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Defining Diversity 16 Risky Business 24 The Who, What and Why of Governance 28 The Next Big Things 32
How to Eliminate Bias 2
Special Section 38
Exploring the Bounds of Diversity
Business Intelligence 42
Breaking Through the ‘Bamboo Ceiling’
ERGs as a Talent Pipeline
Case Study 44
Caring for the Melting Pot
Tamara J. Erickson
The Possibility of Failure
Guest Editorial 14 Editor’s Letter 4 Advertisers’ Index 49 Editorial Resources 49 Strategies 50
Cyrus Mehri and Janelle M. Carter
Change on Madison Avenue
R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr.
The Ism Is Not the Issue
Change on Madison Avenue
The Possibility of Failure
The Ism Is Not the Issue
Risky Business The Next Big Things How to Eliminate Bias Deﬁning Diversity
November/December 2010 | www.diversity-executive.com
The World Bank Group’s Juliana Oyegun takes on gender inequality and global economic empowerment.
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Ross went on to discuss more brain-based diversity ideas. All of which indicates that we’re not as rational and knowledgeable as we think we are. We like familiar people who agree with us. These models are built on patterns — cognitive scripts based on repetitive actions — that the brain uses to assess information and situations. being close-minded is easier. When the brain has to process anything new. These models work.com | November/December 2010 Kellye Whitney kwhitney@diversity-executive. echoing Robbins’ point that we’re mentally organized to see certain things for survival and that our perceptual and linguistic interpretations are structures that could be changed or built differently. I heard terms like brain mapping and neuroscience and all manner of body-system-related terminology from various sources. all in the context of promoting inclusion and tolerance. suggested that diversity executives have to shift the way we work because we’re actually part of the problem. some of us hate people not necessarily because they’re different. Any business leader operating in today’s economy understands quite clearly that new ideas. We get it — they don’t. when someone offers an unusual idea or solution. but because they disagree with us.L. but are instead driven by instinctual behavior. we must be aware of the ramifications from judgments made as a result of natural bias. It’s a holdover from our ancient brains that facilitates decision making. we love our comfort zones. provided that the variables involved never change. As strange as it may sound. Scott Warrick of Scott Warrick Consulting and Employment Law Services talked in great (and gross) detail — pictures of the brain are not cute — about how the brain works and how stress affects the body when people can’t get along. These blind spots don’t make us bad people. Ross said we can’t survive without bias. But in the modern day. Closed systems die out. but as diversity leaders it’s our job to confront blind spots and tackle bias in the right way. So. we have modern brains built on top of ancestral brains.com . Recent breakthroughs in understanding how our brains function have primed us with solutions based on scientific data. period. in order to operate efficiently. including stereotypes and other narrow messages. We believe we freely choose how we act — that we have rational preferences and see the world as it is — but the brain is trained to see patterns. Back in the day. As diversity executives. we just might be able to.FROM THE EDITOR Your Brain on Diversity Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could cure our diversity ills with a simple treatment? As it turns out. and stress leads our brains to revert to what’s comfortable. being open-minded and preparing for change are critical not only for business success in a global marketplace but for business survival. It turns out we’re actually wired not to trust. It takes more energy to seek and see alternatives. As Robbins said. Some of us may be making inclusion more difficult by perpetuating an “us vs. “Open systems that can adapt to change can survive. They make us normal people who may need to train our brains to think differently. According to Steve Robbins. it has to work harder.” Another speaker. and as leaders in general. According to Warrick. Essentially. Howard Ross. « As a result. a reaction mirrored by our physical reactions. Robbins & Associates. expectations or reactions based on limited information. For instance. Being confronted with something new can cause stress. In those days. That idea ran throughout multiple sessions and keynotes at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual diversity conference in October. Our brains build mental models based on information. He even suggested that in some situations people aren’t much different from robots. being suspicious of difference equaled survival. founder and chief learning officer at Cook Ross Inc. We must not be afraid to freely admit where we have blind spots. them” mentality with a certain level of arrogance: We have the right idea. 4 Diversity Executive | www. we must practice conscious awareness. It literally takes more energy to seek and see alternatives. chief “what if” officer at S. The general consensus seemed to be that the way our brains function impacts how we interact with one another.. with a little effort. such as unconscious triggers and reactions. offering a big smile and a ready hug to greet someone unfamiliar might not have produced a happy result.diversity-executive. our brains often pull back.
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. employee growth and development. Are your APA employees on the path to senior leadership? Know where your company stands on crucial issues such as retention and promotion.Career Growth and Development How Do You Stack Up? The building blocks of a competitive company in today’s global economy include the successful development of Asian Paciﬁc American employees. and work-life effectiveness by participating in Asia Society’s 2nd Annual Asian Paciﬁc Americans Corporate Survey Insightful vehicle for communicating with your Asian Paciﬁc American employees Complimentary summary report of your own employee data benchmarked against other Fortune 500 and large companies Independently administered by a 3rd party survey company No cost to participate Questions tailored to APA professionals Opportunity to attend the 2011 Diversity Leadership Forum Employee Engagement Leadership and Workforce Skills Business Development in Asian Paciﬁc Markets For more information on participation and deliverables of study visit AsiaSociety.org/asianamericansurvey or call 212-327-9306.
Diversity Executive | November/December 2010 Defining Diversity Observing distinctions and creating a workable diversity definition can help people judge with purpose. collaboration and technology to realizing the potential of employee resource groups. What and Why of Governance The right governance structure ensures initiatives align with business goals and the future direction of the organization. By Michelle T. Marilyn Nagel and Peggy M. By Jim Norman. David Casey. legal and talent-related risks that threaten sustainable growth in the world market. By James Walsh 24 28 The Next Big Things From demographics. Johnson 16 20 Risky Business Diversity can help mitigate the financial. diversity leaders are focused on the next trends shaping the field. organizations can overcome stereotypes and build an inclusive culture. By Bill Wells and Stacy Rider 8 Diversity Executive | www.com | November/December 2010 . not with prejudice. Walton 32 How to Eliminate Bias With the right change management strategy.diversity-executive. By Christina Ioannidis The Who. Wanda Brackins.
many still bump their heads as they move up the career ladder. The Ism Is Not the Issue Are you a part of the Diversity Executive Network? Join at network.diversity-executive. 42 ©2010 Jay Premack Business Intelligence Breaking Through the ‘Bamboo Ceiling’ Philip A. Berry and David Whitelaw Reid » Although Asian-Pacific Americans report that workplaces are largely free of disrespectful and offensive behaviors.com/LinkedIn Advertisers’ Index Editorial Resources Need to speak to an editor? E-mail us at editor@diversity-executive. Roosevelt Thomas Jr.com/facebook Resources 4 49 49 Editor’s Letter Your Brain on Diversity twitter.diversity-executive. 38 Special Section Exploring the Bounds of Diversity » Diversity executives can play an important role in advancing diversity strategy in complementary fields that lie slightly outside the workplace periphery. Erickson The Possibility of Failure 14 Guest Editorial Cyrus Mehri and Janelle M.com Follow us: Like us: diversity-executive. 12 Connections Tamara J.36 36 Profile Beyond Numbers Kellye Whitney » The World Bank Group’s Chief Diversity Officer Juliana Oyegun has moved the organization away from representation to exploring subnational diversity and the economic power found in gender equality. Columns 10 Leadership Robert Rodriguez ERGs as a Talent Pipeline 44 Case Study Caring for the Melting Pot Peter Fragale » New York-based Beth Abraham Family of Health Services embraced diversity to improve care and better serve patients from every part of the globe. Carter Change on Madison Avenue 50 Strategies R.com/DiversityExec Join the group: diversity-executive.com November/December 2010 | www.com | Diversity Executive 9 .
leaders were selected via popularity contest. Second. and likely all other ERGs. Third.com | November/December 2010 . In doing so. designed to help identify the best Latino ERG in corporate America. He can be reached at editor@ diversity-executive. As a judge. ERGs can indeed help us groom future leaders. or the leader who had the most time to run the ERG was selected. one organization noted that its Latino ERG president is required to serve on a nonprofit board. many of its activities for the year involved bringing in senior executives from various business units. « Robert Rodriguez is the director of the Kaplan Center for Corporate Learning at Kaplan University and author of Latino Talent: Effective Strategies to Recruit. ERG leaders are being asked to identify the skills needed to get the ERG to the next level and to begin preparing those capabilities. the learning function appeared to play a bigger role in shaping ERG mentoring programs that were more formalized and powerful than they have been in the past. Increasingly. and corporations seem to be taking a more active role here by identifying someone who can reach a senior management role in three to five years. there was increased interest in providing more of an external perspective for Latino ERG leaders. Some executive sponsors were even charged with creating development plans. I had the privilege of reviewing all of the submissions from some of the best ERGs in the country. there is a shift to more formalized leadership development within ERGs themselves. For example. Fourth. Retain & Develop Hispanic Professionals. Lastly. The selection of ERG leaders is also more deliberate than it has been. one organization identified a need to gain more insight on the overall strategy of the organization. fiduciary responsibility and board governance. We are often charged with helping to shape the strategies that will prepare the diverse executive teams of tomorrow. there was a clear trend to increase collaboration between Latino ERGs and their organizations’ learning departments. Based on descriptions of their leadership development efforts. Increased benchmarking of other ERGs was a common method corporations used to further ensure their leaders were able to gain and leverage external perspective. I saw many examples where these partnerships culminated in sophisticated workshops and leadership development curricula for ERG leaders. it appeared that these executive sponsors were being asked to create ways to allow their ERGs to serve as a means to identify. For example. Sponsors have demonstrated their commitment to make leadership development a top priority for ERGs.diversity-executive. Companies appear to realize that these are 10 Diversity Executive | www.LEADERSHIP | Robert Rodriguez ERGs as a Talent Pipeline Employee resource groups can be great vehicles to create talent The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recently held the first Latino Employee Resource Group (ERG) Corporate Challenge. First. The future of employee resource groups will focus heavily on turning them into factories for diverse talent. the Latino ERG leadership experience becomes a growth opportunity for designated high-potential employees. I also saw several examples of action learning projects designed specifically for ERGs. missed development opportunities and thus have become more engaged in this process.com. will focus heavily on turning them into factories for diverse talent. I must say that I was blown away by the growing level of sophistication. Many described a more rigorous approach to identifying and grooming future ERG leaders. such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument. assess and develop future leaders. the executive sponsors of these ERGs are much more focused than they have been in the past on how to turn the groups into vehicles to groom top talent. The company felt this experience would give the president further development in strategy creation. Part of our role as diversity executives is to help ensure that our senior-level executives come from a diverse background. to the ERG leadership teams and then helped them to create development plans based on the results. the future of Latino ERGs. What I learned from reviewing these best-inclass ERG submissions is that when leveraged properly. This focus was not as prevalent in past years. These discussions ensured that the future leadership of the ERG would have a deeper knowledge of all aspects of the organization. Therefore. Here are five trends I gleaned that can be easily applied to other ERGs to elevate their ability to groom future talent. Before. In fact. Many provided behavioral assessments.
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« Tamara J. demographic and technological — or tap a wide range of problem solvers. there are exceptions — those rare individuals who have all the necessary knowledge and skills within themselves. noticed that workers were warming their lunches using the magnetrons. experience. But from my perspective.CONNECTIONS | Tamara J. Fry had a eureka moment — an idea of how the glue that didn’t really stick could solve his consumer need. Percy Spencer. George Foerstner. a consumer marketing expert with a gift for sales. diversity has the broadest possible connotation: diversity of perspective. disruption officers — ensuring exposure to new perspectives from whatever source. Gen X? Keeping Up. Cultivating diversity gives your organization the vitality for consistent and reliable innovation. But hoping that your employee population includes a Hounsfield or a Jones is a risky bet when trying to cultivate innovation. but don’t stop there. Sir Godfrey Hounsfield. importantly. For example.diversity-executive. such as gender. In this. skill. Erickson The Possibility of Failure Diversity can elicit all sorts of innovations given the right stimuli My entry into diversity comes from the world of innovation — from years of helping companies become more consistently and reliably innovative. Of course. But the requirements for consistent and reliable innovation demand an even broader definition. Fry. creating the cam machine and theories of resistance that are the basis of nearly all exercise today. Diversity officers should be. Hire and welcome diverse individuals. Help an organization monitor trends in the world at large — social. Raytheon filed a patent for using magnetrons for cooking. Moving Ahead and Getting the Career You Want. In this role. This goal can never be met through dependence on the rare individual possessing the perfect combination of skills and insights. with diverse disciplines or spheres of knowledge and. The son of two physicians. The corporation’s goal must be to increase the likelihood that innovation will be consistent and reliable. ways of thinking and ways of approaching problems. and they solved the challenge together. methods and interests. Diversity can stem from looking at challenges and opportunities through the lens of different generations and creating access to different ideas. It requires including individuals trained in different approaches to problem solving. Many new concepts combine the marketing insights of one person with the technical skills of another or the knowledge individuals bring of different technologies. She is the author of What’s Next. giving your organization the vitality necessary for consistent and reliable innovation is one of the best. But Fry also brought a different perspective: He was an active member of a choir. a polymer chemist. developed what was widely viewed as “failed” glue — one that didn’t really stick. like Silver. race and age. Consistent and reliable innovation stems from diversity. Think of almost any new product or service concept. had a profound understanding of the anatomy of runners’ feet and the stress points they encounter while running.com. innovation and talent. conceived the highly successful Radarange. But he knew little about the technologies and possibilities of shoemaking. but the company’s inexperience with consumer markets stymied any progress. Participate in forums and exercises to think more broadly and look at things in new and different light. She can be reached at editor@diversity-executive. Arthur Jones was a slight individual and an avid bodybuilder. He became frustrated that barbells alone didn’t work well. Erickson is a McKinsey Award-winning author and expert on organizations. computer-based pattern recognition and radar. diversity plays a major role. in part. Rarely has it sprung solely from the mind and capabilities of one individual. Frustrated by trying to keep the page markers in the song book. 12 Diversity Executive | www. who developed computeraided tomography. with a wide range of real-world experiences. was a chemist. . a supervisor in the manufacturing plants. Similarly.com | November/December 2010 Some of this variation can be achieved through conventional dimensions of diversity. After Raytheon acquired Amana. At Raytheon. 3M also had a technology that couldn’t find a market for many years. Jones had an understanding of anatomy and spent 30 years pondering the problem before he defined a solution. He sought out an experienced bootmaker. the founder of Nike. background. had an eclectic background that included electrical engineering. the inventor of the Nautilus machine had both the consumer need and the expertise required for success. It gave Hounsfield the ability to create a new marvel single-handedly. Feed the imagination. It wasn’t until Arthur Fry was transferred into a new venture team that progress began toward the highly successful Post-it Notes. This breadth is a rare exception. Bill Bowerman. political. Spence Silver. There are many valid business reasons to build a diverse organization. such as access to talent. Our approach to diversity must encompass a broad range of possibilities.
