Category Archives: News

IBM Offers 1000 Paid Internships To Increase Diversity In Tech

Diversity is the cornerstone of our society, it is what makes it great, vibrant and successful. In the past, I have written that diversity is ingrained in nature itself, is vital component to the survival of the planet. Moreover, according to research conducted in the business sector, diverse companies produce 19% more revenue thereby indicating that diversity is vital to the success of the commercial world. Thus, ensuring diversity, and increasing it in areas where it lacks, is an important endeavor of our society.

It is no secret that certain fields, such as the STEM field, are fields were women and minorities are underrepresented. The STEM field is one that drives innovation in our society, as all technological progresses are derived from the advances and discoveries made in the fields of STEM. Most of the products we use in our day to day life could not have been made possible without STEM innovation. The computer one uses today, the technology that makes video calls possible with a friend in a distant geography or the laparoscopic surgery performed for life threatening diseases, all of these could not have been possible without innovation. In addition to that the start-up ecosystem has greatly contributed to the economic growth and proliferation of technology in our society. However, as I’ve written in the past women make up only 7% of board seats in private companies, such as those of start-ups.

Thus, when we look at the data that we have some work to do in the ways we cultivate more diverse presence in the fields of STEM, and in the start-up ecosystem. Access is an important part of it, and as I have recently written, mentorship plays an important role in the success of an individual. In order to increase the diversity in tech, IBM has announced that it is creating 1,000 paid internships for P-TECH graduates in the USA, until the end of 2021. The P-TECH is a unique educational program that has over 220 school partners and 600 industry partners, and provides an opportunity, for free, for students to earn both their high school diploma and a two–year associate degree linked to STEM fields. This program is geared toward students from underserved backgrounds, allowing them to gain access and skills in order to get a competitive STEM job. IBM usually hired 150 inters per year, but this time they have made a commitment to increase this number to 1000 in order to increase diversity.

As I’ve written in the past that increasing the number of minds working on the world’s most challenging problems will only increase the prosperity in our country, the probability to eradicate diseases and build world class companies.

West Coast Conference introduces the ‘Russell Rule,’ a diversity hiring initiative named for Bill Russell

The West Coast Conference is introducing a significant diversity hiring initiative which will be known as “The Russell Rule,” named after NBA and WCC legend Bill Russell. 

Moving forward, all WCC members will be required to “include a member of a traditionally underrepresented community” in the final pool of candidates for the following positions in each athletic department: athletic director, senior administrator, head coach and full-time assistant coach. In doing so, the WCC said it is the first conference to make such a commitment in Division I athletics.

The conference is partnering with Russell, who won two national titles at the University of San Francisco before winning 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, and Dr. Richard Lapchick, a human rights activist and founder of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. 

“It is my hope the West Coast Conference initiative will encourage other leagues and schools to make similar commitments,” Russell said in a conference press release. “We need to be intentional if we’re going to make real change for people of color in leadership positions in college athletics. I’m proud to assist the WCC and Commissioner Nevarez by endorsing this most important initiative.”

WCC commissioner Gloria Nevarez, the first Latinx commissioner in Division I, received unanimous approval from the league’s presidents to move forward with the Russell Rule, which will be part of the conference’s “We are Committed to Change” platform. 

“Bill Russell is the greatest basketball player and social justice advocate the nation has seen. He is a champion for change. It is our belief the WCC ‘Russell Rule’ will live up to his legacy,” Nevarez said. “Our goal is that the diversity of our student-athletes is reflected in those that lead and mentor them and provides a holistic and inclusive education during their time at WCC institutions.”

The West Coast Conference is introducing a significant diversity hiring initiative which will be known as “The Russell Rule,” named after NBA and WCC legend Bill Russell. 

Moving forward, all WCC members will be required to “include a member of a traditionally underrepresented community” in the final pool of candidates for the following positions in each athletic department: athletic director, senior administrator, head coach and full-time assistant coach. In doing so, the WCC said it is the first conference to make such a commitment in Division I athletics.

The conference is partnering with Russell, who won two national titles at the University of San Francisco before winning 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, and Dr. Richard Lapchick, a human rights activist and founder of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. 

“It is my hope the West Coast Conference initiative will encourage other leagues and schools to make similar commitments,” Russell said in a conference press release. “We need to be intentional if we’re going to make real change for people of color in leadership positions in college athletics. I’m proud to assist the WCC and Commissioner Nevarez by endorsing this most important initiative.”

WCC commissioner Gloria Nevarez, the first Latinx commissioner in Division I, received unanimous approval from the league’s presidents to move forward with the Russell Rule, which will be part of the conference’s “We are Committed to Change” platform. 

