“If a black working mom has as good of a chance of thriving in your organization as anyone else, then you’re getting a whole bunch of things right.” – Frances Frei, Unleashed
What is Diversity and Inclusion?
We see the acronym DEI or D&I more and more frequently in our network’s job descriptions on LinkedIn. Diversity and Inclusion have truly become buzz words. But what do they stand for, exactly?
The FordFoundation gives the following definition of Diversity, Inclusion – and Equity:
Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences (race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, socio-economic status, thinking and communication styles, etc.), collectively and as individuals.
Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources for all. This is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity.
Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people. No one person can or should be called upon to represent an entire community.
What are the Dimensions of Diversity?
There are a plethora of dimensions for the concept of Diversity. Some of these are visible, some aren’t.
Jennifer Brown explains it well in her book How to Be an Inclusive Leader: it’s as if Diversity was an iceberg.
The visible part involves an individual’s voice, physical traits, tone, appearance, spoken languages, and accent.
But there’s a larger part that’s hidden underneath the water, including one’s work ethic, age, race, gender, work tempo, abilities, talent, and education. On top of what just mentioned, it includes their marital, parenting, and family status, as well as their communication style, experiences, decision-making style, values and beliefs, spirituality, sexual orientation, perceptions of time, legacy companies, and diverse abilities.
Here’s where the concept of covering comes into play. The expression was coined in 1963 by sociologist Erving Goffman. Covering describes the way that individuals with stigmatized identities make a “great effort to keep the stigma from looming large.”
As explained in Deloitte’s white paper “Uncovering Talent”, there are four main categories for which people feel the urge to downplay their identities. These are appearance, affiliation, advocacy, and association.
Some Diversity and Inclusion Statistics
“I had a pervasive fear that, if people knew the real me, they would like me less or even view me with disdain.” – Jennifer Brown, How to Be an Inclusive Leader
When it comes to covering, the numbers that Deloitte shares are disappointing. 61% of the interviewed people admitted to covering along at least one axis. By diving a little deeper, we understand that this affects 83% of LGB individuals, 79% of Blacks, 67% of women of color, 66% of women, 63% of Hispanics, and 45% of straight White men.
These same people were asked whether they believed that covering for appearance, affiliation, advocacy, and association would be important to their long-term professional advancement.
82% said yes for appearance, 79% for affiliation, 75% for advocacy, and 79% for association.
And, as Professor Frances Frei puts it in her book Unleashed, “The smaller we choose to make ourselves, the less likely we are to take up the space required to lead. Here’s the reason to care, even if you don’t identify as different: all of us pay the price of inauthentic interactions, and all of us have a better chance of thriving in inclusive environments where authenticity can flourish.”
We’ve touched upon covering, but what about representation?
According to a study by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, Black people represent less than 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs, and Blacks currently make up 10% of college graduates. As Tali Lavarry mentions in Confessions From Your Token Black Colleague, in a just world, those companies would have hired 50 Black CEOs, but there are only 4, instead.
Why is Diversity and Inclusion Important?
The reasons to support an effort toward a more diverse and inclusive workplace are of two different natures: there could be negative repercussions if you neglect Diversity and Inclusion, but also, there are data supporting how D&I can be beneficial to your business.
More than 75% of executives believe that Diversity and Inclusion is a rising priority, and I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to be left behind.
Let’s look at some data that will shed a light on why you should immediately start working on or improving your Diversity and Inclusion policies.
First off, nowadays Millennials are about half of the workforce. Just like Gen Zers, Millennials have little patience for businesses that don’t attribute the necessary value to Diversity. Their composition is also more ethnically and racially diverse when compared to their predecessors. American Baby Boomers were 75% white, American Millennials are only white in 55.8% of the cases. As they’re sensitive to this issue, expect Millennials and Gen Zers to vote with their feet once they find out that their potential employer’s values are misaligned with theirs. That means fewer candidates and a higher employee turnover.
Now, consider the energy that your employees need to actively hide their truth. That same energy cannot be utilized for their, and your, success. As a consequence, you’ll suffer due to their diminished performance and their lesser motivation toward the company’s welfare.
And what about the Common Information Effect? With Common Information Effect we refer to an issue in decision-making that sees a group exclusively recognizing and prioritizing the information that’s shared and available for all group members. That means that this shared information prevails over the unique information that each member of the group privately holds.