COM For more information and to register. 23-25. STRATEGIES2011. Concepts and Cultures New Pre-Conference Workshops* Join us before the conference begins for pre-conference workshops from industry leaders! Dr. Stanford University Tammy Erickson Author What’s Next Gen X? and Retire Retirement George C. Calif. They may be purchased separately or in conjunction with regular conference credentials. Top 5 Reasons to Register Today! 1 2 World-Class Keynote Speakers Jeffrey Pfeffer Professor of Organizational Behavior. R. CEO. The American Institute for Managing Diversity Kevin Wilde Vice President. Roosevelt Thomas Consulting & Training. General Mills Inc. and Chief Learning Officer. 2011 The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay• Half Moon Bay. visit . and be inspired to achieve dramatic results. Halvorson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. you will be able to deliver the tools for success to your workforce. Flip t he Page for M Sessi ore on Spea s and kers! *These interactive programs are offered prior to the start of the conference.FEB. Kaiser Permanente Frans Johansson Author. 17. The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas. explore insights that harness the power of the organization’s talent for optimal impact. you will make connections. Half Moon Bay provides a magnificent backdrop and the perfect setting to mingle with the day’s guest speakers and connect with a wide community of HR. Connecting With Industry Leaders and Experts The Ritz-Carlton. Organization Effectiveness. Dec. 3 4 5 Focusing on the Tools You Need to Succeed During this event. talent management and diversity executives. After the event. Early Bird Special Save $300 if you register before Friday. Roosevelt Thomas Jr. and President.
com. was formed to reverse the advertising industry’s widespread discrimination against African-Americans. 1. yet his ad was one of the top five ads in popularity. Joelle De Jesus. was the amateur winner of Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl Contest. particularly on the creative side of the business. consumer. projects and promotions. Omnicom Group. The advertising agencies must develop and maintain an inclusive culture that welcomes difference. or corporate advertisers. implement employment policies that require fair competition for jobs. an employment discrimination.com | November/December 2010 . civil rights and class action law firm located in Washington. 2. They can be reached at editor@diversity-executive. provide equal access to development opportunities and resources. African-American advertising employees are underhired. The project commissioned a report. began investigating claims of discrimination on Madison Avenue in 2008. It is not enough to hire minority interns. “Research Perspectives on Race and Employment in the Advertising Industry. 3. • African-Americans are often excluded from general market agencies.” underscoring the glass ceiling African-American advertising professionals hit. we will create a new advertising industry where diverse talent is welcomed and all employees have equal opportunities to enjoy successful careers in the industry. The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released a report titled “White Men Dominate Advertis14 Diversity Executive | www. and these advertisers will hold their agencies accountable for staffing their account teams accordingly. The NAACP has several corporate advertisers that understand that employing professionals of diverse backgrounds and perspectives results in more creative and effective advertising. underhired and underutilized in the advertising industry. a Latino male. with 80 percent limited to working in agencies specializing in ethnic markets. Collectively. and develop diverse leadership at the highest agency levels.” The findings were staggering: African-American employees are underpaid.GUEST EDITORIAL | Cyrus Mehri and Janelle M. donate money to historically black colleges or state a commitment to diversity. ing Agencies’ Creative Director Positions: As Exemplified by Ads Aired During the Super Bowl. • African-American managers and professionals are only one-tenth as likely as their white counterparts to earn $100. Interpublic Group and Publicis — must make a cultural shift and overhaul their employment policies and practices.3 percent of managers and professionals were African-American. only one creative director was a person of color. • African-American college graduates working in advertising earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by their equally qualified white counterparts. To achieve results. Creating a new day in the advertising industry also requires that these agencies’ clients. hold them to these expectations. the four major advertising holding companies — WPP. Madison Avenue is a hub for New York’s advertising industry. a rate 60 percent higher than in the overall labor market. and The Madison Avenue Project. only 5. increase the representation of professional African-Americans. The report also found that the lack of diverse representation at the creative director level contributes to stereotypical images and a lack of diverse representation in ad content. « Cyrus Mehri is a partner and Janelle M.diversity-executive. De Jesus. Essentially. Carter is an associate attorney at Mehri & Skalet PLLC. • About 16 percent of large advertising firms employ no African-American managers or professionals. a person of color has a better chance of winning a contest to create a Super Bowl ad than being promoted to a creative director position in a general market agency charged with the same task. • African-Americans are only 62 percent as likely as their white counterparts to work in the powerful creative and client contact functions in agencies. based on national demographic data. African-American advertising employees are underpaid. In May. African-American advertising employees are underutilized. Carter Change on Madison Avenue The New York advertising industry has been put on notice Mehri & Skalet.000 a year. The report found that of the 67 ads aired during the 2010 Super Bowl.6 percent of the managers and professionals in advertising. but in 2008. after African-American advertising professionals who experienced discrimination firsthand spoke out. • African-Americans should be 9. a partnership between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Mehri & Skalet.
General Parts International Inc. Half Moon Bay’s website and use our group code ekvekva. visit . & J.FEB. #ST2011 This event is brought to you by Diversity Executive and Talent Management magazines. Global Human Resources. 21. or mention the block code EKV. Human Resource Shared Services. as space is limited. Continuing to Invest in People and Drive Engagement In this session. STRATEGIES2011. Gallo Winery HR Analytics: Evolving From Tactical to Strategic Learn how General Parts International developed an integrated HR index to drive both tactical. Hotel Accommodations Reserve your room today at The Ritz-Carlton. Mattel Inc. Michelle Lewis Vice President. allowing its HR team to prove how initiatives and programs impacted the bottom line. Half Moon Bay to take advantage of our specially negotiated room rate starting at $219 per night. 2011 The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay• Half Moon Bay. General Parts Inc. Hotel reservations may be made using either of the following options: • Online: Book your room on The Ritz-Carlton. 2011. E. Richard D. & J. Walker. Jonathan Jones Supervisor. Please reserve your room early. SPHR Vice President. you will discover the process the company used to create leadership development programs that fit E. Gallo Winery’s unique culture and suggest techniques and approaches that can help other companies create hand-in-glove leadership training for their own organizations. Calif. • Telephone: Call the reservations o ce at 888-293-0524 and be sure to tell them you're attending Strategies 2011 in February. Global Sales Training and Global Diversity. Jan.and strategic-level metrics using a single dashboard tool. @DiversityExec @TalentMgtMag Graciela Meibar Vice President. The deadline to make a reservation at the discounted rate is Friday.COM For more information and to register. HR Analytics and Administration. Impressive Case Studies Creating the Future of Play at Mattel Find out how Mattel engaged the CEO and senior leadership team to develop a diversity and inclusion strategy aligned with and focused on business strategies to drive lasting success. 23-25.
or working to figure it out so that people will care. what it means to the workforce and its impact on the workplace can facilitate success in efforts to promote an inclusive environment. Johnson Diversity can be confusing. bisexual and transgender? And why can one call a rug Oriental but not a person? Breaking Down a Definition What is the real issue here? Is it more important to know why diversity is important. Diversity is seeing the differences. By Michelle T. lesbian. because if people don’t like how it’s defined. they will not bother to decide whether the topic is important. 16 Diversity Executive | www.Defining Diversity Diversity. Let’s break it down. making it hard to determine which should come first — caring about diversity and then working to figure it out. distinctions and dividing lines of others with a soft gaze but with clear vision. It’s like the chicken and the egg — which comes first? Further. This definition works as a great starting point to establish what diversity is and what diversity is not. but it’s not just about being politically correct. Is someone black or African-American? Disabled or handicapped? Is someone Hispanic if he or she is Mexican-American? What’s the difference between gay. can mean different things to different people. does it matter which comes first? It can be confusing to know what is current and correct for every group of individuals who bond over an identity and to keep up with every issue that attracts a group of individuals.com | November/December 2010 . or is it more crucial to know what diversity is? Diversity should start with a definition. Talking about diversity can be circular.diversity-executive. Rallying around one definition. like the many dimensions that comprise the subject.
diversity-executive.com | Diversity Executive 17 .November/December 2010 | www.
Judging With Purpose When it comes to people. many of us have to make ourselves feel safe by judging what we think others are about. an East Coast lesbian who is black with a Jewish mother may have a different life experience than a married black woman who is Southern born and raised.com | November/December 2010 object and deciding that it’s an apple. because thoughts determine speech and actions. For example. To the naked eye. people should be aware that they may be judging. in fact. as a society we increasingly rely on judgments to make decisions about others. At its heart. not a fake one. and even whether one swears by bottled water versus tap. In fact. banana. If he is hungry. depending on the location of the fruit and the bowl. and they should question whether or not that judgment in a particular situation is relevant. because thoughts determine speech and actions. potato or tomato. gender. and. their positions on religion and family upbringing. Consider this illustrative example that has nothing to do with work directly. put out a memo announcing a mandatory diversity seminar. Now. he doesn’t have any angry attachments or sad feelings about deciding that the fruit is an apple. rather than apples. A picky person could argue that the man is “judging” the apple if he expresses irritation that the bowl holds apples instead of kiwis. diversity is not about what a person says or does. workshop or training session and listen to how loud the groans get. work in and manage a successful. it becomes clear that they could very well be worlds apart in how they look at the world and how they operate in the workplace. It is about how a person thinks. he must first decide if the apple is real or one of those tricky. inclusive workplace. read the comments section of any online news story that even remotely involves someone not viewed as mainstream. whether they admit it or not. while seeing with a soft gaze but with clear vision is easier to do with a bowl of fruit. Dividing lines refer to the choices that define how people live their lives — the dividing lines where people decide on political parties. however. a workplace where people are not constantly engaging in battles of perspective. By offering mental tools or initiatives to change employees’ thinking about diversity. Saying that one should see with a soft gaze but a clear vision is a fancy way of saying that people should see others without judgment. there are a few people who look forward to a diver- . but that thought comes after looking at the 18 Diversity Executive | www. Further. let alone fair. This is because as we encourage and encounter differences in society. when it comes to workplace diversity. It is about how a person thinks. People often hate to think about diversity because they feel the topic is forced upon them. If that’s hard to believe. it’s far more important to do with the people one works with and manages.At its heart. their leanings within the parties.diversity-executive. color. assuming he’s an average. leaders can offer their organizations a better chance to create. So. well-balanced person. incredibly realistic plastic decorations. Everyone judges to some degree. But if the point for the man is to decide whether he wants to eat what’s in the bowl. which can turn into complaints and lawsuits and promote unproductive environments where there is more frustration and resentment than cooperation. Or. Seeing differences means noting the obvious — differences in race. but by seeing the distinctions. Sure. the most important thing to determine is whether judging serves any legitimate purpose. he determines that it is. national origin and physical ability — and seeing distinctions means observing the distinctions between our differences. The man decides that it is a real apple. he might be irritated that the bowl holds apples instead of fruit with more appeal. A man sees an apple in a fruit bowl. diversity is not about what a person says or does. Essentially. an apple and not an orange. one might simply see two black women. When considering workplace diversity. In other words. then making that judgment has a legitimate purpose. viewpoint and ego. many times people hate thinking about diversity even when diversity isn’t the issue. if the man is hungry and doesn’t like apples.
