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DEI Blog Series: Creating a Safe Space for DEI Conversation

This is the eighth of 10 installations of Envol’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Series!   

Our goal is to support organization leaders in taking real action to advance DEI within their teams, throughout their business, and in their communities.  

Creating a safe space for conversation in the workplace is essential to advancing DEI. Today, let’s talk about the benefits of having a DEI communication channel and how you can create one to foster healthy conversations in your workplace! 


Benefits of having a DEI communication channel

A communication channel dedicated to encouraging DEI conversation is a great resource for any team. It enables discussion among your employees on important DEI topics including current issues in the industry and in the world.  

Here are 5 of the many benefits that a DEI channel can have:  

  1. Provides a safe space to share thoughts and feelings. Everyone processes things a little differently, and some DEI topics can be sensitive. A channel dedicated to discussing these topics ensures a safe space for employees to support each other and ask questions. 
  2. An opportunity to learn about various DEI topics. With a safe space to talk about DEI, your team can learn so much! Everyone has different perspectives, so there’s endless value in sharing ideas and experiences that others can learn from. 
  3. Sharing DEI resources and news. A DEI channel is a great place to share resources with the rest of your team, stay on top of related news, and advance the conversation.  
  4. Builds trust and understanding among employees and creates a sense of connectedness. When people come together to support each other and share their perspectives and experiences related to DEI, it helps develop understanding and instills a sense of connectedness.  
  5. Helps to communicate and advance your company’s DEI goals. A DEI channel can also function as a place where you can share your company’s DEI goals and commitments and gather input from team on how you can work together to achieve these goals. #TeamWorkMakesTheDreamWork 


Creating a DEI channel for your workplace  

Want to create your own DEI channel? It’s easy! Depending on which internal communications software your team uses, the process may vary slightly. Here are a couple of options: 

  • Slack 
    1. From your sidebar, click the plus icon next to Channels and select Create a channel. 
    2. Give the channel a name. 
    3. Add a description, choose a channel type (public or private), or check the box to share the channel outside of your company. 
      • Public channels: any member of your workspace (but not guests) can view and join a public channel, giving everyone access to the same shared information. We recommend making your DEI channel public, so that it is inclusive of and accessible to all members of your workspace. 
      • Private channels: for conversations that should not be open to all members; people must be added to a private channel by someone who’s already a member of the channel. 
    4. Click Create and add people to the channel. 
  • Microsoft Teams
    1. Start in the team list. 
    2. Find the team name, and then select “More options” (…), then “Add channel”.  
    3. You can also choose “Manage team”, and then add a channel in the “Channels” tab.  

Pro tip: “Pin” your DEI priorities and commitments to the channel. This ensures that everyone is held accountable for actively working towards these goals and ensuring your company’s commitments are lived up to. You can pin messages in Slack or Microsoft Teams channels, or set it as the channel description! 

Not sure about your next steps? Reach out to our team of HR experts – we’re here to help! 

Check out the other articles in our DEI Blog Series here!