As Professor Frei writes in her book Unleashed, the Common Information Effect “only holds when we’re willing to wobble with authenticity. When we choose to bring our unique selves to the table, the parts of ourselves that are actually different from other people, then diversity can create an unbeatable advantage by expanding the amount of information the team can access.” Therefore, there’s much to lose from a less diverse and inclusive workplace.
We’ve mentioned three negative consequences of neglecting D&I. Here’s a recap:
- You risk getting fewer candidates and losing your employees
- Your workforce wastes their energy trying to cover
- You miss out on the richness that a diverse and inclusive workplace guarantees
Now, let’s now take a look at the benefits that companies that invest in D&I can enjoy.
Jennifer Brown’s book How to Be an Inclusive Leader shares an abundance of interesting data: the businesses that promoted their female employees to top management level between 1992 and 2006 had a 1% increase in generated economic value. We’re talking about $40 million on average!
Out of the Fortune 500 companies, those with more than three female directors have had at least a 66% increase in return on invested capital, and their sales have grown by 42%.
Furthermore, the organizations that embraced best practices for employing and supporting people with diverse abilities, composing a talent pool of over 10 million people, have experienced a 28% revenue increase.
These businesses also doubled their net income and had 30% higher profit margins than their peers.
Finally, the most ethnically diverse organizations at an executive-team-level are 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability.
In other words, when it comes to benefits of better Diversity and Inclusion, we can see an increase in:
- Generated economic value
- Net income
- Profit margins
If you haven’t yet approached Diversity and Inclusion, it’s time to start. And if you have and think that you can rest on your laurels, think again.
Let us tell you why. McKinsey’s and LeanIn.Org’s 2020 report “Women in the Workplace”, showcases that despite these efforts, only 45% of employees think that the organizations they work for are doing what’s necessary to improve their approach to Diversity. For the younger generation, the numbers are even lower, as we see that only 38% of entry-level women are satisfied with their companies’ gender diversity status quo.
Diversity Recruiting: How to Recruit a Diverse Workforce
“Understanding how to embark on this journey is the single most important factor when it comes to making real progress on inclusion.” – Jennifer Brown, How to Be an Inclusive Leader
The Recruiting Life Cycle is divided into 6 different phases:
Let’s see how you can alter your current approach to optimize your Diversity, phase by phase.
Preparing for Diversity
The way you write your job descriptions can make a difference. For instance, your wording can attract more male or female applicants. For instance, using a word like “ninja” or mentioning exotic company retreats or sports outings can hold women off. The opposite happens when you mention, for example, a supportive or collaborative environment.
There are things you can do to avoid this. Try to run your vacancy posting through textio.com to make sure you’re being gender-neutral, and inclusive.
If your aim is to attract the right candidates, you must invest time in enriching your vacancy postings.
Make sure to add all the relevant information. That means working hours, salary information, as agreed by Gerry Crispin, as well as benefits, details about your recruiting process, and clues about your company culture.
We found a good signaling factor of Diversity and Inclusion on ProjectInclude.Org: highlighting diversity initiatives within the company such as ERGs and expanding on the role of your D&I officer.
And there’s one more tip we learned from FordFoundation. Their job descriptions include “physical requirements of each position, which allows individuals with diverse abilities to self-select in or out of the application process”.
Don’t forget that your working climate has a huge impact on the talent that you’ll be able to attract and ultimately hire. Let’s look back on what Susan Wojcicki did at Google in 2007, when the turnover rate for working moms was reduced by 50%, just by increasing paid maternity leave by 6 weeks.
Diversity Sourcing Best Practices
Lever’s Diversity and Inclusion Handbook shares some strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce. Let’s see what we can learn to source better.
Just like for everything else, authenticity makes a difference. When you’re not genuine your candidates might experience a discomfort well put into words by Ciara Trinidad: “I find myself over-analyzing messages, trying to figure out if it’s my skills and qualifications they want or my appearance.”
Before you start sourcing, remember that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. It’s helpful to establish objectives and key milestones. How else will you know if your Diversity sourcing efforts are leading to better results?
Ideally, your milestones are quantifiable, so that you can easily have a pulse of the situation and you can consider reviewing your objectives on the go. At the same time, try to focus on quality over quantity.
