5 Ways to Diversify the Start-Up Environment
Companies, especially a start-up, are capable of reaping a lot of rewards by embracing diversity in the workplace, but only if management goes about it in a certain way. There are shortcuts, but they should be avoided to ensure the highest quality workplace is achieved.
The Hiring Process
According to B Byrne, founder of Clef, a cyber security start-up, there are a few challenges to dealing with diversity in the workplace. No matter how good your intentions, how hard you work, you can constantly innovate your hiring process. Most companies believe diversity hiring is a social standard. Instead, you need to be focused on simply bringing in a candidate who can teach you as well as learn from you.
At your start-up, you want to include as many people as possible. A culture of inclusion promotes the sharing of diverse ideas from multiple sources. Each person on your team is diverse and has a set of skills unlike the rest. As an employer, it is your job to unlock those skills for the betterment of the business as a whole.
Most employers will simply hire the first candidate they feel fits the open position within the company. This is actually quite wrong. You want to hire someone who can genuinely make changes to the company, who have different perspectives on how to get something done. Different life experiences, for example, can lead to new challenges and opportunities for business.
Stand Against Discrimination
If you see or experience any type of discrimination within the office environment, stand up against it. Raise your voice to offer an unheard or unpopular opinion, help others achieve their strengths to the fullest, and collaborate with everyone – no exclusions – to perform higher quality work.
Change Your Focus
Paresh Patel, the founder of PayRange, a venture that changes how people conduct payments with various devices, including vending machines and parking meters, believes you should not hire for a diverse workforce. Instead, Patel believes you should simply hire varied people with varied experiences to create the diverse workplace you want. An inclusive atmosphere at the office will allow diversity to thrive and balloon.
Promoting a diverse work environment is easier than simply hiring diverse people. Everyone is diverse in some way, so promoting those differences and capitalizing upon them will create the type of atmosphere a start-up business is seeking in the long-run.
Chris Burch is a venture capitalist and founder of Burch Creative Capital.