Diversity for your web team can lead to great results. While it is not a formula for success, diversity can lead to diversity in thought. Diverse thought can lead to better solutions and faster innovation. I am not saying that success is dependent upon diversity. Yet it can increase your odds. If this is so great, how can you do it more easily? That is exactly what I will discuss in this article.
Where are you recruiting volunteers and assistants? The environments you recruit from may restrict who you reach. This means venturing into the nursery to recruit more women. It also means talking with your urban ministries to reach more minorities. If you want more young volunteers, you will need to connect with your youth ministries. Whatever demographic you are seeking, find the ministries they frequent.
Perhaps it is my time in the military, but I cringe when I hear announcers refer to everyone as "guys". I know many do not feel offended by the use of this word. However if you want women to feel more included, stop referring to everyone as men. Also, the terminology you use can easily alienate people. Using language that is laden with technology terms and acronyms can make an older volunteer feel left out. Watch what you say as well as how you say it. Your audience you connect with may not be the one you want on your team.
Do you want to attract a more diverse crowd to your web team? Stop using images that feature only one demographic. If photos on your website have only one ethnic group, then do not be surprised when you only attract that group. When you are out recruiting at those other ministries, snap some photos. Not only will you have an opportunity to recruit, you will get new content for your site.
The aim of diversifying your team was to increase the backgrounds and mindsets. When your team is brainstorming, help everyone have a voice. Purposefully ask those quieter members for their ideas. They may feel that because they are different their ideas will be shot down. They might worry that their accent or way they express themselves will not be well received. Take some tips from my article on Dealing With HIPPOs. These should help everyone feel like they have a voice.
Please see that this is not a politically charged article on affirmative action. Nor do I believe that simply because someone is different than us that they must think differently. However I do believe that our brains are shaped by our worlds. This is why you should create a diversity of cultures, generations, and sexes on your web team. Please use one or all the ideas mentioned above. Then watch your teams create new and exciting solutions for your church's digital problems.
This article was partly inspired by the ChurchMag podcast "What About Women in Church Tech?"
Photo courtesy of B.S.K.