It’s a great time for a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion assessment of your business

It’s a great time for a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion assessment of your business

Happy Pride Month to the many LGBTQ2S+ members of our incredible industry!

What better month to do a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) assessment of your travel business? Independent Advisors may feel that as small business owners their choices can have limited impact, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Change starts with one person and each choice you make puts you and your business on the path to being more diverse, equal and inclusive to colleagues and clients.

What are some things to consider when assessing your business? Check out the following suggestions:

MARKETING

Is your marketing inclusive? Look at the images you are using. Do they all look similar, or do you have a wide representation of ethnicities, age ranges, body types, orientations etc.?

If you find all the images look the same make a conscious effort to remove that bias. There are a number of free creative commons photo sites that can help you with this such as Nappy and Pexels. Some of you may have accounts with paid stock sites, and many of these have now added tags and filters to make it easier to source more diverse representation.

Within our industry many of our travel supplier colleagues are now providing resources to help you as well. Case in point: Celebrity Cruises recently launched their All Inclusive Photo Project.

CLIENT FORMS

Take a moment to review the language you are using. Are the only options Mr./Mrs. or Male/Female? If so, look at revising them to be more inclusive offering a non-binary or gender-neutral option whether it is on fillable PDFs or a drop-down site on a website.

DUTY OF CARE SHEETS

Do you have duty of care sheets you can share with clients? For example, solo women travellers, LGBTQ2S+ or BIPOC travellers travelling to countries where their gender, race or orientation could put them at risk.

You can create a sheet of practical advice and tips to ensure they stay as safe as possible while travelling. The Canadian government offers some guidance which you could use as a starting point for advising your clients : LGBTQ2S+ Travel   /Women Travellers

LANGUAGE

Are you being as inclusive as possible in your social posts, website, blogs or email newsletters? Try to use neutral terms like client, traveller, you, they to ensure potential clients do not feel excluded.

ACCESSIBILITY

When choosing locations to meet in-person with clients, are you ensuring they are accessible to those that may have limited mobility? If you have a Twitter account and post images, are you using the ALT Text option for those with a vision impairment? When using hashtags, #MakeSureYouCapitalizeEachWord, as this helps clients that may use screen readers to accurately understand them. And when using emojis, remember that screen readers translate emojis literally: for example, 😂 would read as [face with tears of joy]. If you are using GIFs or memes, ensure you add a caption in the text. Finally, Outlook email has an accessibility checker that allows users to make their emails more accessible.

These are just a few things you can do as a small business owner to improve the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in your business.

Remember that this list is just a starting point, and you should review and reassess on a regular basis for where you can make improvements.

If we all make the commitment to do the work, we can continue to improve DEI efforts not only in your own personal business but in our industry as a whole.

Heather Baker