from which this feature was adapted. November/December 2010 | www. guess who that person will have to deal with as the next department head? If someone doesn’t trust anyone from an Arab country. most people don’t come to work and put on their “working” hats. Instead. The U. Another reason that diversity can be a touchy if not downright divisive topic is because it’s all about one person’s perspective. the individual experiences they’ve lived through. their various group memberships. All of these experiences are influential. but just like with family. their place of worship and their social clubs. their neighborhood. The opposite of diversity is not sameness. a savvy employer will make it clear that no change is allowed.” That’s why diversity can get weedy — people are often surprised by who views themselves as a lion and who views themselves as a calf.People can pick who to date. but just like with family. employees often cannot choose who will compose the landscape of their workday. or should be. Therefore. Ironically. At least with family. the more varied and different our society becomes. the more people rely on their personal. and they can never take those off. for example. having expectations of what the norm is.S. can get people into real trouble because. hazy thought of what they expect a place to look like. employees usually cannot choose who will compose the landscape of their workday. If someone can’t stand gay people. So anyone added into the mix who is different makes the environment diverse. Modern-day philosopher and filmmaker Woody Allen once said. sity get-together because they think it’s an easy way to get out of work for a few hours. Johnson is the author of The Diversity Code: Unlock the Secrets to Making Differences Work in the Real World. and certainly not the last thing they may have heard on the radio or a podcast before they entered their workspace. what neighborhood they will live in. may express a feeling of being held hostage by the concerns of various minority or special interest groups. weddings and reunions. a person can avoid certain people until they have to attend funerals. and influences affect the impact of diversity in the workplace. The Eyes Have It Another way to define diversity is to look at it through its opposite impression. when individuals are at work. But in the workplace. and most people don’t see any other way of looking at a situation other than through their own eyes. People can pick who to date. they come in wearing their “people” hats. as if they always will be held in the wrong no matter what because of their historic power or larger numbers. mental norms to allow them to bounce gracefully from one situation to the next. the creator of the “Diversity Diva” newspaper column and a former employment attorney. When people think about whether a workplace is diverse. people simply have to learn to work it out for roughly 40 hours a week. « Michelle T. he or she will have quite the dilemma when joining a new company and discovering that an Arab-looking person is now his or her administrative assistant. theoretically. when someone has a different perspective. the opposite of diversity is a norm or a base line. the doors of employment are open to everyone. though. “The lion and the calf shall lie down together. These people are the minority. Instead. blandness or monotony. Further.diversity-executive. Adding more fuel to the fire. they often have in their heads a subtle. Employees also can’t take off the clothing of their upbringing. the presumption is that the other person is being deliberately contrary or willfully insensitive. But in the workplace. Groups with more power. but the calf won’t get much sleep.com | Diversity Executive 19 . and there are those who genuinely believe the meeting will get to the heart of whatever diversity issues they have observed. which exclude all their other reference points. workplace is more of a busy intersection than a melting pot. their place of worship and their social clubs. their friends.
How to Eliminate 20 Diversity Executive | www.diversity-executive.com | November/December 2010 .
the body would need to build a completely different support structure by exercising and developing muscle groups in different ways. say from swimming to rowing. The first step of this process is to understand why prejudice and bias are normal and present in everyone. For instance.To remove bias and stereotyping. the way our bodies rehabilitate following injuries offers a blueprint that diversity executives can use to implement diversity strategies that create inclusive business cultures. humans can learn from nature how to overcome prejudices. the answer to this question is no. As with any change management role. and leaders should accept that change is necessary. Humans have muscle memory for every activity repeatedly performed. How many women are in each level? Is there a drop-off point where women seem to disappear from the ranks? Have previous diversity initiatives worked? If the organizational structure looks similar to Figure 1 (page 22). his or her muscles grow and form for that particular sport. Phase 1: Accept and Understand the Injury Hold up a mirror to the organization.com | Diversity Executive 21 . the most challenging aspect is managing the people. This is November/December 2010 | www. The organization is likely sustaining heavy injuries on the female side. organizations have to commit to a long-term strategy that acknowledges bias and offers employees new ways to think and operate. By Christina Ioannidis Implementing diversity strategies of any type implies that the cultural fabric of an organization needs to be changed. This can be done in phases. and our muscles adapt to give us optimal performance. For example. when an athlete trains to run a marathon. Fortunately.diversity-executive. Analyze the numbers. If an athlete were to change sports.
In order to understand the issues.diversity-executive. In his book The Value of Difference. PWC developed a forecast system called Flowrates based on actuary assessments of the pattern of development that would be expected from high performers. In his book Iconoclast. the results of which were published in the 2007 document “The Leaking Pipeline. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) collected data from performance management evaluations of its staff in 2006. Those who have expe22 Diversity Executive | www. loss of top talent or discrimination suits? How can the muscle fabric in those parts of the organization be broken and rebuilt? At PWC. psychologist Binna Kandola talks about facing biases head-on in a three-step process: 1. For example. So. sustainable change. only consistent cultural and behavioral reprogramming will lead to a more inclusive workforce. a team member may believe that he or she does not have a bias against women in business.Figure 1: The Abnormal Attrition Triangle Female Exec “Abnormal” female attrition Male Senior Mid Management “Normal” attrition at 20 percent rienced physical injury know that rehabilitation requires mental as well as localized physical intervention. and the same is true for organizations. The organization set up a gender advisory council.” It is this consistent bombarding of the brain with new stimuli that leads to cultural shifts. consistent work. tests have shown that training people on these tests can significantly improve thinking. • Develop an effective planning process to increase personal awareness on the cultural and human elements of the problem. one receptive to viewpoints from different cultures and genders. Companies need to have a long-term strategy to fight bias headon through companywide initiatives. when shown images of women and men and asked to record a . To overcome organizational and structural bias — essentially breaking set behavioral patterns — culture change is necessary. • Establish accountabilities to redress that lack of progress. Become aware of our own biases.com | November/December 2010 3. the brain must create new categories. metrics are key. The same is true for organizations. neuroscientist Gregory Burns states. It is in this process that the brain jumbles around old ideas with new images to create new syntheses. When confronted with places never seen before. In order to educate the business on this discord. Break the connection between bias and action. Our brains have to consciously send signals to the ailing part of the body to wake the areas that were momentarily disengaged during the recuperation process. it is critical to look bias in the eye. Phase 2: Break Organizational Bias One-off training is not viable to effectively implement longterm. if a company has a population representation skewed to a particular type. however. “Sometimes a simple change of environment is enough to jog the perceptual system out of familiar categories. Painful as it may be to face one’s own bias. non-equity partner and partner level. Phase 3: Work Through the Pain Once companies have identified the shortfalls and why new diversity activities are to be introduced. Organizations need to identify where weaknesses lie.” The company compared the progression rates of the highest-performing men and women and discovered the progression rates for women rated as high performing were slower than those of their male counterparts. the organization identified the ranks of the business where women seemed to leak out: managing partner. These can lead to substantial changes in behavior. 2010 possible with hard. Understand that biases exist in all of us. Junior Source: Christina Ioannidis and Nicola Walther. such as white males. which performed in-depth research to: • Uncover why women were not progressing at those levels. A tool such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT) can help companies assess and tackle bias. For example. The IAT allows diversity executives to measure associations that can reliably reveal unconscious biases in individuals. Is there a structural issue? Are there pockets of the business where bias may preclude minority groups from assimilating into the business? Are there pockets of the business where women are locked out? How is that likely to affect the business negatively. and this requires a long-term investment. 2. where ultimately employees embrace an inclusive culture. in terms of disengagement.
By the same token. but it is an important part of cognitive change. it is important for organizations to build on their internal culture’s inclusive “muscular capability.diversity-executive. Don’t reject the candidate if he or she did not fulfill 100 percent of requirements in the past. Break the traditional hiring mold by engaging in a collective hiring process with mixed groups of individuals from different backgrounds to interview prospective candidates. • Fostering a culture of inclusion with the help of gender-neutral development tools that help break down the barriers between the out-group and the in-group: Promote dialogue on the similarities between individuals in different groups. such as virtual interviews with candidates without names. when and how individuals will behave. it is important to clarify where. allow the candidate the opportunity to grow into the new opportunities if he or she can demonstrate a certain level of aptitude in key skills. Ask clearly: What are their personal strengths? What do they want to do? What do they enjoy doing? Where would they naturally fit in with the organization’s requirements? This enables autonomy and encourages talent to define how they work themselves. “It is a way of directing our attention to particular contexts in which we are likely to act from unconscious habit rather than conscious intention. rather than rejecting people when they don’t. More than traditional training. these learning activities need to revolve around business activities and should be supported by individual coaching programs to recognize how perceptions may be changing and how people may act differently in view of their own initial prejudices.response for each gender in the context of business. • Create and implement perspective-taking frameworks. Succession planning: Identify ways people might be suitable for a particular job or assignment. Phase 4 is all about implementing meritocratic recruitment and promotion processes: Hiring on merit: Hire nontraditional candidates through skills-based assessments and by simply asking “How can this person do this job?” For example. To build on the individual bias reversal process highlighted in this phase. women — reversing the traditional stereotypes held by the in-group — men — essentially retraining the brain by directly triggering mental associations. and see how far these skills can be utilized in the role to be filled. Establish an internal headhunter. These biases affect the perception of women as well as behavioral responses to them in the context of business. Embrace Learning and Cognitive Change As with an athlete well on the road to recovery. one of the most powerful ways to use the IAT is to use positive images of women as leaders. We train ourselves to recognize situations in which we want to act differently. and implies there are ways individuals can perform. rather than looking for reasons why they can’t. through whom BIAS continued on page 46 November/December 2010 | www. Following the IAT. Blind hiring: Conduct interview rounds from nontraditional talent pools via opportunities where bias is removed.” In order to redress gender-based stereotyping of women as business leaders. personal details and ethnicity indicators. This strategy assumes people can meet a standard. focus on the skills the person demonstrated in prior experience. if presented with a candidate’s CV. and vice versa. Individuals who stereotype others need to be confronted about their biases. Provide shadowing opportunities to see how they may feel stepping into a new role or function and which support systems they may require.com | Diversity Executive 23 . even when they initially appear disparate. Collective and reverse hiring: Include subordinates in the selection process for line managers and on different panels for the selection of individuals to a team or as part of the organization. In the same way that physical therapy requires us to work through pain in order to rebuild muscle fiber. victims of stereotyping need to learn to appeal to perpetrators’ sense of fairness by openly questioning them. diversity executives can expand gender-stereotyping reversal activities throughout the organization. This will be uncomfortable. even though they do not belong in the traditional talent pool. The activities for long-term reversal of systemic bias include: • Implementing a strategy to break gender stereotypes in internal and external communications: Promote women and men in nontraditional fields using case studies. As Kandola states in The Value of Difference. It is critical for women to work with male and female mentors in a challenging business context and to use the learning experiences to boost gender and business acumen or skills development perspectives.” • Provide leadership coaching. • Coaching and training employees on the different cultural backdrops and average stylistic differences between women and men: Supporting these visible “exceptions to the rule” is critical so that the natural tendency to stereotype is broken and pigeonholing avoided. Building bridges is critical to break the barriers of prejudice. Performance evaluation: Conduct 360-degree assessments on how employees have demonstrated they can perform their roles. Focus on individual skill sets rather than physical attributes. images and success stories to remove gender associations from job titles and responsibilities. Phase 4: Build Muscle Strength. we often see there is a minor positive bias for men and less for women. this strategy can help recondition the brain to attach positive imagery to the out-group — in this case.
24 Diversity Executive | www.diversity-executive.com | November/December 2010 .
Consider the financial risk posed by competitors acquiring shares of the same market.” Indeed. “One of the key visions in creating these ERGs has always November/December 2010 | www. as organizations adapt and work to thrive in the post-recession environment.” According to “The Ernst & Young Business Risk Report 2010. customer diversification is a key focus for organizations looking to expand. eclipses the entire economies of all but 12 countries in the world and.diversity-executive. Latino buying power in the U. legal and talent-related risks that threaten sustainable growth in the world market.Risky Business As organizations negotiate the tightrope back to profitability. assistant dean and senior director of diversity initiatives at Kaplan University. According to the Selig Center for Economic Growth.” Koletar said.” In the United States.” said Joseph Koletar. “Diversity can make sure there isn’t a mismatch between an organization’s skills and capabilities and its ability to execute on strategy. “If you are a manager. diversity executives are already actively streamlining business goals and diversity initiatives to better reach their target markets.” human management and emerging markets ranked as fourth and fifth. Indeed. even as BP hemorrhaged billions of dollars attempting to diminish the fallout from one of the worst oil spills in history. By James Walsh As pictures of the Gulf Coast’s tar-stained beaches reached millions of television viewers. for whom risk is often a primary concern. Diversity executives can act as the pre-eminent drivers to tap into this multitrillion dollar consumer reserve. there needs to be greater focus on the diversity executive’s role in mitigating the risks that shadow corporate ambition. At toy manufacturer Mattel. you have some responsibility for risk management.” said Robert Rodriguez.S. to sense the greater marketplace and get some ideas that you didn’t have before that could be potential opportunities. “Risk is spread very broadly across an organization. respectively. in the sense of diversity.8 million people by 2050. Since emerging markets represent lucrative new frontiers for forward-looking companies. However. leaders can greatly limit the financial risk associated with investing in untried enterprises or markets and customer diversification. The Diversity-Financial Risk Connection “When it comes to the risk equation. by shaping and developing a diverse workforce and engaging employee resource groups in the product development and testing phases of new business ventures. the end of the recession had already presented a fresh set of challenges to risk professionals looking to facilitate their companies’ reemergence in the corporate landscape.com | Diversity Executive 25 .4 million people in 2009 to 132. risk consultant and author of Rethinking Risk. “There are companies that have made fortunes by appealing to diverse interests. A diverse workforce can help to ensure that product development and marketing are aligned with targeted consumer segments’ wants and needs. a thriving Latino population represents the country’s most dynamic emerging market. this population is projected to skyrocket from 48. Diversity executives occupy a sphere where effective policy implementation can mitigate the financial risks that pepper the divide between business directives and human capital. according to census data. “You can use your people. The reality is that in a hypersensitive and unstable business climate. inclusive and far-reaching risk strategy that transcends the role of the CFO. operational success demands a versatile. in a list of the top 10 business risks facing organizations in 2010. supervisor or executive. they carried with them a public and sobering reminder of the potentially crippling effect of poor risk management. diversity executives can play a key role in formulating a balanced strategy that mitigates the financial. the biggest role diversity can play is connecting risk with an organization’s talent.
