click on any group and you’ll get in-depth information about each group as well as considerations, mistakes, language to use, and more.
6. iMPACT’s Inclusive Marketing Examples blog post
iMPACT’s inclusive marketing examples covers 15 campaigns by top brands that can give you inspiration and ideas for your own campaigns. For example, The White Collection Bridal Boutique in Portishead, England, with its bride mannequin in a wheelchair.
7. The Drum’s diversity column
The drum is a global marketing news site and magazine that also offers content marketing solutions and peer-to-peer learning networks. Its diversity column features leaders, creatives, and influencers from marginalized communities to raise awareness and identify solutions.
8. Berkeley’s DEI checklist
This DEI checklist, provided by the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business is geared for larger organizations but you can pare it down to accommodate your business. It’s designed to help you identify gaps and inform action when coming up with your own customized DEI plan.
It’s separated into the institutional and community level and covers recruitment and hiring, employee evaluation and promotion, pay, flexible work, care and health, accountability, and equity-fluent leadership.
9. SHRM’s DEI policy template
True diversity, equity, and inclusion comes from the inside out. The Society for Human Resource Management has a diversity, equity and inclusion policy template you can use as a starting point for your own. You’ll want to customize it to your culture, industry, and practices, and as with any policy you create, it should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable laws.
10. The Accessible Social Checklist
And finally, the Accessible Social Checklist by the free resource hub Accessible Social. The first page has a list of 23 boxes to check, such as:
- Suitable contrast in graphics to make sure the copy is legible.
- Flattened copy in alt text.
- Removing emojis from the middle of words.
- Putting multi-word hashtags in Camel Case.
And the second page has a full glossary of terms to know (like flattened copy and Camel Case).
Bookmark these diversity, equity & inclusion resources
While the explosion of DEI awareness is positive, it’s unfortunate that it has taken society so long—and events as tragic as those that occurred in 2020—for this to happen. Furthermore, greater awareness does not mean greater action. We’re still very much in a phase where we’re more aware of how much action needs to be taken. But you can do your part by using these resources to promote and practice diversity, equity, and inclusion in your business and marketing strategies:
- Allyens’ testimonials page
- LinkedIn’s Inclusive Language for Marketers Pocket Guide
- The Ethical Move
- Google’s Inclusive Marketing Toolkit
- iMPACT’s Inclusive Marketing Examples
- The Drum’s diversity column
- Berkeley’s DEI checklist
- SHRM’s DEI policy template
- The Accessible Social Checklist
You can also refer to our post on making your emails accessible if email marketing is a part of your strategy.
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