Your sourcers and interviewers must be involved in the strategizing. Make sure all hands are on deck when it comes to digging deeper into your candidates’ resumes – and beyond. What are their true competencies? Are they skilled at project management? Are they reliable, and on what scale? A school’s or company’s name won’t tell you much about what’s relevant.
If the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”, then it’s time to change up your sourcing tactics.
Change platforms, change mediums! See if that leads to a more varied pool.
We all love LinkedIn, but if you want to stand out from the crowd of recruiters sending yet another InMail message, you must be bolder than the average recruiter.
Use LinkedIn to filter talent based on your most basic requirements, like job title, level of experience, or keyword, but then you head to different platforms to engage. There are a plethora of options.
This tactic allows you to gain a richer perspective on candidates: a less conventional platform could help you unveil additional information. Perhaps, it will help you make your outreach feel more genuine and personal.
Wherever your desired candidates are hanging out, that’s where you should go. Check out Quora, Reddit, Medium, or Twitter. Are you looking for less conventional places to find diverse talent? Just to mention some, you can check out Jopwell, aimed at Black and Hispanic job hunters, include.io, which wants to connect LBTQ women to jobs in tech and uses the referral model, or even your company’s blog.
Don’t stop at using different platforms: revamp your strategy too. It could be time to update the introductory message you send when you first approach candidates to make sure that your content reflects your culture. Make your outreach personal, then share a milestone, or an account of a failed attempt at working on your D&I and what you, as a business, learned from it.
Going back to outreach, as previously mentioned, cold, impersonal messages rarely translates into a lasting, positive impression. Dig deeper, and try and approach the candidates using a warmer tone – perhaps referring to one of their passions.
Also, don’t tokenize them.
To add another pointer, Professor Frei advises us to be patient. “If a typical company spends four weeks on a leadership search, there’s an 80% chance the pipeline will be exclusively male. Extend the search to 6 or 8 weeks and it drops to 60%.”
Spend more time connecting and convincing your potential talent.
In conclusion, remember that whatever you do, it has a ripple effect. This means that your healthy change of direction can inspire and impact the way other businesses are led. At Duolingo, they refuse to recruit at universities where computer science programs have less than 18% of women. The way you source your candidates impacts other players’ decisions and can inspire positive change.
Screening and Selecting for Diversity and Inclusion
“Once someone is open to admit their own bias, they have the potential to open their hearts and deepen their understanding, while creating an environment that benefits both their minority employees and their business as a whole.” – Tali Lavarry, Confessions From Your Token Black Colleague
When it comes to screening, there are many useful pieces of advice that we can share with you. One of the most vital ones is recommended in The Open Source Show by Erica Joy Baker: check yourself for unintentional bias, like language and appearance.
As proven in neurobiology, bias, our sworn enemy, cannot be eliminated. It can only be kept in check. But how can one accomplish such a feat, you ask?
With the democratization of technology, more and more solutions are populating the market. One of the most interesting is perhaps Tengai, the social job interview robot that combines recruiting knowledge with cutting-edge AI. Needless to say, with bold innovations comes controversy. Many are currently debating on whether AI can be a legitimate solution to bias during hiring processes, and on how to best utilize it for this purpose. So, are machine learning and AI a winning card, when de-biasing?
It’s not so simple. As we established in our article AI For HR: What Is It, And Why Do You Need It?, the effectiveness of AI in reducing bias toward your candidates and employees depends on how you’ve built the system you use.
The model’s only as good as the data you feed it, and inaccurate or insufficient data aren’t something that your AI solution can make up for.
The article I Got a Job at an Amazon Warehouse Without Talking to a Single Human shares an example of machine-learning gone wrong. In fact, Amazon had discovered bias in their automated hiring tools back in 2018.
Their recruiting engine was favoring men, since it was trained to vet applicants by utilizing patterns in resumes submitted over the previous decade – a period during which most applicants were, in fact, men. There was an attempt to fix the automated solution but to no avail.
As the author recaps, “In an effort to curb face-to-face interactions during the pandemic, many more companies are relying on A.I. and video-conferencing platforms like Zoom. But we still need humans to ensure that the hiring process is fair and equitable.”
The previous example showed us how pattern matching is a common issue. How can we avoid issues during our resume evaluation phase? As suggested by ProjectInclude.Org, you can use a “distance traveled” metric to take into account a difference in terms of privilege. Build it by asking yourself what your candidate has achieved that’s exclusively linked to merit, and not to their background’s fortune.