For example. 3. more profitable investments. The dilemma facing organizations now is not whether to streamline diversity and inclusion with risk strategy. Middle Managers Human Resources Diversity Integration The key to diversity strategy integration is to build a base of organization-wide diversity advocates. The diversity-risk connection stimulates investment in these initiatives. four key stakeholders drive diversity integration: the board of directors. and diversity executives’ input helps to limit projected risk. As corporations expand into the global marketplace.com | November/December 2010 . An executive sponsor who acts as a middleman between a resource group and senior corporate governance can highlight the roles a diverse workforce plays in identifying investment opportunities and managing associated risk. the ebb and flow of the global marketplace magnifies the role of the diversity executive. if these integrator stakeholders are not convinced that diversity and inclusion practices will mitigate nancial. stimulated by senior management investment. Connect with consumers. Adopt a global outlook. diverse talent streams. CEO of Virtcom Consulting. the diversity and inclusion department will lay a platform for greater integration in business operations. on an operational level.diversity-executive. Board of Directors Senior Leadership ‘Investor-Style’ Stakeholders The board of directors and senior leadership invest in diversity initiatives to ensure business success. senior leadership. and. 4. The diversity executive’s focus needs to align with broader organizational strategies. Workforce and customer diversification present new inroads into safer. interdepartmental executive engagement will be greater. They are known as “integrator” stakeholders because they determine.From Strategy to Reality. 26 Diversity Executive | www. but how. as a result. The level of business a company does is contingent on how well it connects with its target consumers. 1. ‘Integrator’ Stakeholders Middle managers and HR leaders mandate diversity engagement in core business operations. how integrated diversity and inclusion values are in their companies’ programs. According to Douglas Freeman. a workforce expansion strategy might use a nity groups to exploit new. putting money into an audit that gathers data to prove diverse representation will o set the legal risks posed by adverse impact. If diversity initiatives demonstrate business value. By demonstrating how a diverse workforce can help an organization better appeal to those consumers. or Making Diversity Matter By James Walsh As the business world continues to evolve. However. 2. Their level of engagement will be re ected in how they pursue investment in company initiatives and in what capacity the diversity and inclusion function will act. the diversity and inclusion function needs to remain relevant on domestic and global levels. Promote executive sponsorship of employee a nity groups. Use HR and middle-manager diversity councils to push the business case for diversity as a risk mitigator. legal or talent-related risk. if the middle managers and HR leaders are engaged by an organization’s diversity and inclusion department. the diversity function is likely to be consigned to the periphery of HR and excluded from meaningful participation in business operations. HR and middle managers. the business case for diversity has been proven. For example.
As the buzz around corporate diversification grows. vice president of global sales and global diversity at Mattel. “Oftentimes business-to-business organizations don’t understand the customer risk and financial risk that exists when they don’t understand their client’s diversity value proposition. a global diversity consultancy group. Venturing into unfamiliar territory when hiring — talking to individuals who may look different or originate from unfamiliar places or industries and taking a chance on new talent for key roles — can be risky. Success in the business-to-business environment mandates interorganizational consistency in a number of different areas.” A multicultural workforce pays dividends when investigating emerging consumer markets. Medtronic.Tonya Hampton. organizations need to identify and draw from new talent streams. Minneapolis MN StThomas. failure to recognize the price tag that accompanies diversity values can put a company at risk and open the door wide to competitors. Using employee affinity groups to establish recruitment bases in multicultural communities is one way to mitigate the risk of a disconnect between an organization’s workforce capabilities and its business goals. Integration: The Path to Inclusion March 22-24. I walked away from the conference rejuvenated and motivated to do better.edu/MCF . “We see a number of [employee resource] groups work with RISK continued on page 48 CB036611 MCF Ad_Layout2_Layout 1 9/28/10 2:54 PM Page 1 “I built my curriculum at the Multicultural Forum on the advanced and global tracks. “Organizations can engage not only over pricing value and service value. Inc. but can also engage at a level where there is alignment around diversity value. but the role of the diversity executive in mitigating financial risk in business-to-business organizations remains understated.” . Director of Human Resources. The Diversity-Talent Risk Connection From a talent management perspective. To facilitate a sustainable model for future growth.” said Douglas Freeman. CEO of Virtcom Consulting. I appreciated the time to network and leverage connections real-time. Forward-thinking companies are already strategically using their diversity function as a business lever to recruit and retain the best diverse talent. and we use their input for the marketing and development of new concepts.been ‘How are they going to help us be better in reaching the ultimate consumers?’” said Graciela Meibar. including values related to diversity and inclusion. “With them. America’s aging workforce and the challenges of corporate restructuring are perceived as two of the greatest risks facing businesses. 2011 Minneapolis Convention Center. we conduct focus groups.” Freeman said.
What and Why of Governance The right governance structure ensures initiatives align with business goals and the future direction of the organization.diversity-executive.com | November/December 2010 .The Who. By Bill Wells and Stacy Rider 28 Diversity Executive | www.
Essentially.S. diversity executives must understand the organization’s overall makeup. Diversity is the mix of employees within the workforce. talents and capabilities. including the sourcing. but the organization’s overall business objectives must dictate how governance is structured. values and structure. CEO or chairman. Diversity and inclusion are two sides of the same coin. The workplace environment either enhances or hinders the degree to which those employees perform. Creating a work environment that fosters an inclusive culture enables employees to contribute to the bottom line to the best of their abilities through full engagement of all their diverse skills. the ongoing war for talent.A robust diversity and inclusion initiative is central to any organization’s success. There are numerous approaches to diversity governance. While perhaps the least strategic overall.com | Diversity Executive 29 . is diversity and inclusion a strategic or tactical contribution to organizational success? What Business Are You In? To build the right governance model for the effective strategy and implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives. essentially boosting or reducing their level of discretionary effort. This governance structure ensures the alignment of diversity and inclusion initiatives with business goals and the future direction of the organization. promoting the company by sharing information with others via their positive experiences in.diversity-executive. it is extremely challenging to sustain one without the other. the organization. regardless of individual attributes such as race. minority. population with resultant shifts in the emerging workforce as well as customer markets. as well as a consistent method for implementation across locations and business units. diversity and inclusion initiatives enjoy ongoing relevance and sustainability. • Compliance focused: This suggests a workforce that is representative of the overall population. as a road map.and women-owned vendors and suppliers. such as the president. November/December 2010 | www. because buying power continues to increase more significantly in ethnic. • Employee focused: This may require a strong focus on employee engagement and satisfaction. Refer to the organization’s mission. Employees are the engine that drives bottom-line results. gender or age and moves the discussion beyond representation of certain groups to the collaboration and engagement of all employees for the betterment of the group. compliance still represents a compelling need for organizations to engage in diversity and inclusion initiatives. gender and age-related groups. Strategically. Employees help brand the organization as they interact in their local communities. as well as short. and attitudes about. state and federal laws. essentially acting like walking billboards. vision. Inclusion speaks to every employee. These may include: changing demographics in the U. in accordance with local. • Community focused: This may require a workforce created from the communities in which it does business. With solid senior-level executive commitment and engagement and direct access to top leadership. determine if the organization is: • Customer focused: This may require a workforce that reflects the customer groups served. and changing legal requirements surrounding the engagement and reporting of minority.and long-term business objectives. development and advancement of employees for future leadership roles.
typically from multiple lines of business across the organization. location managers likely will find the best use of their limited time. Generally. organizations typically fall into one of four quadrants (Figure 1). The resulting options are: • Diversity executive: This is often a chief diversity officer. usually the internal training department. Figure 1: Governance Structures for Individual Diversity Initiatives Centralized Direct Reporting Indirect Reporting Diversity Executive Diversity Manager Decentralized Diversity Council General Manager senior-level decision makers and the ability to link initiatives to corporate business strategy in a strategically significant way. usually geographically dispersed. Governance models for diversity and inclusion are centralized or decentralized. an organization’s governance model will determine what form shared services will take (Figure 2).com | November/December 2010 . CEO or board of directors and owns accountability for the implementation of strategy and tactics. diversity initiatives may be in the hands of the general manager. However.diversity-executive. the best solution will tie to the organization’s business needs.Who Should Run It? A centralized form of governance that reports directly to the CEO of the organization is a preferred model to ensure continued relevance and sustainability. when it comes to individual initiatives. however. • General manager: In organizations with multiple locations. Again. largely independent of the organization. but reports to a secondary layer of management and is not directly connected to the C-suite This individual is one. or several. At a basic level. president. Shared Services No matter which method of governance is implemented. steps removed from key decisions linking the strategic alignment of diversity and inclusion to the organization’s overall business strategies. Figure 2: Diversity Governance Models and Shared Services Centralized Direct Reporting Indirect Reporting Custom solution/ Custom provider Shared solution/ Custom provider Decentralized Custom solution/ Shared provider Shared solution/ Shared provider • Diversity council: This group also reports to the C-suite and is made up of a steering committee of top executives. the manager will research and recommend a standard solution offered by a shared provider that best meets the organization’s needs and then track and report its implementation in various business units or locations. perhaps one that is Internet-based. multiple locations or business units rely on a shared solution unique to the organization. but without a single executive owning accountability for strategy and implementation. outside consulting services still will be required to develop the solution and internal train-the-trainer options. Ultimately. such as an Internet-based provider. • Conversely. office or local HR manager and may be the furthest removed from the CEO. there are two methods of shared services: • Shared provider: In this scenario. Instead. This model allows for extensive customization and requires considerable resources. 30 Diversity Executive | www. • Finally. • Shared solution: In this scenario. the diversity manager still may rely on a team of internal trainers to implement a solution. directly reporting or indirectly reporting. budget and training resources will necessitate an off-the-shelf shared solution. • Diversity manager: The diversity manager may own the tactical implementation for diversity and inclusion initiatives. senior vice president of human resources or equivalent senior-level executive who reports directly to the chairman. but will likely face a lack of funding to conduct an organization-wide assessment and develop a custom solution. shared services likely will come into play. • A diversity council likely will require a customized solution. should take care to employ a shared services model that reflects the chosen governance structure. and the diversity executive. • An organization that has a diversity executive accountable for results likely will invest in a thorough organizational assessment. multiple companies use the same service provider. or whoever is in charge of programming. which is necessary to develop a solution delivered by a unique team of solution providers. the model chosen should relate to the organization’s business objectives. chief human capital officer. In any case. but may rely on an external consultant to develop and implement that solution due to constraints on internal staff availability as well as constraints on council members’ time.
strategy. throughout all levels. and their governance models must vary as well. such as women and people of color. These comparisons are invaluable in determining the overall effectiveness of a diversity and inclusion initiative or strategy over time. customers.com | Diversity Executive 31 . Due to continued underrepresentation of women and people of color. Some metrics. then workforce representation numbers based on ethnicity. The key to sustainable diversity and inclusion success is to align governance. as well as moving existing talent into their future leader pipelines. satisfaction and retention metrics may be applicable. They can be reached at editor@diversity-executive. The frequency for reporting the relevant metrics will vary depending on the strategic needs of the organization. rely on resource-intensive employee surveys and may be conducted annually or perhaps on a less frequent basis. Organizations continue to be challenged with their talent acquisition efforts. age and local versus nonlocal acquisition and applicant data may be applicable.to senior levels.com. November/December 2010 | www. Once the relevant key metrics have been identified. If profitability is an objective. such as employee engagement and satisfaction.Why Does It Matter? The metrics established to determine how successful an organization’s diversity and inclusion initiatives are should directly relate to the business strategies individual programs are designed to support. then employee engagement.diversity-executive. employees and locations. are quantitative. If community involvement and improvement is the focus. organizations vary in their business objectives. Then a scorecard can be created to track organizational progress over multiple reporting periods. a benchmark should be established to measure progress at determined intervals. particularly at mid. Metrics established to determine how successful an organization’s diversity and inclusion initiatives are should directly relate to the business strategies programs are designed to support. tactics and metrics to support the organization’s overall business objectives. are more qualitative. lend themselves easily to reporting and can be costeffectively obtained on a quarterly or more frequent basis. However. such as representation and retention. The preferred model for governance of diversity and inclusion initiatives to ensure continued relevance and sustainability is a central diversity executive with direct accountability to the CEO for organizational progress. these types of metrics are necessary to determine an organization’s progress in advancing workplace diversity. Additional measures include monitoring attrition rates for underrepresented employees. « Bill Wells is vice president of strategic inclusion solutions and Stacy Rider is a director with InclusionINC. Other metrics. gender.
they may fail to address many of the significant changes that have occurred since then. By Jim Norman. Civil Rights Movement from the 1960s.S. however. ERGs were originally established for racial and gender groups — African-American. and gay and lesbian populations. These designations may have been appropriate for U. Employees entering the workforce now are likely to identify themselves as being from more than one group. organizations 40 years ago. Wanda Brackins. David Casey.com | November/December 2010 . Walton Collective ERG Power For those who compile “best of” diversity lists. Latino. we talk to diversity executives and industry leaders to uncover the next trends shaping the field. Here. Indeed. So where does a multiracial lesbian belong? In most organizations. Today. that the creation of separate and distinct ERGs is the act of an organization striving for inclusion. does she resent having to make a choice? Are any of the ERGs relevant to her needs? 32 Diversity Executive | www. Asian. With origins in the U. Just as important. an organization with five or fewer employee resource groups (ERGs) is considered less favorable and less effective than an organization with 10 ERGs or more.Diversity executives often complain that industry peers keep talking about the same old issues. Native American.diversity-executive. It’s ironic. Marilyn Nagel and Peggy M. she could belong to several ERGs. women. fewer but more effective ERGs will be the wave of the future.S.
