DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) is about actively supporting and promoting people from diverse backgrounds, especially those who may have traditionally been excluded. It’s important that your website reflects your commitment to DEI – not only does it show that you care about people from all walks of life, but it helps members of those historically excluded groups to feel valued and seen. Here are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that DEI is a part of all you do online.

First though it’s vital that any DEI efforts must be genuine and made in good faith, not just an attempt to avoid the negative impact of being criticised for a lack of diversity. This means that it needs to become central to your organisation’s DNA – from your hiring practices to the way you serve your constituents and everything in between. If you try to promote DEI online but don’t apply the same principles elsewhere, people will notice and it will do potentially irreparable harm to your reputation.

Show Diversity Through Images

The photos you use on your website and social media should demonstrate a range of abilities, ages, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. Again this has to be genuine – if your organisation only works with retirees in South America there’s no point in having a photo of a group of African children! But no matter your focus there are sure to be plenty of ways you can showcase people who may not fit the usual stereotype – you shouldn’t need to look any further than your staff, your volunteers and your supporters.

Use Inclusive Language

It’s important to ensure that the words you use in all your communications are chosen carefully to avoid giving offence, even accidentally. Language is constantly evolving, and you need to ensure that you are keeping up to date with those changes as certain terms that were common or acceptable in the past may no longer be considered appropriate.

You should also showcase a variety of voices – for example if you’re including quotes from supporters or staff, ensure that you provide that opportunity to a range of people from different backgrounds.

When you have the opportunity, try to actively combat stereotypes. If you’re talking about an individual from a traditionally male-dominated industry try to select a female example. Conversely if it’s a stay-at-home parent let it be a father. This doesn’t only apply to hypothetical examples either – it means also intentionally seeking out different people when organising things like interviews or photo opportunities.

Demonstrate Your Commitment to DEI

Show how important DEI is to your organisation by specifically addressing it through a dedicated page on your website explaining how it affects your decision-making at every level. Another simple way of showing that it has a real impact on your day-to-day decisions is to showcase the diversity in your team with photos and bios.

How does your organisation work to promote DEI?

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