The world is undergoing a major transformation. With more and more people becoming “woke,” social awareness, understanding values, and stopping injustices happening around the world are important to be successful in modern business. And being equitable means doing the right thing with your own business. These issues can be hard to wrap your head around, especially in the abstract, so start with these four simple steps to put your business on a track to support inclusivity, diversity, and equity.
The first step in understanding equity in the world is understanding what it means to you and your business. Start by analyzing your own values and intentions: Why are you in business? What does your business stand for? Why do you have your particular product or service? The answers will reveal your values and how you can make the world better through your business. This may not be the ostensible “goal” of business, but it’s impossible to avoid the impact economics has on a local community. Understanding that can help you work towards making your business reflect those beliefs.
Make an equitable team
An equitable team is an important part of building an equitable business. This means that the team must be diverse in their backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. When it comes to making decisions, it’s important that everyone has a voice, and you need people with those voices if you’re going to consider them. With diversity on your team, you are able to see more perspectives and make better decisions for the company. Diversity is known to make better outcomes in almost every business sector, so it’s a win-win when everyone has equitable access.
Include those around you
You have to take a hard look at the people around you. If your company is only hiring people who are like you, then your company is not equitable. Look at your local community, the cultures within it, and the cultures of the clients you’re trying to reach. Practically, getting demographic information from a marketing agency can help you figure out who you’re reaching—and more importantly who you aren’t.
Be aware of the system
Once you set up an equitable team that has roots in the communities you come from and serve, you need to turn your attention to the world at large. You need to understand how the system, and the world it exists within, operate. Study different injustices that happen in your local community, be it racism, sexism, wealth disparity, poverty, food insecurity, or more. Take time to reflect back on your first step in becoming equitable and apply those values to fix the glaring issue in your community.
These four steps sound a little vague. They could mean many different things to different people, but the fundamental recognition of why your business exists and how it’s operating in the communities around you is extremely important. It’s what your business means outside of profit. It’s what your business will be remembered for when you leave. And most importantly it’s how equity is built, sustained, and fostered in the future.