Hiring via Video The next trend that will shape diversity and inclusion will be the widespread use of job seeker video websites.In the future. Today. Diversity executives must take caution as these resources may have unintended consequences for diversity recruiting. ERGs will come together on common interests for their members and the organization to create focus and efficiency. users create a profile and record a 30-second video pitch to market their professional background and skills. organizations should have fewer ERGs. New trends often create excitement.com | Diversity Executive 33 . efficiency and cost. what is the impact to diverse applicants?” New technology tools that step up the job search may leave some diverse job seekers at a loss. Technology also will impact the role and value of ERGs. The changes in ERGs will be driven by demographics. Instead of boundaries based on race or gender. but not enough diversity executives are asking the questions “What impact will these new phenomena have on diversity management?” and “As it relates to video job board websites. Jim Norman is vice president of diversity at Kraft Foods. Although these websites haven’t yet become mainstream. ethnicity or sexual orientation. The emerging generation may be unable and unwilling to draw lines along narrow boundaries of race. it is not uncommon for these individuals to omit a photo from their online profile as they believe it could limit their opportunity to be Big November/December 2010 | www. Their structure and role will be different. These websites are for both job seekers who want to market their skills and for companies looking for candidates to fill jobs. gain insight or connect with a community. it’s possible that within the next year or so they will become as widely used as other networking websites are today. To use these sites.diversity-executive. Asian and Latino will fail to accurately capture the diversity and cultures of our ERGs. Organizations will identify areas of common interest for their employees and leverage those populations to gain insights and develop and execute key organization strategies with the support of HR and business leaders. easy and convenient to answer a question. Technology makes it fast. The terms African-American.
diversity practitioners can be certified to do our work based on these guiding principles.com | November/December 2010 . globalization has been driving a transformation in the way corporations think about diversity and inclusion (D&I). drive innovation and maximize market relevancy. We should be shepherding a movement by developing guiding principles for the work we do.S. Empowering workers with the tools and technology to contribute to the full extent of their capability while providing high touch and visibility. If a company is to stay ahead of the curve. helps drive collaboration within the workplace and competiveness in the market. For example. in the same way legal and account- Growing One’s Own The baby boomer generation is the most educated generation in the nation to date. Thoughtful and pragmatic programs have to be made readily accessible for employees worldwide to leverage. ready to remove individuals or practices that impede our progress? Wanda Brackins is managing director of diversity and inclusion at RBC Wealth Management. As a result. partners and resources wherever they are located. Cross-Cultural Collaboration Global businesses are the new reality.. has C-suite representation kept up with the pace of change in the general population? These are areas we really need to explore.S. adjust to customer preferences. We’ll also need to develop a set of standard measurement tools to evaluate our work. and. For example. Our challenges today are even more diversified than just five or 10 years ago due to the acceleration of globalization.S. I believe that. They must ask questions such as: • What is our success rate for diverse talent? • How might video job boards strengthen our hiring practices? • Are we. how long will it be before we see observable cultural and societal shifts? We need to be prepared to take a deeper dive into the impact of socioeconomic diversity on our workplaces.contacted by a recruiter. beliefs and values. Will this year’s census results be the catalyst to meaningful dialogue that challenges those institutionalized categorizations? If this emergence materializes. This includes nailing down a core set of best or prevalent practices that we can all live by. the majority always has been designated as Caucasian and predominantly male. Our role is to ensure corporate standards for employee treatment are upheld regardless of where we are doing business.S. David Casey is vice president and diversity officer for CVS Caremark. Traditionally. Census. As diversity management continues to inculcate strategic planning within our organizations. 34 Diversity Executive | www. the minority group experiences a narrowing of opportunities within our society. companies must be able to effectively harness the right talent. While there are positive aspects to video job boards and profiles. they must find ways to create opportunities for workers with a variety of backgrounds. As corporations branch out into market adjacencies and expand their geographic footprint.diversity-executive. the impact must be addressed as the trend toward increased virtual job screening continues to accelerate. In the U. diversity executives are challenged to engage in a transparent and ongoing dialogue that is educational. as our workplaces become more diverse. A highly accepting and collaborative work environment does not happen overnight. leaders must start asking the hard questions long before the next trend comes through the revolving door. particularly in the workplace. Marilyn Nagel is chief diversity officer of Cisco Systems Inc. and they positioned the U. Instead of D&I programs being focused on compliance issues. I expect the findings will cause us to substantively rethink how we view and define diversity in the U. measure and evaluate moving forward.. as an organization. is it good enough to have mandatory diversity training with no associated metrics that show real behavior change or improvement of business objectives? Or. Today. regardless of their location and background. they could catch diversity executives off guard. like other professionals. Given this common circumstance. They require effective cross-cultural collaboration and understanding to be able to seize opportunities. it takes constant investment. to compete. we have defined minority groups as subordinate groups whose members have significantly less control or power over a majority group with more members. costeffective and sustainable with their globally dispersed employee base. whether real or perceived. which encompasses a wide array of cultural and philosophical differences in employee populations. New Categorizations As we anticipate the results of the 2010 U. with rapidly expanding ethnic populations and continued growth in numbers of biracial Americans. Ultimately. we’ll need to redefine and rearticulate what it means to be a minority in the coming months. there’s an elevated awareness that they are business imperatives capable of creating differentiation and opportunity. we need to ask ourselves a tough question: Do we need a standardized and universally accepted set of professional competencies and standards for managing diversity? I think we do. as a result. ing professionals receive certification from their respective governing bodies. especially in education and employment. monitoring and nurturing.
build the skills of their current workforces and fill vacant leadership positions. Shortly after that. “Learn and earn” models promote corporate cultures of lifelong learning. the most significant contributions to workforce growth will come from immigrant populations. flexible scheduling and more innovative models. has dropped to 10th place among industrialized nations globally in academic achievement among 25.with the most educated workforce in the world. She can be reached at editor@diversity-executive. thousands of men and women in uniform will be returning home to friends and loved ones. one waiting to be claimed as diversity’s next frontier. improving the retention and engagement of current veteran employees can improve an organization’s reputation as military friendly in the marketplace. Address cultural issues. this same idea translates as “an inability to let go of the military way of doing things. Soon. Because of low college completion rates among Hispanics and blacks.S. Work to integrate veteran initiatives into other elements of HR programming. These new workers are less educated and comprise an underdeveloped workforce that isn’t prepared to replace retiring boomers. corporate university training that earns academic credits. online and on-site accredited learning. Recent research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that 90 percent of HR professionals agree that veteran-specific hiring. According to a 2010 survey by King Street Associates. recruiting and training. But diversity executives must take the initiative to position themselves favorably with their HR peers and C-suite executives. and demonstrate specific return on investment metrics in terms of productivity and retention. employers are uniquely positioned to create benefits and work situations that encourage and support college completion — particularly among more marginalized populations. tend to leave civilian jobs within three years of being hired due to lack of fit. Blacks and Asians will add to workforce growth at a lower rate. Diversity’s Next Frontier: Veterans in the Workplace In August 2010. The military is composed of 14 percent women and 36 percent individuals who identify themselves as a racial minority. Small changes can have a major impact. All veterans hail from a defined group with a strong but separate culture that presents both opportunities and challenges for retention and ROI. The good news is that diversity and inclusion executives are well positioned to shape the discussion and differentiate their organizations as military-friendly employers of choice. such as creative partnering with education providers to include blended. Walton is director of workforce readiness for Corporate Voices for Working Families. Cultural transition is a common cause of early attrition among military hires who. they have a view into how those other functions can work together to integrate diversity initiatives. this talent pool will initially be difficult to tap into with standard strategies. 2. and almost a third of respondents identified cultural transition as an area in which support would be especially helpful. Like any valuable resource. research from King Street Associates shows that only a handful of HR executives have plans to implement these programs in the next three years. Because their role inside organizations crosscuts all other people functions.com.com. which attracts new veteran recruits. « Peggy M. with Hispanics comprising the largest segment. There is a gap between what HR managers think they should be doing and what they are actually doing when it comes to veterans. As a result. such as HR. The U. the process for doing so must go far beyond recruiting tactics of the past.diversity-executive. Here’s how to get started: 1. recruiting. In the near future. « Emily King is president of Mymilitarytransition. 400. retention and performance programs would be helpful. Start somewhere. Estimates for service members coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t so precise. In an average year.com | Diversity Executive 35 . For instance. but it would be prudent to expect even more in the near future. 3. organizations are seeking creative strategies to recruit skilled talent. This is clearly the domain of the diversity executive. to HR executives. Recognizing that one of the most-cited reasons for dropping out of college is the need to work and earn an income. and career and education navigation. However. Bring the issue of veteran-specific diversity programs to leadership before they bring it to you. recent generations are falling behind. according to the Department of Defense.” Providing transition support as well as a welcoming cultural environment can make a measureable difference when it comes to the success and retention of veterans in civilian organizations. In some ways.to 34-year olds. the United States military ended combat operations in Iraq. November/December 2010 | www. One emerging trend among best-practice companies is that “growing their own” college graduates has the potential to produce high-quality candidates at competitive costs. anywhere. Many will be minorities.000 active service members transition from boots to briefcases. However. engaging and retaining veterans can be a challenge for diversity and inclusion executives — especially those without experience with the military. Talk with company executives. as a group. any veteran coming into the civilian workplace is a member of a cultural minority. many will hang up their uniforms for the last time and join the civilian workforce. and Caucasians will demonstrate negative growth in the workforce. This includes benefits such as prepaid tuition assistance.
because Oyegun said they too are given the benefit of the doubt. Oyegun has had ample opportunities to apply that knowledge because. system that has set a racial equality target. “Generally. Further. Chief Diversity Officer Juliana Oyegun has moved the organization away from a focus on representation and numbers to explore subnational diversity and the economic power found in gender equality. but said she meandered into human rights work. particularly women’s rights in Africa. The bank segments countries into part one. barring economy-related hiring factors.PROFILE Beyond Numbers In nearly 10 years with the World Bank Group. but then it occurred to me that it’s equally important to understand how men see their role in society. to offer loans and advice to governments and developing countries. but for women.com | November/December 2010 beginning. to a certain extent. The bank measures certain targets. male and female. For example. Juliana Oyegun’s focus is distinctly global. Your experience is diametrically opposite from that of the part-one male.” Being a part-two man is also a bit easier. countries that it funds. “When you’re coming from a funding country. I suppose .” she said. “You have to prove yourself. entry and midcareer. Certainly there are very powerful part-two women in this organization.” Oyegun explained. but I don’t think the barriers and hurdles are quite as high as if you’re a part-two woman where actually you carry the burden of proof. This makes sense not just because of the bank’s purpose. you’re at a disadvantage. how they see themselves and how they relate to one another. “It only becomes problematic when you are unaware that your preference is inimical to somebody else or another group’s career prospects. and people of sub-Saharan and Caribbean origin. but Oyegun said these are not quotas. The strategy includes HR policies and practices to enable the hiring of people. “They don’t necessarily have to prove themselves. it’s about being a man of a certain kind.” The bank has a multipoint diversity and inclusion strategy that starts with leadership and accountability and breaks down into several chunks. she said the organization has decided that 48. From the get-go. but for the rank and file. women in management. in any job. along with on-boarding. gender. “Then we’ve got a 10 percent target for people of African origin. you come with a certain set of assumptions. and part two. men are generally in charge.” Since she joined the organization in July 2001. it’s not just about being a man. it’s important to understand and to get them to reflect on what that means — not just for themselves. part one and part two. I was looking at gender. countries that fund it. The self-described Nigerian Brit trained as a barrister in labor and corporate law.” she said.5 percent of the workforce should consist of people from borrowing or part-two countries. They’re almost the embodiment of all these things the rest of us scramble to prove.diversity-executive.” Oyegun explained. “We’re a little bit more sophisticated now. the strategy involves metrics. succession planning.” Additionally. The bank also has set a target for 50 percent of women in management. as she says. but to explain that preferences are natural. “We’re not looking to blame. which it hopes to realize by 2012. I started looking at women’s rights.” she said. you look at it from the perspective of minorities. “Your approach to international development as a part-one man is somewhat different from what a part-two man might regard as development. mentoring and coaching. “We’re the only organization in the U. as is a part-one female. Therefore. funding nation and borrowing nation. when you start talking about diversity. from all over the world. there’s the assumption that they bring tremendous gravitas and competence and expertise. “From the beginning. there’s a perception amongst part-two women that it’s harder. “But when I started out in this work. and pursued one master’s degree in the topic and another in masculinities. It also entails learning to remove unconscious bias. but because of her background.N. By Kellye Whitney As chief diversity officer for the World Bank Group. They are: nationality. at least at the beginning of your career. for which the bank has four targets that it follows and reports on regularly. at least from the 36 Diversity Executive | www.” Oyegun said.
