The Biggest Diversity Derailer Most Organizations Face
Welcome to my weekly Q&A feature. (Scroll down to find the Q&A.)
If this is your first time here, welcome. I spend a fair amount of time speaking at events and conferences. At the end of my presentations, I leave space for audience members to ask questions — tough questions, brave questions, you name it. The level of candor and curiosity always inspires me, and I want to share that sentiment with you. Each week I pick one question that I believe others would find most instructive and publish my response to it here.
The purpose of this weekly tradition is transparency and inclusion.
- Transparency: a behind-the-scenes look at my day-to-day.
- Inclusion: bringing others along on the journey.
Biggest Diversity Derailer For Companies
What is the biggest diversity derailer that organizations face?
What’s on your mind? Ask your question here for a chance to have it answered in an upcoming edition of this newsletter.
One of the biggest diversity derailers for companies is not being on the rails in the first place. That is, not having a unified diversity strategy with goals, metrics, and accountability mechanisms.
“The best organizational research shows that the magic recipe for achieving diversity is no different from the steps necessary to achieve other business goals. In order to change behavior, firms must develop appropriate goals and metrics, share them with stakeholders, and embrace accountability for outcomes.”
The Magic Recipe For Success: Goals + Data + Accountability
Goals, metrics, and accountability.
That should register as good news if you’re struggling to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workplace. Because it means you don’t need to learn any fancy new frameworks. You simply need to take what you already know and what you already do for other business initiatives and apply it to your DEI work.
Here’s what we want to achieve by Q3 2023: ______
Here’s how we are going to measure progress toward the goal: ______
Here’s what will happen if we don’t meet those goals: ______
Fully 98% of companies have established a gender diversity program, yet only 36% of DEI leaders believe their company has been successful at improving diversity. If the magic recipe for success was establishing more diversity programs, we likely wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Goals, Data, And Accountability For Equitable Talent Management Processes
Now, instead of adding more DEI programs to your workload, simply integrate DEI into your existing people operations using the goals-data-accountability framework. That means applying a framework you already know to processes that already exist: recruiting, hiring, retention, pay, promotion, performance, potential.
The best organizational research shows that the magic recipe for achieving diversity is no different from the steps necessary to achieve other business goals. In order to change behavior, firms must develop appropriate goals and metrics, share them with stakeholders, and embrace accountability for outcomes.”
Again, this should register as good news because you aren’t starting from scratch.
The key is to fix processes, not people. (Women aren’t the weak link.) Once you shift your focus to processes, you’ll begin to see the everyday inequities embedded in the employee lifecycle that prevent underestimated talent from rising the ranks.
I want to make this information easy for you to implement. So here’s what it looks it looks like to apply the goals-data-accountability framework to your existing people operations:
1. Establish a diversity scorecard. What KPIs will you track? Make sure to account for the entire employee lifecycle.
2. Collect your baseline data. Make sure to disaggregate your data by gender, race, ethnicity, and age. (Tip: Get a comprehensive Equity Baseline™ report here at no cost.)
3. Establish goals. Where do you want those numbers to be in 12 months, 24 months, five years?
4. Make a plan to reach those goals. What strategies will you implement? What resources will you need to make that happen?
5. Hold leaders accountable for the goals. Transparency is a time-tested accountability measure. You might consider publishing quarterly progress checks and annual diversity reports.
This framework will help you build the rails that will take you to your diversity goals. The metrics you use to track progress toward your goals will tell you if, and where, you fall off. If you fall off the rails, that’s ok. You’ll be incentivized to get back when you have a mechanism to hold you accountable for progress.
This article was first published on my website.
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© 2022 Katica Roy™, Inc.