That is, assuming that you still believe in resumes. Many businesses are currently shifting to blind auditions. This type of evaluation can help you be more objective.
And while we’re talking about selection methods, know that there are several actions you can take to be more inclusive. For example, Erica Joy Baker advises replacing whiteboard interviews with take-home tests, when possible, and all without imposing deadlines. That means that you recognize the individual differences in terms of background, working tempo, and working style. Once the candidate has completed their assignment, invite them to hand it in, and share their reasoning. This will shed a light on their abilities and problem-solving skills.
And what about interviews? If you think about it, it’s easy to see how certain criteria would put candidates from underrepresented groups at a disadvantage. For instance, this can happen when you focus on “cultural fit”, or if you hire people based on whether you’d like to get a beer with them. But there’s more to learn.
Make sure that your interviewers come prepared, so they can tailor their interaction with the candidates based on their knowledge and skills.
Structured interviews are preferable. This way, you’ll be asking the same questions, and you’ll be sure they’re related to the role – and make it so that they’re in syntony with your company culture! While you draft your asks, remember to allow for your candidates to think differently: make your questions open-ended so you can observe their reasoning and problem-solving skills. Avoid trivia, and questions that rely on esoteric knowledge or photographic recall. And don’t assume for your interviews to be one-sided either. What do you think your candidates could ask you? You want to be prepared, as interviews are a great way for both parties to understand if they’re dealing with an ideal fit.
Your interviewers must be carefully selected as they’ll be representing your organization while interacting with the candidate. Think about the dynamics you desire. A two-on-one interview can be perceived as more inclusive, one-on-ones can be more stressful, and large panels could be problematic, especially if the candidate is the only person in the room who belongs to an underrepresented group.
The interviewers should also be instructed on legal boundaries and trained to account for a variety of conversational styles. For example, people from certain cultural backgrounds experience issues taking credit for work done on a team. In this specific case, tactfully probing could help you get the full picture.
It should be one of your goals to provide your candidates with good Candidate Experience, as they might recommend you to others, and referrals are the main source of top-notch talent.
Also, don’t forget to share feedback with your candidates, as it gives them a chance to grow. You should have your interviewers submit it independently within 24 hours, as to avoid bias and groupthink.
Limit the feedback sharing to after the team has interviewed, and be closed off after the hiring decision.
Hiring for Diversity and Onboarding for Inclusion
Just as much as your interviews need structure, so does the rest of your hiring process.
What’s the framework for decision-making? Who’s involved in it? How do you envision the voting process to be?
The criteria should be clear and adequate for the job role you’re hiring for.
Keep in mind that the deciding group should represent members of minorities, too. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that members of underrepresented groups should be expected to put in more work because of their background.
Once you’ve made your offer to a candidate and they’ve accepted it, the onboarding process starts. From now onwards, they must conform to your code of conduct. Reading it and agreeing on it isn’t sufficient for your new employees to be able to absorb, embrace, and embody it. To help your new talent, you should train them for it, explaining your code and the business case for its adoption, but also sharing examples, and testing your new employees’ understanding of the code at the end of the training process.
The onboarding is a delicate phase, and your management should track the quality of this step. It all starts with goal-setting. The goals can include social integration activities, such as team lunches, grabbing coffee with a member of another team, and more. On top of that, there should be clear ways to test skills development as well as project milestones.
Now, whereas values should be shared by your employees, they shouldn’t annihilate their identities. It’s important to remember that members of underrepresented groups might feel more pressure to conform. Make sure to encourage your new talent to be authentic, and welcome their fresh perspective.
You can use a buddy system to make the process smoother, but if you do so, buddies, too, should be trained so they can provide adequate assistance.
How to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace?
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” – Peter Drucker
The odds are that your business requires a transformation.
In Confessions From Your Token Black Colleague, Terri Swain shared that barriers to discrimination are an issue for leadership to tackle, and that there are actions to be taken for those barriers to be crushed.
What’s the root cause of Diversity and Inclusion issues? In most cases, it’s a lack of understanding of what the problem is and of the way that leadership should tackle it. Furthermore, frequently leaders lack the necessary courage to take a stance and act as advocates for their employees.
Now, if there is one sentence that summarizes the message shared in Unleashed, it’s that leadership “is about how effective you are at empowering other people and unleashing their full potential.”