©2010 Jay Premack November/December 2010 | www.com | Diversity Executive 37 .diversity-executive.
“How can we empower women so they can support their . “If you think of the business we provide to them [that] helps stabilize our communities and those families. “Those companies collectively had $35 million worth of giving — so it’s kind of a virtuous cycle where we give and do great work with these companies. a recent survey of General Mills’ key minority business partners revealed they employ nearly 8.000 people — half are minorities and 44 percent are female.because we’re a bunch of economists in the main. integrate [and] coordinate your efforts with other parts of the organization. “Whether it’s renewable energy or reducing our carbon footprint.” he said. it’s also a win for us at [General Mills] because ultimately we want to develop folks to be future leaders of our enterprise. sending work and accountability closer Exploring the Bounds of Diversity Diversity executives can play an important role in advancing diversity strategy in complementary fields that lie slightly outside the workplace periphery.” Charles said.” Charles said.” For instance.” Oyegun said. “Our focus in [corporate social responsibility] tends to be 38 Diversity Executive | www. some 82 percent of employees at General Mills are involved in volunteer efforts.” General Mills’ business depends on continuously improving environmental performance. “When you think about things like community relations and supplier diversity. those are close cousins to the work we do in diversity and inclusion. “We’re not necessarily looking at it as for every dollar invested we’re going to get one hire.” Charles said. and the bank soon acknowledged how significant the axis of segmentation within countries was. do you feel you have the same opportunity as other people. “There are about 10 questions in that section of the staff survey.” The bank also conducts a biannual staff survey. and they give and support their communities.” said Kenneth Charles. “We’re working on a new index that will allow us to measure more of a holistic impact that supplier diversity has on our community. which contains a diversity and inclusion index. we look at it more as capacity building for our communities. which consequently helps drive retention. General Mills views contributing to the community as a way it can develop the next generation of talent and increase the availability of talent for society as a whole.” Further. Another area of focus is the environment. then to make that happen you have to do some things. and they express that diversity in terms of the workforce but also in terms of the client base. General Mills’ extensive work in the community illustrates its commitment to employees. as such.” For instance. we’re trying to raise the conversation to more than just dollars spent to really talking about the impact that supplier diversity has on the community.” he said.” Oyegun said. the organization hopes to engage in activities that would empower women in Africa. working on issues and matters and populations all over the world. we’re committed to trying to make our products and their impact on the [environment] that much softer. the organization is committed to protecting and conserving the natural resource base. If your aspiration is to be a company of choice. “The strategic philanthropy that we do with organizations like [Management Leadership for Tomorrow] raises the capability of the community overall. he explained. “As we talk about supplier diversity. “It’s also one of the reasons they’ve remained in the organization. in terms of does your manager treat everybody equally.diversity-executive. you’re looking for every opportunity you can to synergize. we can do that. you’re developing skills that will make you a stronger leader — that’s a win for that organization and the community. or if you need to dig a little bit deeper. and we can respond with regard to followup.” Oyegun said the bank always has taken a nationalities approach to its diversity work because it’s a member-state organization. etc. vice president of diversity and inclusion for General Mills. “As the chief diversity officer [or] owner for diversity within any organization. we will always think about the community that we work and reside in. but we also now need to think globally. “Around philanthropy. For instance.” Charles said. we try as much as possible to be crisp and precise about our metrics. so every other year we get a read on that. “You take the temperature of your organization. A pilot a few years ago introduced managers to the topic.” The latest survey results indicate that employees continue to say one of the primary reasons they joined the bank is because it’s so diverse. “People are really attracted to this high level of internationalism. “When you’re on any of the nonprofit boards that our employees are engaged in. but it has begun a new project on subnational diversity.com | November/December 2010 around health: How do [we] continue to upgrade the product portfolio so that our employees and our consumers can live healthier lives?” Charles said. General Mills’ activities in the supplier diversity space help to nourish communities.. This is important because the organization is decentralizing at a fairly brisk pace. it’s significant. which it hadn’t acknowledged before.
for example. Stakeholders also should understand that when contracting MWBEs there needn’t be a trade-off between quality. we have over 200 ethnicities. a minority-owned business offering consultants and certified public accountants.S. but sometimes that’s not enough. establishing goals or incentives for purchasers to get behind actual point-of-purchase transactions can make them happen. “How can we transfer the technology. “In fact. your civil rights issues. meaningful and achievable goals is often the first step. “If they’re able to see General Mills caring for the environment. “Look at Brazil. because annual opportunity fairs or other avenues by which organizations find MWBEs may not elicit the right fits. Further. which is a common misconception for those in the supplier diversity space. conditional cash transfers and what women have done with that money and then the positive effect in terms of consumer purchasing power and decision making.” The bank is also in the process of producing its next world development report on gender equality — likely to be published in 2011 — working from a theory that what works for women likely works for the rest of society.” said Denise Bailey. it has to be visible and tangible. If you multiple that by the 160-plus members of the World Bank. Trying to be more cognizant of domestic diversity issues is our new and latest challenge. it’s incumbent upon diversity leaders to delve into these areas and discover the means to extract business value. “In the U. It’s occasionally necessary to go looking. “For instance. principal at Milligan & Co. they want to see it.. “You can tell employees all day long how you’re committed to them and to their families and communities. caring for their communities. for example.” Bailey said diversity executives facilitating these relationships can use census data and vendor databases to uncover mi- .to clients within countries where it’s virtually impossible to ignore the struggles between different ethnicities.” she said. and of course trying to find ways to work with it. Organizations interested in contracting with these MWBEs can find them by doing a bit of research. “There’s a positive effect if women are factored into economic calculations from the onset.” Oyegun explained. we’d have to be aware of your equal opportunity. price and fulfilling part of an organization’s diversity strategy. but if the overall goal of more business with minorities is to initiate or to strengthen MWBEs’ relationships with contracting organizations. partnering with businesses from their communities. “In my own country. affirmative action. Nigeria. “The business need and case for diversity has to be communicated to those with purchasing power. “This is what we call subnational diversity. everyone needs to understand the community that they’re in and what they’re buying.” he said. There’s a whole trajectory of economic stimulus simply because a certain amount of money was placed in the hands of women that they were able to autonomously families and make a meaningful difference in their communities?” he said. “I’m not saying that’s not a good practice. carry lower overhead and offer more competitive prices. if you buy certain commodities and you buy most of those commodities within a certain geographic area. understand where there may be matches that you’re not aware of and understand where there could be gaps that you’re not filling. November/December 2010 | www. but also local diversity. Then you’ve gained nothing from that interaction.” Bailey said.” Organizations should measure performance with diverse suppliers. “You may attract a wide range of people who may not be able to supply to you.” – Deanna Hartley nority vendors in an area that can provide needed services.” she said.. and they may become disenfranchised that they’ve invested time finding out what they may be selling to you when at the end of the day there may not be a lot of opportunity there. “First. We’re trying to find a way to develop a practice around managing subnational diversity such that we have not just internation- al diversity in our country offices. it could become completely unmanageable.” Bailey said support from a diversity executive is helpful.diversity-executive. At the end of the day. and setting realistic. Minority firms are [often] small firms that are more agile and react quicker. continual reinforcement with the people who actually do the buying is even more critical. to emerging entrepreneurs and to farmers in Africa so they can help create sustainable models and hopefully solve the challenges they may have in their communities?” Ultimately. the minority business may be the better price and the quicker delivery. it reinforces all the messages we have about our commitment to their communities and elevates us as an employer of choice.com | Diversity Executive 39 Supplier Diversity Minority.and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) don’t get as many opportunities to bid for work. but that doesn’t mean at the expense of quality and price. the expertise we have around food science.
Generally. This is internal CSR. etc. as does society as a whole. 2. Bailey said people are more comfortable doing business with people they’ve met and have some personal knowledge of. externally. “You may be a good partner in helping their growth. both internally in the form of better employee recruitment.” This is where the diversity executive can facilitate CSR. “And they should be working to embed Corporate Social Responsibility Kellie McElhaney. “Companies need to strive for complementary internal employee inclusion. and as our world’s citizens have become more and more diverse. the bank added inclusion to its diversity strat- egy. she said. children. “The shift of population — even in the U.” Around 2003. so too have expectations of companies risen. “Companies strive.-born white [people] to second-generation immigrants to Hispanic to Native American to Latino. goods and services. and inclusion is a significant part of good worker treatment. “Diversity’s important to a lot of people.” Bailey said. and the findings in 2003 were sufficiently serious for us to consider. and [as] an essential part of the labor force. an Alexander Faculty Fellow in Corporate Responsibility at the Haas School of Business at the University of California. expectations. For nations that are reluctant to open opportunities up equally to both genders. — means that the expectations of the population of company employees and consumers that companies are trying to attract has also shifted. if an organization finds a good diverse supplier.com | November/December 2010 .” she said. as producers of knowledge. or at least not low.. views corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability as interchangeable terms. consistent and compelling sustainability stories so they can be rewarded for their CSR efforts.” Bailey explained.” McElhaney suggests that diversity executives follow this model and integrate their efforts with lines of CSR because diversity and sustainability are complementary concepts. We don’t think of them as consumers.S. companies are focusing on two areas when promoting CSR and sustainability: 1. if you prioritize women early enough. “It strikes me that diversity execs should be doing the same thing to better communicate their diversity efforts as a way to attract and retain top talent and to better attract diverse markets. “A lot of minority businesses are small.” McElhaney said. “[However. so we got a firm of labor economists to do “Goals start to lose their effectiveness when they’re unachievable. the company should consider some mentoring to aid the diverse supplier’s development.] every single time — no matter where [across] 40 Diversity Executive | www. and meeting diverse suppliers where they work and gather instead of expecting a good turnout when asking them to come in response to organizational requests all can promote MWBE relationships. “If that’s the community you’re trying to attract. they define it as fair to good treatment of workers. “It’s hard to make a decision about who to buy something with if you’re just looking at paper. “Examples abound of how in economics. children benefit.” Outreach.” McElhaney said companies must ensure their internal and external CSR efforts match.allocate for the benefit of the family. they probably don’t have a large marketing staff and a lot of time for executives to do a lot of networking on the ground. “Companies typically start at the external side of things because that’s where they feel the most pain. And.” – Kellye Whitney the globe — an average citizen is asked how they define CSR. is to break down the brick wall dividing companies’ internal and external CSR and sustainability efforts. for inclusion of all stakeholders — shareholders.” McElhaney said. Having a keen understanding of how diversity can be good and profitable for your business is a key place to start. having high. The key to both. Oyegun said moving the strategy beyond numbers and recognizing that behind the decisions that produce those numbers are attitudes. “I had a hypothesis that there was more to the work than just representation and numbers. communities.” she said. “As companies have gained more and more power in our world.” she said. satisfaction and productivity. “We started a fairly in-depth research study in 2002.” Bailey said.” According to McElhaney.. Better communications for their CSR efforts: Organizations tell more effective. including the client base. when you think of women in developing worlds. etc. I felt there were tailwinds and headwinds that were predetermining who would settle where. “Opportunities exist throughout the business. their well-being and their opportunities.diversity-executive. and externally in the marketplace as consumers make purchase decisions based on which companies have a compelling CSR presence. retention. you only think of poverty.” she said. “Any time you make a goal.” Oyegun said. It was called Enhancing Inclusion in the World Bank Group. make sure you have systems in place to track your progress against it. Better integrating sustainability with the business — all brands and units: “It no longer works to have one sustainability department separate from the rest of the business units. Berkeley. I’m hoping we’ll be able to generate the kind of data that will encourage them to be more ambitious and bolder. from U. Understanding better ways to meet them is really important. etc.S. preferences and unconscious biases that determine whether people — and who among people — will thrive at the core of the organization is one of the achievements she is most proud of during her tenure. consumers.” Face-to-face meetings are also important. one capable of expanding the relationship.
