Diversity and inclusion

6 best diversity activities for the workplace

Here are 6 activities you can try in your workplace today that will support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Meryl D’Sa-Wilson

Published on 

December 2, 2022

Updated on 

Time to Read

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For a long time, diversity and inclusion in the workplace seemed like a challenging project to tackle. Diversity training was deemed “boring” and “exclusionary” to people who did not fit the bill. But with growing awareness and willingness for change, more and more companies are opting for diversity and inclusion to make their workplace a better and safe place.

When employees see that their organization is supportive of workplace diversity, they report better business performance, affiliation, and collaboration. But how do you let your employees know you care about diversity and inclusion? You need a variety of diversity activities for the workplace that promote inclusion

What is the goal behind diversity activities?

Diversity activities for the workplace are team exercises and initiatives which help build a culture that values inclusion. Such activities are designed to foster an environment of acceptance and belonging for every employee.

Diversity activities set examples for how inclusion can be achieved and diversity be celebrated. 

In other words, these activities create and promote DEI training, practices, resources, programs, and support, keeping in mind employees belonging to different genders, cultures, ethnic groups, disabilities, and stages of life (parents, caregivers, and people returning to work). And by doing so, they bring experienced employees with diverse backgrounds to your organization.

But in order to attract diverse talent, you need to understand what’s important to them. And that can help you identify the goals of diversity activities for your workplace – for example:

  • Career growth 
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Flexibility (remote work, flex hours, work autonomy)
  • Competitive pay
  • Employer supportiveness
  • Full-time opportunities (especially for contingent workers) 

Do you need diversity activities at work? 

Hiring employees from diverse backgrounds not only gives your organization a chance to benefit from varied perspectives and experiences but also ensures it supports marginalized communities.

But do you need diversity activities to attract diverse talent? The short answer is yes. 

Here are some key benefits of having diversity activities at work:

  • More engaging than training
  • Encourages sharing of experiences and perspectives
  • Increases employee happiness and satisfaction
  • Leads to more collaboration and work output 
  • Builds a sense of workplace community and team culture
  • Opens up dialogue surrounding diversity-related issues employees face in the workplace.

The 6 most engaging diversity activities for your workplace

With growing DEI awareness and technological advancements, your diversity activities can reach more employees. 

You can now use software and online platforms to run your activities, host seminars and training, run diversity mentoring programs, and so on. Or, you can get together in person to play DEI-inspired icebreakers or games and host potlucks inspired by different cultures and heritage.

As you plan out these activities, keep your diversity and inclusion goals in mind. And note that it is important to involve management from the beginning so you can actualize these goals.

Let’s look at 6 engaging diversity activities for the workplace:

1. Mentoring within ERGs


Employee resource groups (ERGs) are a great place to bring together employees who share an affinity. Most organizations have ERGs for women, employees with disabilities, BIPOC employees, LGBTQ+ employees, and so on. You can organize mentorship programs within these groups so employees can benefit from their community and achieve their career goals.  

As part of such mentorship, mentors can better understand your diverse talent and what is significant to their growth and happiness.

Number of participants

Everyone involved within the ERG can participate as mentors and mentees.

In person or virtual?

Both – in person through traditional mentoring practices and virtually through mentoring software.


  1. Plan how to run the mentorship program (in person or online).
  2. Use mentoring software to register participants and match mentees with mentors.
  3. Provide templates for agendas, goals, and activities participants can use.
  4. Gather feedback and improve the program.

2. Set up a Diversity Committee


One of the best ways to actualize DEI goals is to have a dedicated committee focused on them. Set up a DEI committee that can identify key goals for your organization and work towards achieving them. Here are some examples of diversity and inclusion activities for the committee:

  • Setting up DEI goals
  • Organizing events, training, and seminar
  • Discussing unconscious bias
  • Providing support to employees who feel alienated

Number of participants

4-6 employees

In person or virtual?

Both – depending on whether your employees work remotely, in person, or hybrid.


  1. Be clear about the purpose and goals of such a committee.
  2. Identify key skills and knowledge required by members to achieve goals.
  3. Establish shared language, keywords, and concepts. 
  4. Invite people to participate.
  5. Involve management and get buy-in.
  6. Guide them towards helpful resources and support.