As Jennifer Brown adds, great leaders, lead with “vigilance, care, and intention”. There’s an enthusiasm to it, and other key ingredients are authenticity, vulnerability, and grace.
Leaders are responsible for understanding how to better support their colleagues, companies, and network. That requires an effort to strengthen their knowledge, skills, and competencies to support their colleagues, companies, and network better.
All of this is aligned with Debra Corey’s Expectations of Managers, which are to:
1. Be human
2. Say “thank you”
3. Stay connected
4. Lead with empathy
5. Lead with compassion
6. Be authentic
Jennifer Brown helps us visualize a path for every inclusive leader to take, involving the four phases of Unawareness, Awareness, Activeness, and Advocacy.
As stated by Kristian Ribberstroöm in Confessions from your Token Black Colleague, “If you belong to a minority, and you see that your group is not proportionately represented in the media, on boards, in committees, on leadership teams, you will draw conclusions about how accessible such positions are to you.”
In the section “Some Diversity Statistics” we saw how representation is something that requires a lot more work. But having higher numbers of individuals belonging to minority groups in top positions isn’t sufficient. Professor Frei nods towards a further effort: these individuals should be encouraged to be visible, too.
There are actions that can and must be taken to improve your Diversity and Inclusion, whichever phase of the path you’re on. Here are some ideas.
Earlier we mentioned how you should train your employees during the onboarding phase, but that shouldn’t be the end of it. We recommend giving them multiple occasions to train throughout their career.
Other ideas see you hosting talks, workshops, and producing content on D&I and how to improve on it.
If your situation requires it, you could hire consultants for a third-party audit, too. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can help spot issues in the system that you hadn’t noticed.
Don’t forget to create Employee Resource Groups or a diversity council. They can create the right soil for your employees to grow.
On top of that, it’s vital to provide the right support for your diverse talent to feel cherished and valued.
Ryan Hayden shared with Tali Lavarry how good it is to give people the opportunity to grieve, share, and talk about what DEI issues mean to them – in his case race relations at work. He saw how it helped his company’s employees find relief from the burden they carry and made them feel like they’re not alone.
There are several actions you can take, and no one will be sufficient in itself to solve your problems.
Solving your Diversity and Inclusiveness issues will see you adopting a holistic approach. You’ll avoid stalling and start tackling D&I right away, from whichever angle you can address it first. That is the winning strategy in this game.
Measuring Your Diversity and Inclusion Progress: Feedback
Lord Kelvin’s quote, “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.”, applies very well to your Diversity and Inclusion practices.
Our take is, not only should you measure your Diversity and Inclusion progress, but you should share some of this data externally as well, depending on the stage you’re in. You should only postpone this if you’re operating at a small capacity, of, say, 200 employees or less, or if you don’t have your strategy figured out yet.
These reports should include details on your DEI program, and share what is working and why.
So, measuring and sharing your D&I data is important. But what type of data? It’s key that you identify the metrics you truly need to drive your priorities and accountability.
This is when feedback comes into play as a powerful tool that can help you get a pulse of your situation and notice your improvements over time. Your surveys should be carefully crafted. We also recommend you to rely on existing metrics and to use third-party survey platforms, as these moves often allow you to more easily benchmark your results.
But what to ask?
If you look at your entire hiring process, you could explore if, for instance:
- They felt like they were free to completely be themselves
- They felt like they could express themselves freely
- They found the hiring process to be inclusive and respectful
- The atmosphere of the interview was open and welcoming
- The hiring team or recruiters/interviewers were prepared and tactful
- The overall experience gave them the impression that your business values Diversity and Inclusion
That covers your Candidate Experience, but there’s more information that you can probe for once you also consider your talent’s experience within the organization after their onboarding.
An important concept to remember is the more granular your questions, the better, as it gives you a deeper understanding of your situation.
You can uncover insights from data on your employees cut by demographics, with their function, tenure, and level of seniority. You’ll also want to see how many employees you have that are reporting to female managers or managers from underrepresented groups. Check your salaries and promotions per demographics, your complaints cut by demographics, and more.
On ProjectInclude.Org, we’re advised to require that there be at least five people in a group before survey data is available for review. For example, these groups can be filtered by race or ethnicity, gender, disability status, or any other of the measurable dimensions of diversity that we’ve previously mentioned.
