HUMAN Capital - Winter 2013 - (Page 32)
How to Make
Diversity and Inclusion
More Than Just Lip Service
A Roadmap to an Inclusive Organization
BY DEBBY CARREAU, MBA,CHRP
So how does an organization get real traction
in this area?
Senior Level Commitment
First, it has to start with support from the
CEO and senior leadership. They can show
that commitment in a variety of ways by making diversity a priority.
Stating that diversity is a key strategic imperative and getting all senior leaders to participate actively in initiatives sends a strong
message. In too many companies, the managerial ranks lack role models for women,
people of colour, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgendered/transexual (LGBT) communities. Senior level role models need to be
involved. For example, the CEO and other
senior leaders can chair the organization's
diversity task force or lead a mentoring circle.
This also allows senior leadership to see how
the organization can support diversity and
inclusion initiatives in a meaningful way.
Have the diversity leader report directly to
the CEO; the most current research shows
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only 20 to 25 per cent currently do so.
Having that direct line to the corner office
can give the initiative more importance and
visibility. When a CEO visibly stands for
diversity and inclusion, it sends an essential
message to the organization.
Encourage your CEO to look to your board
of directors for support. At public corporations, the CEO does not have the ability to
select the board of directors. However, he
or she often holds a lot of influence over the
board's profi le. Not only do diverse boards
perform better, they are more likely to support diversity within the organization and
help allocate adequate resources to make
Confront the Brutal Facts
Understand where you stand today on diversity metrics both internally and externally.
What are the industry best practice statistics? What is your staff saying? Is your workforce made up of a team that reflects your
consumer? Take a hard look at yourself and
set some transparent targets and timelines.
Acknowledge to your employees where your
organization stands today and that it is a priority to address this.
for consumers or clients who are choosing to
give their business to organizations who are
displaying strong values and ethics.
Leadership can demonstrate commitment by
allocating funds for diversity and the time
for training. The reality is that in order for
initiatives to gain traction there needs to be
a clear plan, budget and time set aside for
execution. Without adequate resources, the
organization runs the risk of not properly
executing on their commitments which can
be worse than doing nothing at all.
Create a Disciplined Plan
Start from and stay aligned with your
organization's business purpose. Build a
comprehensive plan for advancing diversity and inclusion. It's not enough to have
a diverse workforce; organizations must
know how to leverage the differences within
Challenge leaders to strengthen their understanding of potential biases from recruiting to
performance management to assignment of
projects and opportunities. By following best
practices, and senior leadership's example,
these biases can be overcome.
Declare Your Intentions
State your goals publically, both internally
and externally. Few organizations are bold
enough to have their diversity initiatives
reviewed by external executives but for those
who are, this can be a key point of competitive
advantage as both an employer of choice and
Integrate diversity throughout the organization do not treat it as a stand-alone
initiative that will only serve to alienate
diverse groups. Organizations need to
show their diversity commitment with
actions. Diversity and inclusion need to
EVERY HUMAN RESOURCES LEADER
wants a CEO who is committed to supporting
diversity and inclusion. Not just lip service,
but genuine commitment and buy-in. The
data clearly demonstrates that if we tapped
into the talent of all of our employees, business performance would improve. This
requires people from diverse backgrounds to
communicate and work together, and understand each other's needs and perspectives.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HUMAN Capital - Winter 2013
Temporary Foreign Workers
Technology and Innovation in Talent Management
The Beat and the Pulse
Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling
Culture and Communication
Improving the Lives of Albertans
How to Make Diversity and Inclusion More Than Just Lip Service
Addressing the Gap Between Mental Health and Workplace Fairness Policy and Practice
Index of Advertisers/ advertisers.com
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2013