a global provider of workplace products. to make them more compelling. Oyegun said there is now a discourse on unconscious bias. Cloyd said the idea there is to put at-risk kids in the right environment and change the teaching pedagogy toward broader community involvement. there are positive business benefits to greater inclusion [and] sustainability.” she said.” Next. furnishings and services. Cloyd said these efforts to continually support the local community should and do have a strong diversity connection. “We’re not talking about rabid sexists or racists here. it’s important that we have input on impacting the growth and development of people in the community so that we can have a ready supply of educated people to come and work in our company. where a company’s sustainability leader is unwilling to be collaborative in his or her efforts. “One question that we ask is what role should businesses .” To that end. etc. how their areas really are complementary. There’s also diversity of thought. Steelcase has initiated several nonprofit organizations near Grand Rapids.” As a result of the research. Steelcase also has partnered with a local school district to start the Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy. education.” she said. diversity of thought is a key piece. a fifth. internally and externally. Research indicates that diverse audiences — primarily women. community relations has far-reaching implications for talent acquisition. things that you’re walking around with as a result of your socialization. your expectations of people. and we now have a way of determining who’s likely to end up where. ethnicity and gender. “At Steelcase. The center also offers an adult program for unemployed or underemployed employees and provides training in medical technology.” said Brian Cloyd. “The diversity executive and the sustainability executive need to have a clear and open discussion of how they can combine. “The whole thing ties up to being more accessible and branding ourselves significantly differently.some very rigorous work. You can actually help people along through proactive on-boarding and good integration practices. that it’s socially responsible. Those are the top four. the way you encourage.. the more innovation you get. “Most organizations reside in urban areas where there are large groups of people that are potential employees. “Diversity in a lot of respects right now in the U.. we’re trying to change the discussion about diversity. race. “One thing that’s important to us is where in the community do we want to spend our time. but to ensure a future pipeline of diverse talent for society at large. is a code word for affirmative action. from a corporate sustainability standpoint.diversity-executive. And diversity can be used to attract a more sustainability-focused audience. economic development and the environment.” Oyegun said. Cloyd said changing workplace demographics are one reason diversity executives should promote community relations as part of a strategic diversity and inclusion strategy. where it’s based. and as we’re getting back to the community. “There’s something called the implicit association test that can actually help you surface unconscious preferences. vice president of global corporate relations and chief diversity officer for Steelcase. the World Bank will work to create more internships to bring in people and allow them to test the waters at the company. Mich. recognize scale and leverage one another’s areas. and then we can say arts and culture as a sub-priority area. The school includes job shadowing and internships and other college prep elements to promote higher-than-average graduation rates for urban youth and ensure they attend college.S. and we’re trying to make information and data more readily available to a broader audience of people. And.” he said.” – Daniel Margolis play in getting involved in education? We decided. We’ve also put in place some supports and safety nets so you don’t just wait for the inevitable to happen. but to stimulate their interests and curiosity and to help them stay in school. “People need to understand that companies are no longer doing diversity or sustainability because it is simply the right thing to do. a term the bank learned from work done by experimental psychologist Mahzarin Banaji. So sustainability can actually be used as a hook to attract diverse segments as employees and consumers. the way you promote. McElhaney said a “typical territorialism” may occur. resources and energy? Our priorities are diversity. but that’s not the limit.” « – Kellye Whitney November/December 2010 | www.” Cloyd said. Local hospitals partnered with Steelcase to help develop the program and facilitate job placement after completion.” « their diversity stories into their CSR stories. We put a lot of emphasis on that because we’ve learned the more diverse the thinking is. “We’re a great convener of talent around issues. The program gets participants involved in the arts not so they become artists. the way you hire.com | Diversity Executive 41 Community Relations At Steelcase. The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology offers an after-school program for urban kids in grades 9-12 who are typically at risk. we’re talking about perfectly normal people who have no idea that they prefer thin people to fat people [and that it’s impacting their work].” A diversity executive may encounter challenges when trying to promote sustainability. LGBT [and] Latino — tend to care more about sustainability. and we convinced some of our community business leaders of the same thing. That’s true.to 12th-grade school focused specifically on urban youth. that you’re completely unaware of but that are material to the choices and decisions you make. the way you reassign. not just to meet an organization’s immediate labor needs.
diversity-executive. This compares to a 49 percent increase for the Data Point total population durAccording to the latest U. nonconfrontational and antisocial. despite their significant numbers in the workforce and conspicuous absence in top leadership roles. behind Hispanics. What follows are some of the Asia Society’s findings on distinct issues facing APAs in corporations.S. engineering and research. Given these demographics. The Asia Society. there is a need to highlight more facts that identify the distinguishing elements of Asian-Pacific Americans’ (APAs) participation and strengthen efforts that increase the inclusiveness of this segment in corporations. Also. These are not the functions that generally lead to senior management positions in the companies surveyed. Furthermore. The Asia Society gathered quantitative and qualitative data to substantiate the survey’s findings. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought attention to this workplace phenomenon. Why is this important? APAs are the second fastest-growing minority group in the U.S. hardworking..S. statistics. As seen in Figure 1.S. companies must be proactive in their efforts to reach out to Asian-Pacific Americans.BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE Breaking Through the ‘Bamboo Ceiling’ To be truly inclusive.” According to the EEOC report. Census Bureau statistics. the Asia Society’s Corporate Diversity Council decided to embark on a benchmark study to survey issues and recommendations for forward action. good at math and science. an institution that works to foster understanding between Asians and Americans. Twenty percent of single APAs over 25 years old possess graduate degrees compared to 10 percent of all Americans in that same age category. their population is expected to grow by 213 percent over the next 50 years. in the companies surveyed. “While some of these stereotypes have positive characteristics. APAs include some of the most educated employees. growing at a rate of 38 percent. However. diversity and inclusion programs often overlook this important segment of the workforce.” The report goes on to explain. 42 Diversity Executive | www. 85 percent of respondents feel that their workplaces are free of disrespectful and offensive behaviors. Eighty-eight percent of APA employees feel generally positive about their companies and feel good about the mission of their companies. the Asia Society found that about 60 percent of APA employees are concentrated in IT. the Asian-Pacific American APA youth are the population is expected to grow by 213 single fastest-growing percent over the next 50 years. The survey queried APA employees and CDOs from these companies. with 50 percent holding bachelor’s degrees compared with 38 percent of the general U. they have become the framework of barriers establishing glass or bamboo ceilings.S. finance. saw this as an opportunity to develop its 2010 Asian Pacific Americans Corporate Survey. According to the latest U. but are also passive. A recent report published by the U. The survey discovered several issues. women and other diverse segments in the workforce. Hispanics. As seen in Figure 2. population. technically oriented. These stereotypes or generalizations include notions that APAs are “quiet. demographic in the U. one would expect that there would be few issues with the inclusiveness of APAs in the workforce. which would highlight the facts regarding the status of APAs in corporations. This is compounded by another phenomenon the survey .S. The council is made up of 25 to 30 chief diversity officers (CDOs) from some of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the U.” The statistical data collected by the survey reveal that the percentage of APA representation indeed diminishes as one enters the senior levels. Berry and David Whitelaw Reid While much is written about the participation of AfricanAmericans. a majority of respondents reported feeling there is a “bamboo ceiling” for APAs. By Philip A. the representation of APAs in the corporate suite and their ability to reach their full career potential has not been realized. The report describes the bamboo ceiling as an “underrepresentation of Asian-Americans in leadership and decision-making positions within federal agencies.S. accounting. Unfortunately. Census Bureau ing this same period. APAs often encounter career roadblocks rooted in ethnic stereotypes. family-oriented.com | November/December 2010 To address this issue.
Research has clearly demonstrated that engaged employees drive superior business results when compared with their less engaged counterparts.Figure 1: Education Level of Employees Bachelor’s Degree 50% Graduate/ Professional Degree 38% discovered: the presence of a “double ceiling” effect. The Asia Society identified that these companies have certain things in common. This double-ceiling effect may lead to a number of negative outcomes for corporations employing talented female APAs.com | Diversity Executive 43 .” This certainly has implications regarding the retention and engagement of female APAs. Women were also less likely to agree with the statement. such companies foster high employee engagement. For exData Point ample. This difference calls attention to additional inherent roadblocks in mainstream American culture that impede the career advancement of women within the corporate hierarchy. Many organizations are missing opportunities to leverage the unique perspectives APA women bring to decisions. APA women participating in the study were less likely than APA men to report that APA employees have a clear presence in senior leadership positions. It is this unique combination of employee and work environment characteristics fostering employee engagement that has the most evident implications for key BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE 20% 10% ■ APAs Source: The Asia Society ■ General Population Figure 2: Asian-Paci c Americans’ Primary Work Area Human Resources (3%) Marketing (4%) Engineering (4%) Customer Service (6%) Production (2%) Legal (1%) Risk/Quality (1%) Finance/ Accounting (26%) Operations (8%) Sales (8%) R&D (8%) Other (8%) IT (21%) Source: The Asia Society continued on page 47 November/December 2010 | www. and a number of other issues. “I would remain with this company even if offered a comparable job in another company.diversity-executive. more effectively than others. The survey did find that some companies are addressing these. Women in the Asia Society’s study were much less likely than men to report that their work groups capitalize on the diverse perspectives and talents of APA employees in accomplishing goals.
skills and backgrounds. at a CCM facility. they see how different each one is culturally. the committee decided to pay particular attention to diversity — an obvious choice for Beth Abraham as it is located in New York City. From designing and creating decorations and costumes to learning new songs and dances. vice president of clinical operations for CCM.. Sharing experiences together through the therapeutic recreation activities. The area where it has seen the most success in implementing diversity as a core value has been in its Comprehensive Care Management (CCM) programs. The principle of diversity became a standard-bearer for Beth Abraham and focusing on it has become a valuable pursuit in terms of patient care and staff relations. mutual respect and relative openness to the different ways that staff members contribute to the mission.” said Mary Wehrberger. patients or clients. Suffolk and Westchester counties. and the number is growing quickly.com | November/December 2010 . Second. religions. CCM. N. Fostering Staff Diversity An organization’s culture is reflected in the way employees treat one another and in the way they treat their customers. Fostering diversity at Beth Abraham has two components. as well as broadens the understanding. Bukharan Jewish or other groups. of all staff. Long Island.CASE STUDY Caring for the Melting Pot The Beth Abraham Family of Health Services embraced diversity as a core value and saw its ability to serve the broad spectrum of the population of New York City soar. the organization feels it is important to cultivate diversity among its staff members and have them form strong and positive working relationships across ethnicities and cultures. it wants to provide thoughtful and appropriate care to the wide variety of people who come to it for health-related services. skill and expertise. CCM members assist patients in celebrating a variety of holidays and cultural celebrations. Beth Abraham’s clients come from a melting pot of ethnicities. Beth Abraham raises the level of awareness. a member of the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services. Out of the four. offers community-based programs that provide a wide range of health care services to qualified elderly and disabled adults so they can continue to live in their own homes.Y.” For example. By creating a diverse staff. The intrinsic value of diversity among staff is found in what employees learn from each other based on different experiences. while a high standard of care is maintained in each of our facilities. Korean. “Today.diversity-executive. First. program members have the opportunity to celebrate their own heritage and learn about those of their fellow members. Caribbean. the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services in Bronx. So just as important as the diversity of Beth Abraham’s patients is diversity among its staff. Latino. fashion and other aspects of one another’s cultures and takes field trips to enjoy music and art from all over the world. languages and geographies. one of the most varied and culturally rich areas of the world. The group also shares crafts. a diverse workforce has to have a common sense of commitment. The Russian Jewish women here have formed deep bonds of friendship with elderly Asian women through the common pastime of quilting together. Nothing teaches openness to difference faster and more effectively than bringing together different types of people and helping them learn to reach out to one another 44 Diversity Executive | www.” Wehrberger said. Heterogeneity results in a more sophisticated and capable workforce. Russian. “When people visit our sites. creativity and diversity. a major provider of long-term health care services in the New York area. A committee of employees and managers decided on four values: caring. our staff members speak 72 languages and can provide culturally appropriate programming and meals for people who come from every corner of the globe. perspectives. “We learn each other’s songs. and Nassau. By Peter Fragale Four years ago. such as music. food. that are offered at CCM centers is a way to bring different ethnic and cultural groups together. integrity. one might hear a Chinese participant singing Russian songs in Cantonese. embarked on a mission to re-establish its core values. “It’s an opportunity for fellow program members and staff from varied backgrounds to celebrate each other. though they share few words. To be effective.” Celebrating Patient Diversity Whether Beth Abraham is working with Albanian. It intended to use those values to govern its relationships among staff and manage the way it provides services to its patients. Beth Abraham has 18 CCM facilities across New York City. races.
All of these efforts are helping Beth Abraham diversify its workforce throughout the ranks of the organization. economic development offices and community events. Employees with role models at all levels of an organization are more engaged. The organization has found several strategies that have helped to diversify its staff across the many facilities in its network.com | Diversity Executive 45 . more than 160 people throughout the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services received promotions — half into managerial positions. Fostering diversity among staff is an effective method Beth Abraham has used to enhance employee engagement with the mission of the organization. Beth Abraham posts every available job and rewards staff for referrals. It is not always easy for staff members to be open and engage with others whose values or habits they may not share. and the pride Beth Abraham has in its many traditions adds to the organization’s sense of worth. speak at local churches and community centers. It believes strongly in promoting from within.with a sense of dignity and common purpose. But with effort. and half into nonmanagerial positions. Beth Abraham’s staff has become more resourceful and more sensitive to the differences among people. Beth Abraham also has instituted a talent management program in which it seeks capable employees at all levels of the organization to give them special training. The first is to use employees to help bring in other employees. in the past two years. This program is helping to diversify its workforce at all levels and is part of its strategic plan for the future. computer screensavers and presentations.diversity-executive. Staff members go to appropriate job fairs. and advertise in community newspapers. When staff members treat November/December 2010 | www. and it is seeing the benefits of this at every level. Beth Abraham employees talk about diversity every day — messages pertaining to it are posted on the walls.
