Three Strategies To Create A Diverse And Inclusive Company by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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A few years ago, The New York Times  found that “fewer large companies are run by women than by men named John,” an astounding figure. Looking beyond the C-suite, the disparity doesn’t get much better: Men hold 80%  of leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies. For minorities, the leadership numbers are similarly bleak: 72% of senior executives — men and women — are white.

Yet we see headlines and research suggesting more companies are prioritizing diversity. For instance, a recent survey reports that globally, organizations are committing to diversity and inclusion at higher rates than ever, with 87% of respondents indicating that diversity and inclusion is “a stated value or priority area.”

So why the disconnect?

Often, diversity and inclusion are grouped together, but the push for hiring diverse candidates doesn’t work long-term without inclusion. While the definition of diversity is self-explanatory, inclusion alludes to the fact that employees need to feel a sense of involvement, empowerment and overall value from an organization. The Center for Talent Innovation has identified critical metrics to track inclusion: inclusive leaders, authenticity, networking and visibility, and clear career paths.

Imagine if a company were to interview a diverse candidate, but the organization’s entire C-suite and or senior management were all white males (this is not far from reality). How does this look to the prospective candidate looking to find a role where they can grow and succeed? Beyond the moral imperative, there are business benefits to diversity: Data highlights a strong correlation between diversity and profitability. Diversity is a critical yet complicated goal. Below, I’ve outlined three specific initiatives to bolster your company’s efforts.

Tweak Job Descriptions And Strategically Place Job Postings

Job descriptions should be written so they’re inclusive, although it’s easy to include language that may suggest otherwise. Absolutely remove gender-oriented words like “master,” “wizard” or “bullish” from position descriptors and replace them with concrete adjectives like “confident” or “detail-focused” to remain inclusive. Third-party augmented writing platforms can help you rewrite descriptions to attract a broad, qualified candidate pool. It’s also important to know where you’re posting job openings. While it’s common practice to post on Indeed or LinkedIn, there are many sites that focus on the employment needs of diverse candidates. A few include Out and Equal, Employ Diversity and Yahoo En Español. Making sure you’re posting openings in the right places will provide more visibility within the communities you’re trying to reach.

Engage Younger Employees

It’s important to include younger workers in the diversity and inclusion agenda. Create programs that make employees feel included and encouraged to share their diverse backgrounds with peers and management. In meetings, encourage them to share ideas first, and encourage your senior colleagues to listen without knee-jerk reactions to those ideas. Many minority students are first-generation college graduates who are now entering the professional world, so it’s important to provide them with an environment that harnesses their energy and perspectives to unlock your organization’s people assets.

Promote From Within

April 2, Equal Pay Day, symbolizes how much longer into the year women have to work in order to earn what their male coworkers made in the previous year. Yet, for the past three years, while women were more likely than men to be considered “top performers” by their companies, they were less likely than men to receive promotions. This sort of culture does not drive diversity and inclusion in an organization. An important step that can be taken, whether you’re looking to restructure, hire a new role or fill an empty seat, is to look internally at all of your candidates and promote from within. This approach encourages employees to stay at the company and work toward promotions and new roles within rather than looking elsewhere.

Diversity is critically important for an organization’s success, but attracting and retaining diverse candidates isn’t sustainable without inclusion. Straightforward adjustments to your approach such as those outlined above can bolster the process toward a more diverse, inclusive workplace.

June 3, 2019 at 08:07AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbostoncouncil/2019/06/03/three-strategies-to-create-a-diverse-and-inclusive-company/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
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