Three Tips For Corporate Leaders Looking To Enhance Workplace Diversity

3 diversity tips

CEO and Co-Founder @Joonko, an automated diversity recruiting solution that sources qualified, diverse applicants who are ready for the job.

Judging by public discourse, diversity will be a crucial issue in the U.S. in the upcoming years. As recent protests and campaigns have demonstrated, people are demanding deep and real change — and it’s time.

A wide-sweeping demand is encouraging greater diversity in the workplace. Employees are rallying for their organizations to go the distance and enact true change. The public is calling for corporations to take responsibility for their actions and build anti-racist company cultures, and publicly so. People are calling on corporate leaders to leverage their power and connections.

People are now looking at leadership to foster sustainable change. Corporate leadership should be an active part of shaping the future.

Brands can show solidarity by taking action, and one way to do that is to start addressing the diversity gap from the top of the funnel and rethinking traditional hiring approaches and methodologies.

It all starts with acknowledging there’s a problem and continuing to make strides. Based on my experience as the leader of an automated diversity recruiting offering, here are my tips for corporate leaders looking to enact change and enhance workplace diversity:

1. Rethink your recruiting systems.

Nominating a senior executive to be in charge of diversity and company culture, or even appointing a chief diversity officer (CDO), is a nice declaration of intention. But that’s not enough. CDOs need to have more power and resources to actually put campaigns and programs into action.

Change starts from the bottom, and sincere efforts to promote inclusion in large corporations start with having honest conversations, setting clear KPIs for diversity improvement, and success and igniting internal initiatives. Such HR initiatives should be focused on addressing the diverse talent applying for positions and, down the line, should work cohesively on building a more inclusive culture so that talent will want to join and stay. For corporations that don’t have D&I programs in place, this would be a great time to develop such programs.

2. Diversify your management teams.

Yes, a tiny step toward workplace diversity is indeed increasing the overall numbers of people from underrepresented groups. Lack of diversity is too often an issue in junior or even midmanagement positions. However, a brand that aims to foster true and sustainable workplace diversity needs to understand that it’s all about the top of the pyramid.

Corporate leaders who truly want to make an impact, need to diversify their decision-making C-suite in a manner that truly represents the working body as well as the customers and potential buyers.

3. Consider using technology to help you with diversity.

Having a dedicated team to push diversity internally may not be enough. There can be bias in the recruiting process, and talent sourcing teams, presented with aggressive diversity KPIs, might not know where to start to look for diverse talent. This is where technology can play a major role.

In order to tackle diversity at every level, HR teams can utilize every tool out there. Technology is already being harnessed in enhancing diversity in many ways — from AI-based lexical bias detection providing HR managers the insights they need to eliminate potential bias to automation at the of the top of the recruiting funnel to focus on skills and talent without considering gender, race or social background.

But wait — there’s more.

Corporate leaders can leverage their power and influence to reach out to other leaders in their network and ask them to stand up and act. The voice of a group of corporate leaders taking a stand and making change carries. Change can be implemented faster with joined forces.

If even half of Fortune 500 companies announced that they would invest real funds in diversity, such as Microsoft’s recent announcement, corporate America’s diversity could be greatly enhanced in the following years.

This is the time for corporate leaders to truly help shape the future of diversity in the workplace. Get ahead of the curve, and do what’s right — right now.

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