What Role Does HR Play in Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Workforce?

More companies are adopting DEI initiatives with research. Thus, it indicates the significance of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the workplace. This contributes to a better work environment and business revenues. The consensus is that diversity initiatives are led by the CEO or senior management to be successful. Senior management should be on board with strategies that promote diversity and inclusion. However, the role of HR cannot be downplayed. That is, they are vital to the day-to-day monitoring and implementation essential for success.

So, what is the exact role of HR in creating a more diverse and inclusive environment for employees? The senior management needs to lead the initiatives. Additionally, the role of HR extends to fostering changes in the organization’s culture. This creates the ideal environment for a diverse workforce to do well.

Where can HR impact in creating a More Inclusive and Diverse Workforce?

Recruitment and selection

One of the biggest pieces to increasing diversity across the organization is recruiting people from diverse groups. It’s an area where biases can cloud judgment This starts from the process of sourcing candidates to interviewing them. HR’s role does not end with sourcing candidates from underrepresented categories. They also monitor the hiring process from end to end. Additionally, they train hiring managers on unconscious bias to ensure they follow a standardized interview process. Finally, they evaluate the hiring statistics. They rule out the possibility of some managers hiring fewer diverse candidates.

Performance management

Managers need to be aware of unconscious bias. Furthermore, they are trained to evaluate the performance of their team members without biases creeping in.. HR’s role should not be restricted to imparting unconscious bias training. After all, this ensures managers follow an unbiased approach to performance rating. They should also evaluate the review process. Hence, this identifies whether some managers consistently rate diverse employees lower than non-diverse ones.

Compensation and rewards

Although compensation is linked to performance, it’s the role of HR to look out for pay inequities. This is due to gender and race compared to non-diverse employees in the same role and with equal performance ratings. Ensure the performance metrics are clearly defined. This removes the possibilities of inequities due to unconscious bias.

Training and development

Diverse hiring should move beyond entry-level roles to all levels of the organization, including leadership roles. Unless employees from diverse groups are given an equal opportunity to grow, they are unlikely to move up the ladder. Therefore, HR should ensure that managers work with every employee. As such, they make out a plan for their growth and development. They regularly assess the plans to correct any unconscious bias or inequities. The assessment compares members not only within a team but also with other teams in the organization. Moreover, this ensures every diverse employee optimizes their growth potential. As a result, they take on a leadership role in the future.

Succession planning

One of the critical tasks of HR in DEI initiatives is to ensure proper talent management. These people facilitate the representation of employees from diverse groups in the candidate pipeline. This is specifically for senior or managerial roles within the organization.Sometimes there is a scarcity of candidates from a specific underrepresented group. HR must source suitable candidates from external sources. It reflects a diverse candidate pool.

HR communication

All online or offline communication from HR needs to account for a diverse and inclusive workforce. As a result, it ensures a fair representation of employees across genders and underrepresented groups. Thus, the same should extend across images and policies or guidelines to ensure a fair and equitable work environment.

Employee feedback

The best way to assess the status of DEI initiatives is through employee surveys and feedback. Engage with diverse employees to listen to their experiences and eliminate unfair advantages caused by bias. It can help create an inclusive and equitable workplace.

DEI initiatives need a leader from the senior management to be the face of the organization’s efforts in the area. However, the HR team is pivotal to monitoring and implementing them to prevent unconscious bias. HR ensures that every employee is given the best opportunity to develop themselves. Only this will result in an environment where employees feel valued. As a result, this contributes to the organizations’ growth.

Recommended Podcast

Episode 62 : What happens after Recruitment?

Recommended Reading

HR Morning : Decoding DEI: HR’s practical guide to understanding DEIB, EID and more


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