This is the fourth 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.
Today, let’s talk about what inclusive images are, why it’s important to incorporate them throughout your website, how it impacts job seekers, and 3 tips for using inclusive imagery to foster a sense of belonging within your company.
What is inclusive imagery?
Inclusive imagery is the use of images that accurately portray your company culture and brand, while also reflecting the diverse world around us.
Featuring images that include people of different genders, abilities, age groups, body types, religions, and cultures on your website helps promote inclusivity and diversity.
But you shouldn’t include diverse imagery just for the sake of promoting diversity. They should be accurate reflections of your company and, whenever possible, real photos of your team!
Why use inclusive imagery?
A picture is worth a thousand words.
So, it’s important that your images are chosen wisely!
When someone visits your company’s homepage, what images do they see? Usually, these images generate a lasting first impression for visitors of your company’s culture and brand. Images are a visual representation of your organization’s self-perception, and they impact how others perceive your organization. In other words, they speak volumes!
This is why you’ll want to be conscientious of the images you choose. Using photos that are accurate and inclusive is key to fostering an inclusive company culture. When this type of imagery is used on your website, it encourages an overall sense of belonging to your company that your team internalizes.
Inclusive imagery also motivates job seekers
Inclusive imagery is also welcoming to those looking to join your company. When job seekers see people like themselves reflected in the images used on your website, it’s a big green flag. Showcasing the real, diverse people on your team encourages job seekers to become involved with what it is you do!
In short, using inclusive imagery on your website can boost hiring and retention levels and help job seekers understand if your company is right for them.
3 tips for using inclusive imagery on your website
Using images without intention on your website can hinder your DEI efforts, even if you don’t mean to. Let’s change that! Here are 3 tips to consider when incorporating imagery on your website so that it is inclusive, intentional, and an accurate portrayal of what you stand for as a company:
Use images of REAL people. (And, if possible, of your team!)
People connect with people. We want to see ourselves represented in books, movies, and photos. Use images with real people! Plus, through using photos of your team on your website, you effectively open a window to what your company is really like. This ultimately influences how much your company resonates with your audience.
Avoid tokenizing individuals, depicting stereotypes, or inaccurate associations.
When portraying marginalized groups on your website, avoid doing this in a way that tokenizes them by using their images to appear “diverse”. Individuals from these groups will feel alienated as a result.
Consider the demographic reality.
People are uniquely different – that’s what makes us all special. Imagery of people from all walks of life helps foster a sense of authenticity. When people see themselves reflected in the images they see, it’s empowering! Ensure that the images used on your website are realistically diverse and inclusive of many different people, not just a depiction of one or two.
A friendly reminder: inclusive imagery on its own is not enough. Your commitment to DEI in the workplace should extend beyond updating the images used on your website. With that being said, it is a great step in the right direction for fostering an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace for everyone!
If you are unsure of your next steps, reach out to our team of HR experts – we’re here to help!