3. Build a calendar surrounding DEI


Celebrate key days around the year with a calendar that focuses and celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity calendars often include black history month, women’s history month, pride month, equal pay day, world mental health day, and so on.

Number of participants

Everyone across the organization can participate.

In person or virtual?

Both – since this is spread across the year, you can hold multiple events and activities in person and virtually to celebrate these days.


  1. Create a calendar and highlight DEI days.
  2. Plan out small activities and events (such as seminars, wellness activities, etc.) to celebrate these days.
  3. Decide which activities will be done in person and online.
  4. Share with everyone in the workplace.
  5. Promote and celebrate.

4. Offer flex hours and shorter days


Help employees achieve work-life balance by offering flexible hours and shorter days. There can be many reasons why employees need to work around regular, traditional 9-5 office hours. For example: 

  • Parents may need to pick their kids up earlier on certain days,
  • Caregivers may need to take their relatives to the doctor, 
  • Employees may need time off to celebrate regional holidays, and so on.

So, your organization can offer flex hours where employees work fewer hours on certain days and make up for it on other days. Or, they take a few hours off in the middle of the day and work later in the day to make up.

To get buy-in from leadership, you will need to find an easy way to track these hours and productivity. It may be worth investing in HR management software to track time off, flex hours, and more.

Number of participants

Everyone in the workplace can participate.

In person or virtual?

Both – depending on whether your employees work remotely, in person, or hybrid.


  1. Get buy-in from leadership.
  2. Explain how the program will work and how leadership can track flex time requests and productivity.
  3. Run the program, gather feedback, and improve.

5. Support DEI brands


Another popular and easy diversity and inclusion activity is supporting DEI brands. You can offer employees gift cards or swag from minority-owned businesses. This helps bring awareness to such brands and also supports the brand’s growth. You can take this a step further and even ask for suggestions and recommendations from your employees. This way, you support a brand they care about.

Number of participants

Everyone in the workplace can participate.

In person or virtual?

Both – you can send gifts to employees virtually or pass them around in the office.


  1. Get buy-in and budget from management.
  2. Identify which brands you want to support.
  3. Ask employees for recommendations and their favorites.
  4. Decide how often your organization wants to do this (once or twice a year).
  5. Go gift shopping!

6. Improve discrimination and harassment complaints systems


Another way to ensure inclusion and avoid alienation is by bettering your organization’s complaints systems. 

According to research, employees who complain of harassment have worse careers and health (mental and physical) as opposed to those who experience similar harassment but do not complain. 

To make your organization a better place to work, you need to recognize harassment and find better ways to resolve these issues. 

Some ways to improve your complaints system include:

  • Introducing new complaints guidelines within HR
  • Forming an ombuds office – an independent party, outside the chain of command, who confidentially listen to the victim’s story and confidential advice
  • Create an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) that provides confidential support and resources for free.

Number of participants

4-6 employees depending on how you decide to build the system/committee.

In person or virtual?

Both – depending on the new complaints system, employees can reach out to the committee in person or virtually.


  1. Identify issues with the current complaints system.
  2. Research alternatives to improve the system.
  3. Set up a committee, independent party, or plan.
  4. Make employees aware of resources available in case of harassment. 

Other ways to support diversity and inclusion at work

These diversity activities aside, there are many other ways to increase and support diversity and inclusion in the workplace:

  • Survey employees anonymously to understand how they feel about the company’s DEI efforts.
  • Review hiring and recruitment practices and update them
  • Encourage management to establish core values by listening and responding to their employees.
  • Introduce leaders and high-potential employees with diverse talents for sponsorship opportunities.
  • Host open conversations about inequality and discrimination in the workplace
  • Welcome and gather feedback and improve existing practices.
  • Run mentorship programs to help employees from minority backgrounds to further their career development.

Together can help you actualize your diversity and inclusion goals by providing a safe space for mentorships and training. Our online software helps you easily register interested participants, track mentorship progress, and collect feedback. To learn more, book a demo today!

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