When it comes to diversity and inclusion (D&I), I often find people fervently arguing in support of creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace … and then losing steam on the doing part. It can be difficult to know how to drive the movement forward, especially if D&I isn’t part of your job description.

After struggling with this myself, I started this list as a way of brainstorming every single discrete action I could think of to move the needle on D&I. You know, stuff that anybody in any organization can actually do. Because after all, D&I is everyone’s responsibility, and collective effort is needed to really make an impact.

So without further ado, here are 53 little things that you can do to improve D&I at your company, regardless of where you work or what you do. They’re sorted by the time commitment involved, from under an hour to ongoing over months or years.

<1 hour:

1. Listen to people who are not like you.

2. Put your preferred pronouns in your email signature.

3. Bring up D&I with your manager. Ask “What are we doing on our team?”

4. Give feedback on your company’s D&I efforts.

5. Advertise D&I initiative events on social. Show people that this is something you care about -- it can make a big difference in the hiring process.

6. Check and understand your privilege by taking this test.

7. Say “I value your perspective” to people who bring a different opinion or viewpoint.

8. Prompt remote meeting participants for questions or thoughts.

9. When you have a minute with leadership, ask about what we’re doing programmatically to improve D&I.

10. Demonstrate that you care about someone. Not sure how to do that? Saying “I care about you” never hurts.

11. Take this test to understand your implicit bias.

12. Prompt someone who’s reticent to share their thoughts. Managers, ask how people who are not being heard how they’d prefer to contribute (written, verbal, etc.), and what barriers stand in their way.

13. Ask your peers in another office what is happening in their office/country.

14. Create an anonymous survey for your team, and ask how they would rate D&I on the team and give suggestions of where and how to improve.

15. If you’re not sure how to pronounce someone’s name, ask, and then be sure to pronounce it correctly going forward.

16. Have an answer when a job candidate or someone else asks “What is your company doing to improve D&I?”

17. Have an answer when a candidate or someone else asks “Why do you care about D&I?”

18. Spend some time on LinkedIn sourcing diverse candidates and adding them to your company’s applicant tracking system.

19. Call out bad behavior when you see it.

20. If someone gives you constructive feedback related to D&I, resist the urge to get defensive. Instead, listen, thank them for their feedback, own up to the impact of your actions, and commit to improve.

21. Share your experience.

22. Check language that makes someone feel “other.”

23. Watch this video to learn more about inclusion.

24. Run job descriptions and other candidate-facing copy through Textio to flag biased language (create a free account here).

25. Share articles on social issues and prompt a conversation.

26. Proactively ask for constructive feedback: “Am I doing anything to hinder inclusion on this team, and if so, what?”

27. When in doubt, have a conversation. Say something instead of nothing.

28. Don’t interrupt in meetings.

29. Advocate for others.

30. Use Shine Theory.

31. Ask your coworkers how their day is going and genuinely listen.

32. Add another suggestion to this list!


~1-5 hours:

33. Network and keep tabs on standout people. Connect on LinkedIn, check in from time to time, and keep them warm for recruiting down the line.

34. Go to affinity group events -- both internal and external. Share your learnings with your colleagues.

35. Watch Google’s Unconscious Bias training video.

36. Interview based on competencies and potential vs. strictly past experience.

37. Actively diversify your sources of information and media.

38. Offer workshops, training programs, or mentoring so that people who don’t have the skills your team requires today can get them.

39. Include D&I in your self-review.

40. If there’s not an ERG (Employee Resource Group) for a certain affinity group, start one.

41. Make your team events inclusive of different lifestyles.

42. If you’re responsible for externally-facing collateral, be mindful of pictures, pronouns, and accessibility.

43. Make your interview panel diverse.

44. Explore blind interviewing exercises for your team.

45. When you’re networking with other folks in a similar role to yours externally, ask “What are you doing to improve D&I at your company, and what tips can you share of what’s been effective?”

46. Support your company’s ERGs through attending, volunteering at events, suggesting speakers, etc.


Longer-term / Ongoing:

47. Make an effort to sit with different groups at company outings, or take someone you don’t know to out coffee. Be mindful of default gravitating to the people you know or are the most comfortable with.

48. Make a choice to actively support D&I efforts at your company. D&I it doesn’t just happen; it requires a commitment.

49. Volunteer with organizations that support underrepresented populations in building workforce skills.

50. Think about the people you naturally distance yourself from. Consciously move toward them instead.

51. Mentor someone (inside or outside of HubSpot).

52. Accept that you may not have all of the answers, and that’s okay.


I’d love to make this list longer. If you’re doing something at your company that’s not listed here, please comment below or tweet us @hubspot.

Special thanks to Winston Tuggle, Melissa Obleada, People Of Color at HubSpot (POCaH), and Katie Burke for their ideas and help with this post.


Originally published Jun 25, 2018 9:00:00 AM, updated January 19 2023