No matter where you are in the world, your organization needs to know the "why" behind your diversity strategy. Learn how to identify the "who" and "how" so that your strategy succeeds.
- A few years ago, a large multinational company decided to move some of its operations to Latin America. Being mindful of diversity and inclusion, among other things, they required their Latin American offices to hire a certain percentage of Latino and African American employees. But that's kind of absurd, right? Don't get me wrong, as a Mexican female, I'm all for hiring Latinx people. But if you're in Latin America, everyone's Latino. The office is based in Latin America and African American is a term only used in the US.
The effort just doesn't make any sense. As you begin to form your global diversity strategy, let's share some of the steps that some of the top companies follow. First, you need to figure out the why behind your diversity strategy. Second, determine who is included in your diversity strategy, and third, decide how, how you're going to do it. Okay, let's tackle the first step. Your company needs to determine why you care about diversity. Is it to increase innovation, is it because it's the right thing to do? Each company needs to figure this out for themselves, but SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, can offer a little help.
They've identified four reasons that companies care about diversity. One is fairness, basically the moral argument. Two is compliance with the law, like the EEOC law in the US. Three is dealing with talent shortages. And four is mirroring the customer base. In other words, having people who are more similar to your customers will help you attract and serve them more effectively. I would add a fifth one, that the benefit of having diversity of thought, which is woven into some of these arguments, but it really deserves its own category.
Once you know the why part of your diversity strategy, you can come up with the who. Who's included in your overall diversity strategy? For example, at PwC, they have an overall mission of diversity, but they also have smaller mission statements, around subgroups, like HeForShe, whose mission is to engage men as agents of change in achieving global gender equality. They also have GLEE, gay, lesbian, and everyone else, in Canada, and their mission is to create inclusiveness for LGBTQ employees. Finally you get to the how, which reflects the steps you will take to implement your strategy and achieve your goals.
In the case of GLEE at PwC, because their goal is to create inclusiveness for LGBTQ employees, they're taking several steps. One, provide a supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered partners, staff, and allies, to network and develop professionally. Two, promote an inclusive, diverse, and respectful work environment. Three, position PwC Canada as the distinctive firm and employer of choice for the LGBTQ community. And four, identify business development opportunities in the community at large.
Then they measured key indicators of success on these metrics. For example, you can measure the number of women throughout the organization, changes in turnover rates for different groups, or engagement levels across the organization. If you want to create a global diversity strategy, first start by figuring out the heart of why you're promoting diversity and who you're trying to serve. Then, come up with how you will meet that vision.
- How prioritizing diversity and inclusion is good for business
- Establishing accountability
- Creating a global diversity strategy
- Creating a localized strategy
- Using benchmarks to track the progress of your efforts
- Measuring diversity program success
- Diversity and inclusion in Brazil, Russia, India, and China