Few in the HR community would disagree that we, as a society, have reached a tipping point concerning issues of discrimination, diversity and inclusion. Public outcry and protest over what many consider to be long-standing and systemic enablers of injustice, racism and inequality have forced all organizations to reassess and reimagine their strategies and programs for Diversity and Inclusion (D&I).
In this month’s special report, Diversity & Inclusion, A Framework for Reassessing Your Company’s Programs, we present research, questions and ideas you can use to stimulate and inform internal discussions. These include:
- An overview of recent events that have converged to make D&I a front-burner issue for all companies;
- A review of five-year composite survey data representing how employees from different ethnic groups view their company’s D&I programs;
- Evidence from leading research studies on the bottom-line business benefits of creating more diverse and inclusive organizational cultures;
- Practical ideas for how CEOs can support inclusive cultures;
- A look at the role of HR as a change agent;
- Cautionary and practical guidance for ensuring that D&I is an authentic part of your employee value proposition;
- Ideas for improving recruiting processes to ensure a more sustainable approach for achieving D&I objectives;
- Insights for cultivating more inclusive leadership skills in front-line managers.
Now is the time for change: Clearly, we have reached a tipping point. A recent poll conducted by Monmouth University found that 76% of Americans now say that racial and ethnic discrimination is a big problem in the United States. In January 2015, only 51% of Americans felt this way and in July 2016, only 68% did.
Your company’s brand is at stake: CEOs who posted tweets in support of the Black Lives Matter movement were widely criticized in the media and employee forums because of the gross under-representation and inequitable wages of minorities and women within their companies. Failure to “walk the talk” of diversity, equity, and fairness can negatively impact share prices, brand equity, and recruiting and retention.
This report is not a playbook for reinventing your D&I policies and programs. Our goal is to provide a framework for stimulating internal discussions around the reassessment of your organization’s approach to ensuring a more diverse, inclusive and equitable work environment.