Inclusion Toolkit

Inclusion Toolkit color logo

If you're in search of resources that can help develop or improve your business's diversity and inclusion practices, you've come to the right place. The Inclusion Toolkit is an inclusion best practices library. You will find the diversity and inclusion policies and other management tools used by Cedar Valley businesses.

Please view the materials provided in the toolkit and use them as a source of education and inspiration. Check back often, as materials will be updated regularly.

If you have any questions, would like to provide feedback, or are willing to contribute to the Inclusion Toolkit, please contact Lisa Skubal at

Look for new content highlighted in orange. (Last updated April 2018.)

             Coaching and Mentoring

Part One: Business Case for Inclusion

To truly create inclusive practices for your businesses, you must first understand the business case for inclusion. In this section, you will discover resources that outline and explain the benefits of inclusion as well as local demographic information and a case study. The resources here can be used as a roadmap for your business inclusion journey.

Brookings Institution, February 2018
The annual Metro Monitor measures communities’ progress on inclusive economic growth and prosperity. The Inclusive Growth Index measures performance in three broad categories amongst 100 largest metro areas in the United States: Growth, Prosperity and Inclusion. 
New March 2018 [PDF] Metro Monitor 2018 (executive summary) Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, February 2018
New March 2018 [PDFMetro Monitor 2018 (full report) Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, February 2018
Jeff Bezos' site selection process for Amazon’s second headquarter location should consider whether Amazon will constribute to and accelarate the finalist city's inclusivity in the workplace, according to Brookings' Andre M. Perry and Martha Ross. To maximize talent in the changing U.S. workforce, this should be the model for other growing companies that receive tax breaks, the authors say.
New March 2018 [LinkHere’s what happens when inclusion is factored into Amazon’s list of 20 HQ2 city finalists, by Andre M. Perry and Martha Ross, Brookings (blog), January 18, 2018
The Global Centre for Global Inclusion, 2017
The benchmarks in Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks (GDIB) are designed to be usable by organizations of all sizes. The document can be used to establish development standards on the desired state of diversity and inclusion within your organization. Older versions of GDIB have been used by Cedar Valley organizations to develop diversity and inclusion standards and measure results. 
Don't be intimidated by the length of this document. The 80-page GDIB includes clearly marked sections on Recruitment, Retention, Development, and Advancement; Diversity and Inclusion Communications; Job Design, Classification, and Compensation; Diversity and Inclusion Learning and Education; Marketing and Customer Service; and much more. The GDIB helps organizations:
  • realize the depth, breadth, and integrated scope of Diversity and Inclusion practices;
  • assess the current state of diversity and inclusion;
  • determine strategy, and;
  • measure progress in managing diversity and fostering inclusion.

[PDF] Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World, Julie O'Mara and Alan Richter, Ph.D. (Shared with permission)

Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, 2016

How diverse is the Cedar Valley workforce? This plan developed by the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance is an overview of the Cedar Valley of Iowa workforce landscape.

[PDFThe Workforce Landscape: Workforce Guidance Plan 2016

Johnathan M. Holifield, 2016

This CEOs for Cities article by Johnathan M. Holifield, co-founder of ScaleUp Partners, discusses the concept of economic inclusion where everyone has the opportunity to participate in our economy.

[Link] The Economic Inclusion and Competitiveness Imperative

Stephen Frost, 2014

This is a book by Stephen Frost outlines how real inclusion creates a better business environment and builds better societies. Frost shares his experience of creating an environment of real inclusion during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. He lays out a roadmap that can be used by other organizations seeking to become more inclusive and discusses how “diversity and inclusion can deliver more engaged employees and customers.”

[Link] The Inclusion Imperative: How Real Inclusion Creates Better Business and Builds Better Societies

Deloitte Australia, 2013

This document provides practical steps to identify and implement inclusion practices based on Deloitte’s Diversity, Inclusion and Business Performance survey that identified key indicators and drivers of inclusion in the workplace.

[Link] Waiter, is that Inclusion in my Soup? A New Recipe to Improve Business Performance

Deloitte Australia, 2012

This document discusses inclusive leadership, the benefits of working in diverse teams, and introduces Deloitte’s Diversity and Inclusion Business Integration Wheel.

[Link] Inclusive Leadership - Will a Hug Do?