As you’re gathering data, you must make sure that you’re collecting and securing it safely, and that your employees’ anonymity is protected, especially when it comes to certain demographics presenting disclosure concerns.
It’s important to set your demographic targets not only across the employee base, but also for leadership, the board, and investors. Your organization should reflect the demographics of your country, and, if that’s even more diverse, of your user base.
If you’re wondering where to start, gender and race/ethnicity are the most visible classes and they’re easily comparable. Are these categories underrepresented across all roles?
In terms of frequency, shorter feedback forms can be sent out quite frequently but minding the issue of survey fatigue. It’s also advised to send surveys after new implementations, but allowing for some time in between, to make sure that the effects of your measures can be seen.
And don’t forget: it is of paramount importance that your candidates and employees feel like their opinions are valued and that actions are taken based on what they share with you, so make sure that your communication covers your findings, efforts, and results.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)
Are you too busy to read all the article? Let us guide you through it.
We started off by quickly defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Diversity sees us representing all identities, collectively and as individuals. Equity ensures fair treatment for all. Finally, Inclusion builds a culture of belonging.
Diversity has different dimensions to it, some of which are visible, and some of which aren’t. You can picture it as an iceberg, with only a small part coming out of the water that everyone can see.
That’s how covering comes into play: a phenomenon that sees people downplay sides of their personality. The affected spheres are appearance, affiliation, advocacy, and association. The statistics we’ve reported paint a disappointing picture.
If you don’t yet fully understand why you should focus on this issue, these are some valid reasons.
Starting with the risks of neglecting D&I:
- You risk getting fewer candidates and losing your employees
- Your workforce wastes their energy trying to cover
- You miss out on the richness that a diverse and inclusive workplace guarantees
When, instead, you ace Diversity and Inclusion, you can benefit from a growth in:
- Generated economic value
- Net income
- Profit margins
We’ve then started exploring how you can improve your approach to Diversity and Inclusion in the various phases of your recruiting process.
While preparing, there are ways for you to make sure that your vacancy postings use wording that’s gender-neutral and inclusive. You might also want to enrich your job descriptions, adding information about things like your culture and the salary for that position, but also highlight what you’re doing right for D&I and what lessons you’ve learned from your failures on the matter.
When it comes to sourcing, you must start by figuring out what type of profile you need for your vacancy, and where to find them. Don’t be afraid to use new platforms and media, and change your outreach strategies to make your message feel more genuine and personal. Finally, be patient: it will take time to diversify your pool.
For the screening and selecting phases, we explained how you must check yourself for unintentional bias. Whereas bias is neurobiologically unavoidable, refrain yourself from drawing conclusions based on your candidates’ language and appearance. Pattern-matching is a frequent issue that can also be found in cutting-edge IT recruiting solutions. To avoid it while selecting resumes, think of the distance your candidates have traveled: judge their accomplishments based on merit, and not on your applicants’ background.
For selection, you could try and assign your candidates take-at-home tests with no deadlines, then inviting the candidates to show you their reasonings to uncover their skills and problem-solving abilities.
There are other aspects for which you’ll need to pay attention. Think about asking open-ended questions, and privilege two-on-one interviews when you can.
Your hiring and onboarding phases need structure and attention too. Make sure you define your process carefully so that you ensure fairness, and train your new employees appropriately.
Naturally, your D&I efforts shouldn’t limit themselves to the recruiting phase.
Diversity and Inclusion are an issue for leadership to tackle, and there are many actions that can be taken to improve on this front. It’s important to have representation also at the top of your organization and to encourage your advocates to be visible.
Your workforce should be trained throughout their career, and you could organize talks and workshops, as well as produce relevant content on the matter.
Finally, it’s wise to institute an Employees Resource Group or diversity council.
Show support to the members of underrepresented groups, and keep in mind that you must adopt a holistic approach: there isn’t one single action that will solve your problem. Act immediately and on as many fronts as you can.
Finally, your efforts should be measured and benchmarked. In fact, in most cases, it’s advisable to share the information you collect externally, too. Feedback comes into play as a powerful tool that gives you the pulse of the situation and simultaneously tracks your progress over time.
Asking very specific questions that are very specific will help you get a clear picture. Make sure that you’re gathering your data securely, keeping your respondents’ anonymity.
In conclusion, our most important word of advice: throughout the process, make your candidates and employees feel heard.