As the voice of the business community, a convener, and information hub for our members; the Yountville Chamber recognizes we must be a leader and intentional about seeking the input and engagement of diverse groups.  We are working to create a welcoming environment for all people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age or ability.

We have partnered with Tauri Laws-Phillips to create a series of guest blogs addressing topics in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion

Tauri is an Austin based mother, comedienne and brand marketer. With over 10 years as an improviser and corporate facilitator, she practices the basic tenets of improv throughout her professional career with building cohesive teams, innovative ideation and precision execution. She has developed diversity and inclusion training for companies in multiple verticals with a focus on unconscious bias. Tauri is currently a mentor for SKU Brand Accelerator and contractor building several small brands, formerly the Vice President of Marketing for American English Haircare and has worked to build and market brands for Unilever and Southwest Media Group.


You know that diversity is good. You want your business to be more diverse. Here are a few ways you can do that in easily achievable ways without increasing budgets.

There are more ways to encourage diversity beyond hiring practices. Yes, hiring is an important component. In an economic environment that may not be growing rapidly, there are other ways to be more diverse and create a more welcoming and inclusive environment to attract and retain diverse talent.

  1. Expand your definition of diversity. It exists within many dimensions, diversity is gender, race, sexuality, age, religion, ethnicity, mental and physical abilities, and socio-economic status.


  2. Create specific policies that support creating an inclusive environment. Your business has policies that relate to time off, harassment, holidays, possibly even uniforms. Create zero-tolerance policies around discrimination. Include policies that are tolerant of people of diverse backgrounds and multiple diversity dimensions. Revise policies to be inclusive of all genders and backgrounds. For example, if your policies address appropriate hair styles, be thoughtful of language that includes natural hairstyles that do not require a person from changing their hair from its natural state or removing religious coverings.

3. Allow floating paid leave to cover holidays for those who celebrate religious or cultural observances other than traditionally recognized Christian and American holidays. In addition, allow the policy of request to include those who do not subscribe to a religion by not requiring justification of the holiday or of religious affiliation.

 4. Celebrate Awareness Months. Yes! There are other months in addition to Black History Month (It’s in February). In fact September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. There is time left to do more than hang a banner in the breakroom. This is a perfect time to highlight art, books and cultural events and charities that work with the Hispanic community in your area. There is also Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month in April, LGBTQIA Pride Month is June and National American Indian Heritage Month is November.

5. Use inclusive language. We get it, you think you are using inclusive language. You aced English class in college. Well, it’s time to remove specific pronouns from communications and use them and they. If you have a large number of bilingual employees, I strongly urge you to consider translating company-wide communications. Google Translate is available to us all, use it! Then have someone edit. This allows all employees to easily understand corporate communications including emails.

6. When creating your company goals, include specific achievable goals related to diversity and equality. If you are recruiting, include these goals with recruiters. Realize that diversity can exist within your business’ vendors, partners, customers and employees have goals to support all.

The good news is that you are aware of the need to increase diversity. Now you are armed with low to no cost ways to increase diversity at your business. Increasing diversity and equality in the workplace will increase your employee retention and make the workplace better for everyone.