 Project Implicit

"The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about. For example, you may believe that women and men should be equally associated with science, but your automatic associations could show that you (like many others) associate men with science more than you associate women with science."

[Link] Project Implicit/Education


Part Two: How to Get Started

The links and document links below are the actual diversity and inclusion policies and other management tools used by the Cedar Valley businesses listed.

Child Care & Business

Access and affordability of child care is a major barrier for many in the Cedar Valley.  We currently lack over 3,000 spaces for children in the cedar valley.  This is negatively impacting the number of available workers for our employers in the area.  To understand more about this challenge, and how we can help increase available employees and better our communities, we’ve provided a few resources: 
  1. Contacts and best practices – See what other Iowa companies have done to help their employees and increase recruiting and retention.
  2. IWF Child Care Infographic – Understand the data and business case for investing in child care initiatives.
  3. Use a calculator to assess actual impact to your business today. 

CUNA Mutual Group

This five-page brochure outlines CUNA Mutual Group's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Framework and gives examples of what has been put into practice for Work Environment, Business Processes, Talent, and Community Partnership.

[PDF] Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at CUNA Mutual Group

Hawkeye Community College Resources

The link below will take you to information and resources about Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa that can assist businesses and organizations in developing similar initiatives. You’ll find the college’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan Initiative 2: Connect to Inclusion and Diversity is outlined. Sections include Equal Opportunity, Initiatives, Student Body Diversity, Peace Pole Project (international symbol and monument to peace), Faculty Diversity Initiative, Diversity Committee, Multicultural Student Organization, and LGBTA Initiatives.

Omega Cabinetry/MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

The five-page document below includes the Diversity Statement and company gender and nationality statistics as well as questions that can be used to start a conversation with employees about diversity in the workplace. 

The three-page document below outlines the Inclusion Strategy of Omega Cabinetry/MasterBrand Cabinets Waterloo, Iowa Operations. The plan considers the various barriers to employment diverse populations face – e.g., language barriers, lack of transportation, access to daycare, criminal backgrounds – and outlines the facility’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
About one third of Americans have criminal records. That means most employers overlook millions of diverse candidates with criminal backgrounds because they don't have a method for understanding which candidates they should hire. The presentation linked below outlines some of the myths surrounding potential employees with criminal backgrounds and outlines a model for evaluating applicants.
During his time as Senior Human Resource Manager for Omega Cabinets/MasterBrand Cabinetry, Kyle Roed developed and implemented an initiative to recruit and retain an more diverse workforce in Waterloo, Iowa to address staffing shortages and turnover. Within months, the program showed positive results. Roed presented at the 2017 Economic Inclusion Summit. 

Project SEARCH 

Project SEARCH program sponsored by the Waterloo Schools in partnership with UnityPoint Health – Allen Hospital, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and Inclusion Connection – Waterloo.  Project SEARCH has great success in assisting people with disabilities to obtain internships while in high school that lead to permanent employment.

New February 2018 [PDF] Project SEARCH tri-fold brochure

New February 2018 [PDF] Project SEARCH case study Allen College

Veridian Credit Union

The one-page infographic attached below outlines Veridian Credit Union's diversity and inclusion values and initiatives. 
The 22-page presentation attached below defines diversity and inclusion and spells out in plain language Veridian Credit Union's commitment to support and include employees and members. 

Waterloo Community School District (Iowa)

The two-page brochure attached below visually describes the nationally recognized culturally diverse district.
This video linked below showcases Project SEARCH, a program through which students learn job skills while interning at UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital.
This Waterloo Schools video (below) welcomes students and their parents to Highland Elementary in Spanish. It demonstrates that something as simple as creating training and welcome videos languages other than English can create a more inclusive environment for people who do not speak English as their first language. 

Part Three: Recruiting and Onboarding



More employers recognize the value of an inclusive and diverse work environment. This report explores the preferences of diverse candidates and provides employers six tips for recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce.

New April 2018  [PDF] What Diverse Candidates Want


Part Four: Coaching and Mentoring


Manpower's report provides practical recommendations that will help organizations move closer to conscious inclusion of elevating women into leadership positions. This report presents seven practical steps to accelerating women into leadership roles, faster.

New April 2018  [PDF] 7 Steps to Conscious Inclusion

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These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. The links do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber of any of the policies or management tools or opinions of the companies or organization that provided the resource material. The Alliance & Chamber bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.