Creating an inclusive setting within the purview of your business may seem like a daunting task, but study after study has proven that committing to an inclusive and diverse environment can benefit both employee and employer. The impact of this commitment can bring about varied experiences and perspectives that enable and promote problem-solving, creativity, and open dialogue. In allowing employees to witness that not every task needs to be approached and completed the same way each time, they are liberated from the potential banality, or dangers, of groupthink. With proper attention paid to key content components, organizations are paving the way for a more dynamic and effective staff making employee partnerships more fruitful than ever.
1. Accessible Web Design
Inclusive writing is likely to lose impact if your website design prevents employees from reading it. Making sure screen readers can interact with pages for the vision impaired, captions are added to video for the hearing impaired, assistive technology like keyboard navigation is utilized for the physically impaired, and accounting for excessive motion in your design elements and color contrasts are all great starting points. With many tools available online to test these attributes, you may end up improving your content while inviting diversity to your business.
2. Accessible Writing and Formatting
Formatting content is another avenue for inclusive content. Skimmable articles for those with dyslexia, ADHD, or learning disabilities are not only a highly recommended reading comprehension technique, but also good for search engine optimization (SEO). Clear headers, block quotes, and bulleted lists all help break up large chunks of text making it easier to skim.
3. Inclusive Language
When producing content and staying focused on inclusivity, it’s helpful to avoid gendered language. Neutral, alternative terms such as businessperson, human beings, people, and councilperson help you avoid word choices that may be interpreted as biased, discriminatory, or demeaning by implying that one gender is the norm.
4. Negative Connotations
Many people find themselves using phrases that seem innocuous but in actuality, stem from harmful beliefs, are hurtful, or exclusionary. Phrases such as “that’s crazy”, “blindspot”, “blacklist/whitelist”, and “listen in” rely on discriminatory metaphors that can purposefully exclude others. Using phrases such as “unheard of” versus “crazy”, “explore” instead of “see” and “block/permit” instead of “blacklist/whitelist” ensure content is reaching every kind of person.
5. Diverse Imagery
Inclusivity means helping people feel like they belong anywhere they want to be, not just where someone believes they should be. The situations people are in, the jobs they do, and activities they’re involved in all help people see themselves represented in images. Representation has the power to make others feel seen as well as empowered.
Diversity and inclusion force us to question our values and beliefs and can free us from the pressure to conform to one way of life. Through inclusive content, we open the door to innovation and creativity by inviting all those who share our passions to drive organizational performance. This invitation has the potential to improve the quality of internal communication and collaboration across units and individuals.
About the Author:
Margaret Lill is an innovative content creator based out of Cleveland, Ohio. With six years of B2B marketing and content creation experience, she aspires to inform and educate through the written word. Click here to contact Margaret.