Diversity and Inclusion is a top-to-bottom business strategy – not just an HR program.

diverse group of

A survey by Forbes Insights of more than 300 senior executives – 32% who were in HR or talent management – found their companies’ diversity and inclusion priorities include:

  • 65% said recruitment of diverse employees
  • 44% said retention of diverse talent
  • 35% said ensuring diversity in the workplace
  • 29% said developing a robust pipeline of diverse talent
  • 28% said managing cross-generational issues

65% of senior executives believe the responsibility for implementing diversity and inclusion programs falls on HR, while 45% say it’s the responsibility of senior leaders within a business unit or division.

56% of the companies surveyed strongly agree that diversity helps drive innovation. It’s clear that they believe this innovation advantage is achieved through their ability to attract and recruit diverse talent.

Diversity and inclusion best practices A survey of 330 HR executives by Professor Roberson found that diversity and inclusion best practices include:

  • fair treatment
  • equal access to opportunity
  • teamwork and collaboration
  • a focus on innovation and creativity
  • organizational flexibility, responsiveness, and agility
  • conflict resolution processes that are collaborative
  • evidence of leadership’s commitment to diversity (e.g., appointing a Chief Diversity / Equality Officer)
  • representation of diversity at all levels of the organization
  • representation of diversity among internal and external stakeholders
  • diversity education and training

The interesting thing to note is that employees perceive their company as diverse and inclusive based on practices that aren’t even directly related to diversity such as a focus on innovation and creativity.

Instead, these best practices are ones that are desired by everyone in the workplace.

Diversity and inclusion strategies Some of the key diversity and inclusion strategies of Bersin by Deloitte’s diversity and Inclusion framework and other research include the following:

  • Creating a focus and strategy at the CEO/COO/CHRO level
  • Assigning a top executive the responsibility for leading and sponsoring the diversity and inclusion program
  • Creating behavioral standards and holding leaders accountable for results
  • Training people at all levels on topics like unconscious bias
  • Integrating diversity and inclusion strategies in recruitment, performance management, leadership assessment, and training
  • Creating employee networks (e.g, employee resource groups, community outreach groups)
  • Holding your company accountable to compete and win in external award programs
  • Accepting and honoring multiple religious and cultural practices
  • Strengthening anti-discriminatory policies
  • Reporting goals and measuring progress

Creating an externally visible scorecard to measure progress including metrics for recruiting, promotion rates, compensation levels, turnover, participation in ERGs, and supplier diversity.

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