As an employer. “By showing sensitivity to these employees’ cultural backgrounds and by training our staff to work effectively across cultural divides in each of our centers. Benefits of a Diverse Workforce Beth Abraham has found diversity is a key to several tangible benefits.” as the credit crunch produced more female breadwinners and turned the traditional role of men as the breadwinners of the family unit on its head. what questions you can ask in front of other family members. Its heterogeneous workforce allows it to tap into new and different pockets for clients. First.S. Offer experiences within the workplace to break stereotypes and to educate both genders. Breaking gender stereotypes also implies changing traditional roles for men. There are many things to take into consideration when working with people from different backgrounds — whether you shake hands or nod your head as a greeting. it benefits from communications among members of smaller ethnic communities. 46 Diversity Executive | www.” said Healy.” Healy said. It is widely known that nurses. Phase 5: Sustain Muscle Growth.com. In addition. redressing stereotyping and breaking biased muscles requires a long-term approach and a concerted investment to create a sustainable. and we have great longevity. Establish processes to remind and prevent employees from letting their brains cheat and confirm stereotypes.diversity-executive. how much eye contact to make. organizations need to consistently build and review an organization’s progress in diversity development.com | November/December 2010 . we ask employees from the appropriate backgrounds to teach one another what we need to be aware of culturally. It is uncomfortable to have to remind ourselves that we have blind spots and that we need to find ways to overcome them. Conversely. Talent management: Engage employees and review their career-life aspirations and motivations throughout the employee life cycle. She can be reached at editor@diversity-executive. CCM is really a wonderful place to work. “For someone who wants to be in a diverse environment.” Training is the heart of making this work. we have been able to benefit from an extraordinary wellspring of qualified and dedicated staff right in the neighborhoods of New York. oftentimes differences melt away and are replaced with respect and a commitment to teamwork and mutual goals. the fact that some languages are louder than others. and we respect all ethnicities and cultures. and author of Breaking Gender Stereotypes: How Your Organization Can Redress the Brain Drain and Fuel Innovation. But Beth Abraham’s registrants and members sometimes have connections in their own ethnic communities to people who are qualified health care workers. The power of neurogenesis — creating new mental paths for our brains to process information in areas that do not play to our individual or organizational strengths — is not easily attained. genderneutral business environment that will benefit all internal and external stakeholders. It requires commitment from the business as well as tolerance to do things in ways that they have not been done before. founder and CEO of Aquitude. succession planning and engagement levels from across the business.” « Peter Fragale is senior vice president and chief human resources officer for the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services. “This doesn’t just happen by chance. • Compare long-term metrics related to the number of women in leadership positions across the business. and revisit the strategy to remedy persistent gaps and devise remedial actions. « Christina Ioannidis is an organizational development consultant.BIAS continued from page 23 each other with consideration. serving people from their own background and culture. managers looking to fill a role will use nontraditional talent pools and offer roles to internal candidates rather than turning externally to fulfill talent needs. It is only through long-term therapy that a person recovers from an injury. “Our staff has high qualifications in terms of education and experience. We really do seek out the people who live in our communities. He can be reached at editor@diversity-executive. and so on. • Measure progress in terms of talent pipeline. members and patients.com. individual engagement. “In individual communities. its diverse workforce extends its reach into New York’s many communities to help it find new registrants. Review and Reassess Like an athlete who needs to maintain top physical performance in newly re-formed muscles. since members of smaller ethnic and social groups tend to find services by asking one another about them. Beth Abraham has an education department that provides regular formal diversity training to its staff on an ongoing basis. succession planning and gender-specific employee turnover all have to be monitored and compared over time. Ensure that work is satisfying to individual’s passions. Success in terms of individual bias reduction. We see diversity as a plus when it come to hiring skilled staff members and bringing quality health care services to the people of New York. how close to stand. • Review and investigate shortfalls. certified nursing assistants and other health care personnel are in short supply almost everywhere in the U. coined by some as a “mancession. The recent recession has created a kind of role reversal.” said Joseph Healy. This process should be organic. and Beth Abraham has approached it enthusiastically. Beth Abraham also uses client diversity as a tool to grow its employee ranks. It can sometimes offer these highly educated individuals the opportunity to work in their own neighborhoods. Similarly. chief operating officer for CCM.
com. November/December 2010 | www. Ability to reach potential. Berry is a member and former co-chair of Asia Society’s Corporate Diversity Council and also president of Philip Berry Associates LLC. entry into new markets and employee needs. which invariably provide a barrier to full opportunity for APA employees. APAs can ensure that the intricacies of doing business abroad are understood and appreciated. David Whitelaw Reid is director of corporate relations at Asia Society. These employers ensure that there is clear APA representation in the senior management levels. Both can be reached at editor@diversity-executive. 3. family-oriented. These companies empower their APA employees to make decisions. but are also passive.S. provide continuous opportunities to learn. good at math and science. hardworking. they can learn the cross-cultural skills to be successful in the American Asian-Pacific Americans often encounter career roadblocks rooted in ethnic stereotypes. Ability to use skill set. Alternatively. they identify high-potential talent early and provide mentoring to foster development. Furthermore. Employees also are encouraged to participate in these groups because they are seen as a strong resource to the company.” marketplace. Senior management’s active involvement in ERGs ensures the membership that this is a business priority.com | Diversity Executive 47 .BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE continued from page 43 business outcomes including customer loyalty. 2. There are two issues that dominate discussions in the diversity field today: how to be global and how to tie efforts to the business case. ERGs can be a great resource for innovative ideas about new products. work quality and employee retention. technology and R&D. Additionally. these efforts are buttressed by robust recruiting activities that provide a continuous stream of talent. provide employees with meaningful opportunities to contribute. Those involved in creating inclusive organizations must understand the similarities and differences of various segments. nonconfrontational and antisocial. Companies that excel at engaging APAs are able to innovate in these two areas. Furthermore. and give employees control over their own resources.diversity-executive. One size does not fit all. technically oriented. Having the data to make fact-based decisions increases our overall ability to win in the area of diversity. ERGs are viewed as a way for the company to connect to the community and develop stronger external ties. but also tap into this growing consumer segment in the U.S. There are a number of innovations that can be imported to the U. from abroad that also can penetrate the general American consumer market. global diversity and leadership development. This involvement may be serving as mentors to the group or interacting in ERG activities. The survey also identified that companies excelling at engaging APAs use employee resource groups (ERGs) strategically. « Philip A. Strong attention also is paid to breaking the bamboo and double ceilings. These stereotypes or generalizations include notions that they are “quiet. These groups are utilized to provide feedback to the company on many important business issues such as customer satisfaction. Opportunities for career growth and development. as APAs seek careers in the U. They also have succession and individual development plans that enable the company to continually identify and grow APA talent. The Asia Society’s survey is part of the overall process to expand the insights available about the distinct aspects of this important segment. To support this. they are a vehicle to develop the leadership skills of their members as they use ERGs to grow and strengthen their competencies. These efforts are reinforced by targeted training and development activities that reinforce leadership skill development.S. a consulting firm focused on executive coaching. They are not only able to gain new insights into how to penetrate overseas markets in Asia. it is critical to understand the cross-cultural elements to be successful in other countries. As companies expand their global reach. The top four areas mentioned by APA employees that foster engagement are: 1. 4. They are not just seen as vehicles to foster cultural exposure and support for their members. Flexible work arrangements.
you hopefully won’t run into legal issues like sexual harassment. we saw in the financial markets there was a group of similarly minded people from similar backgrounds who. president and practice leader for the Association of Diversity Councils. “These things take time. among other things. minimizing intraorganizational workforce litigation remains a core responsibility.” Rodriguez said. a financial reform bill signed into law in July. the importance of flexibility and evenhandedness in an organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy.” Freeman said. it also necessitates a close scrutiny of the legal implications that arise when promoting a diverse work environment. That includes. an organization-wide focus on a governing compliance framework is essential.” Diversity executives are playing increasingly prominent roles in organizational growth strategy by helping to ensure that a business’ development capacity is equipped to mirror its global ambitions. which helps attract talent to organizations that they were missing. the rate of minority employment in the private sector rose from 11 percent to 34 percent. “You have to be very aware of how the legal courts interpret diversity recruitment and talent management. legal and talent-related risks that threaten sustainable growth in the world market. “You should ensure that you are driving an agenda of diversity and inclusion and you are proving representation. but that you are doing so in a way that is not exclusive and doesn’t give the appearance of any reverse discrimination. To navigate the regulatory waves that fleck the recession’s slipstream. “[Diversity executives] have to make sure that they align with the directives of the Supreme Court. “Companies understand that you need to make proactection Act.” Niles said. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission showed that between 1966 and 2008.” said Janice Bowman. discrimination and adverse impact. cannot be understated.” Though diversity executives can perform key functions in macro-level reform. that organizations create an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion and called for organizations in the financial sector to generate a greater number of female and minority workers. executives ranked regulation and compliance as the top business risk facing their companies. diverse talent pipelines presents a versatile recruitment strategy that plants viable seeds for future growth. “One way diversity folks mitigate risk is they lower the risk of litigation. tive efforts today to make sure that you have the right composition of workers and employees going forward.com | November/December 2010 Data provided by the U. diversity executives can play a key role in formulating a balanced strategy that mitigates the financial. Emerging markets constitute key investment opportunities.” said David Niles. an operations consulting firm. in their worldview. While this dramatic increase signals a welcome diversification of America’s workforce. The Diversity-Legal Risk Connection Although the aforementioned Ernst & Young report identifies talent management and emerging markets as two of the core risks facing businesses in the coming year.” Establishing new.diversity-executive. As companies emerge from the uncertainty of the economic downturn.” Freeman said. mandated. the diversity and inclusion function. and diversity-centered recruitment practices will help organizations better navigate any disconnects between unfamiliar business ventures and consumers.S. « . and you need to establish the right environment for different kinds of people to thrive. Connecting with newly identified pools of diverse talent provides a framework for long-term success as companies respond to more favorable conditions for international business. had assumed a probability of things happening that didn’t match reality. As organizations negotiate the tightrope back to profitability.” With compliance regulations actively promoting more diverse workforces. at least one thing is clear: Risk is real. and implementation of that strategy. “Over the past three years. “If diversity executives create the right environments. specifically as it relates to recruitment and retention.” Diversity executives can mitigate the financial. because you are going to have more input and a broader perspective. and the consequences can be disastrous. legal and talent-related risks that threaten sustainable growth in the world market.. “Employee resource groups can share copies of job descriptions in their communities. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Pro48 Diversity Executive | www. “Bringing greater diversity into a company and into the economy really helps to mitigate ‘long tail’ risk. in no small part.RISK continued from page 27 human resources. president of SSA & Co.
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STRATEGIES | R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr. The notion of the SDMP as a craft suggests that building capability is a key requirement.or eight-hour workshop expecting to leave with a significant degree of diversity management mastery. I offered five ways to achieve worldclass diversity management (WCDM) and promised five more. related tensions will always be present. few currently perceive it as such. « R. Finally. No matter how competently racial differences are addressed. but to achieve the status of world class. They see diversity management as something leaders do on behalf of the rank and file. Then. vision and strategy — in its midst. to facilitate achieving WCDM. Next. Two concepts are central. The Ism Is Not the Issue Diversity is complex. one situation in which research conducted by Roosevelt Thomas Consulting & Training in 2006 revealed significantly lower feelings of goodwill among blacks toward their employer compared to other groups. WCDM and the SDMP require that leaders empower individuals. tools. principles. but take no personal responsibility for addressing solutions effectively. remember that the Strategic Diversity Management Process (SDMP) — the engine that drives WCDM — is a universal decision-making craft. Identifying best practices and even promising practices will be helpful.diversity-executive. and solutions require effort In my last column. for example.com | November/December 2010 The first is the concept of being diversity-challenged. the necessity for continuous improvement and ethics. accept the reality that complexity — that which makes something difficult to explain — always accompanies diversity. requirements for mastery through practice. Any efforts to address the perceived racism — no matter how successful — would not have included the complexities associated with functions and geographic locations. founder of the American Institute for Managing Diversity and author of World Class Diversity Management: A Strategic Approach. The second central concept is that diversity-mature individuals accept responsibility for addressing diversity. is CEO of Roosevelt Thomas Consulting & Training. Diversitymature organizations and individuals acknowledge where they are diversity-challenged and also the costs this can create. I ask. 50 Diversity Executive | www. the existence of racial or any other diversity-related tension does not necessarily suggest poor management. This reluctance springs from a mistaken belief that the diversity-challenged are necessarily racist or otherwise biased. Company leaders concluded that racism was the principal causal factor. They are: Accept the reality that tension accompanies diversity and that the goal of WCDM is not to eliminate that tension. pursue diversity maturity. People who understand what learning a craft entails will understand that great effort and commitment are necessary. This would explain why individuals enter a four. . or having difficulty making quality decisions in the midst of diversity. but to make quality decisions in its midst. drawn from my new book. be prepared to pioneer. pioneering is essential. In fact. status. such as concepts. He can be reached at editor@diversity-executive. Frequently when working with a group. or world-class. but rather to make quality decisions — ones congruent with overall mission. Roosevelt Thomas Jr. A number of elements relate to diversity maturity. Many individuals are good at pointing out the diversity deficiencies of their organization and managers. As a consequence. It may also be true that few believe diversity management merits the effort required to reach craftsman. but rather is one of the requisites for effective decision making in the midst of diversity. The goal of worldclass diversity management is not to eliminate tension. It also implies the existence of several attributes routinely associated with a craft. The view that diversity management is a craft is not universally held.com. These functional and geographic considerations proved more significant in prompting blacks to report higher levels of dissatisfaction than other groups in the company than did racism. Blacks disproportionately worked in a function held in relatively low regard by the organization and also in a plant located in a geographic site considered to be an undesirable place to live. Consider. In fact. This column contains the remaining five descriptions. “How many of you are diversity-challenged?” Few participants eagerly raise their hands. But this is easier said than achieved. The SDMP presumes that awareness is not enough by itself. World Class Diversity Management: A Strategic Approach. Next. inadequate diversity management skills are more often in play than any of the isms. Additional statistical analysis revealed that other factors played greater causal roles than racism. No one wishes to be seen as guilty of an ism. Those who do look cautiously around to see if others are declaring themselves. a creative component.
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