The importance of diversity in business is understated in many cases. However, for a company to experience its true potential, it must be willing to take advantage of the benefits that a diverse workforce offers. Engaging different audiences, for example, is a much easier task with a diverse workforce from whom the company can draw experiences and background information.

Executives and agencies can help seed this diversity within their workforce by progressive hiring practices and the implementation of specific processes in everyday operations. Below, 15 members of forbes agency council offer insight into how agencies and executives alike can incorporate these practices into their work to encourage increased diversity within their industry.

Members explain how to shift your work and hiring practices to better promote diversity.
Members explain how to shift your work and hiring practices to better promote diversity.

Photos courtesy of the individual members

Don’t fake it from the outside

The first (and most important) rule in reaching out to and engaging with diverse audiences is to make sure that members of the audience are a part of your team. You can’t fake it from the outside. No research will tell you how another phone list demographic will receive a message. Make sure that you include diverse members of your own team to vet any diversity message or hiring practice. – a. Lee judge, content monsta

It all starts with knowing your audience. You need to understand not only what they want from you, but also the things they like and, more importantly, what they don’t like. Everything, from the content on your website to the ad campaigns you create, should be with your audience in mind. Diversity is about making sure no one is left out, and the last thing you want to do is leave out your audience. – jason hall, fivechannels marketing.

Implement processes to fight unconscious bias

Everyone has unconscious biases, but failing to address these creates a cycle in which companies continue to hire those that act, think IG Users and look similar to themselves. Promote diversity by implementing internship and mentoring programs that target non-traditional candidates as a way to invest in training for critical skills and build a pipeline of more diverse talent. – theresa schieber,givewith

Seek those with different life experiences

We focus on “results-first” in everything we do for our clients. One of the things that helps fuel this results-first mantra is diversity. This can translate to diverse lifestyles, expressions, opinions and beyond, so we seek out those with different life experiences and points of view who can help fuel creativity. Our no-dress code and open-door policies encourage this creativity every day.