How can you work with diversity inclusion without a dedicated employee?

David Julius King / November, 2017


David Julius King, Director of Diversity and Belonging, AirBnb gives examples of things you can do to increase diversity efforts even though you don’t have a dedicated employee in this area.

Video Transcript

How can you work with diversity inclusion without a dedicated employee?

I start off by saying that I think it is important to have a dedicated employee or team. Most organizations that eventually have a diversity space would’ve been much better off if they had that diversity space, that employee, that resource, that team, early on. It helps to mitigate issues that might happen down the line. As it relates to recruitment and retention there’s a greater chance that you’re going to have a diverse workforce from day one, instead of day ten thousand.

For those organizations that don’t have dedicated employees, I think it is really important for leadership to buy in. So to hear from the CEO that this is important. For the CEO and other leaders to say that this is important. For employees who find this to be an important space for them to be heard. For them to be part of the conversation. Employee research groups is a great thing that a lot of organizations have that not necessarily have a diversity lead. These are employees working in the organization who can serve as a diversity resource even though it’s not their full-time job. In that particular case, there must be buy-in from managers and leadership that you can spend extra time during the week to do a recruitment event, to have a safe space conversation etc.

Once again I think it’s important to have a dedicated space, but if you don’t, you have to have leadership from the top who talks about diversity, who supports diversity. Whether it is the C-suite or managers, you name it, without that it’s really tough to move the needle so to speak, and to move the conversation. Every organization is different, that space could be talent partner making themselves open and accessible to employees to discuss issues like this. That space could be physically or be the tool that the legal office might hold.

The tool where you can go and have a conversation or the tool where you can go and report discrimination that we talked about earlier. Ideally, it’s a space that you curate. So having fireside chats and making sure those fireside chats bring diverse people into the organization. Having a slack channel where people can come together and talk about issues with employees who might be part of the organization but across the world in a different office. Creating digital spaces, physical spaces making sure people whose job it is to listen to what employees have to say have the diversity lens in those conversations too. When I say space I mean everything.



  • David Julius King, Airbnb
  • November, 2017
  • 2:37
  • Team

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