“Bill Russell is the greatest basketball player and social justice advocate the nation has seen. He is a champion for change. It is our belief the WCC ‘Russell Rule’ will live up to his legacy,” Nevarez said. “Our goal is that the diversity of our student-athletes is reflected in those that lead and mentor them and provides a holistic and inclusive education during their time at WCC institutions.”

A Banker Says Being Seen as a Diversity Hire Caused Resentment

Brigette Lumpkins says she was optimistic about a Wall Street career until she encountered stereotyping and unequal treatment.

Brigette Lumpkins, 46, started her Wall Street career at Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2006, about two years before the New York-based securities firm filed for bankruptcy protection in the global financial crisis. She later worked for Barclays Capital, which acquired some parts of Lehman out of bankruptcy, and then for Hamilton Lane in New York and for Goldman Sachs in Miami. Today she is a Miami-based director of business development for EisnerAmper, an advisory and accounting firm. Lumpkins spoke with Bloomberg Markets about her experiences as a Black woman on Wall Street. Her comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Lehman put me on their European equities desk, which was probably the least prestigious role. But for me it was a come-up because my mother was born on a sharecropping plantation.

I showed up with such optimism about what I was capable of accomplishing because by then I had studied up and figured out what I needed to know. I was more than prepared. I speak French. I lived there. I was literally perfectly qualified to be on that desk. It was a good hire.

What I learned afterwards is that their diversity officer had basically been like, we need to bring this woman in and we’re going to put her on your desk because you need people. So I think I got sort of rammed down their throat. I was perceived as a diversity hire and I think that was part of the resentment against me.

That year to 18 months leading up to the bankruptcy I had a lot of stress related to being pigeonholed or being stereotyped as “combative”—that was the word.

That’s what sunk my career at Lehman (and) Barclays, that angry Black woman trope, absolutely. As Black women, we’re not allowed to have normal, angry feelings. The minute we have a regular, normal reaction, they act like we’re all scary.

Every single year at Lehman and Barclays, I was grossly underpaid relative to my colleagues. Grossly, shockingly, eye-poppingly underpaid relative to my peers who were White. When I told one person [an Asian-American], she was like, “Brigette, I don’t even want to tell you what I got because I feel so bad.” When you get underpaid three, four, five years in a row, 10 years later that’s compounded in your 401(k), in your savings account. I still feel the financial impact in my life right now today. If I had gotten paid just one year what I deserved—that was comparable, I should say, to my peers—then I would be in a very different position.

I think that for some people Lehman had a great culture. Not for me. I think Lehman was extremely racist and extremely sexist.

Goldman has class the way they treat their employees, they really do. As a former employee and as a Black woman, I really cannot tell you anything that Goldman as an institution or management did that was wrong. They really are a class act.

The opportunity to say this now is cathartic for me because I’ve had to keep it private for so long and was so frustrated. And hearing other people share their stories validates me. I don’t feel like a victim of this experience, but I feel empowered by this experience. I feel that it is a badge of honor that I am happy to share. I don’t think it was my destiny to be a Wall Street conquerer—I think it was my destiny to be a witness. While I have the mic, I do not yield my time.

This year’s Emmy nominees are pretty diverse, but not everyone is happy

Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri??- Killing Eve _ Season 2, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Aimee Spinks/BBCAmerica

In a year that has seen renewed calls for inclusion, the Emmy Awards delivered more diversity among the nominees announced Tuesday.In the acting categories, 33% of the nominees are Black, compared with 14% the five years prior, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.Their analysis found that performers of color made up 37% of the total of nominations overall, which is 6% more than in any of the past five years.HBO’s superhero series “Watchmen,” which showcased storylines focused on America’s racial history, nabbed the most overall Emmy nominations with 26.Content by CNN UnderscoredGet gourmet coffee delivered to your doorIf you’re desperately missing your local coffee shop, or just want to treat yourself, these coffee subscription services deliver gourmet brews right to your door.Reginald Hudlin, well known for having directed classic African-American films “Boomerang” and “House Party,” will produce the Emmys — the show’s first Black producer.But there has been some backlash over the nominations falling short on representation.close dialog

Good News Is More Important Than Ever.Subscribe to the Good Stuff newsletter for a weekly digest of uplifting and inspiring news from around the world.Sign UpNo, thanksBy subscribing, you agree to our Privacy PolicySome on social media complained that while Billy Porter, who is Black, was nominated for lead actor in a drama series for “Pose,” none of the central trans actors on the show received a nod.The Ryan Murphy series has been hailed for shining a light on the LGBTQ community, something Porter acknowledged in an Instagram post after the nominations were announced Tuesday.

“Thank you @televisionacad. And congratulations to my fellow nominees,” Porter wrote. “The work we do on @poseonfx is so important. I am so blessed and lucky to be a part of this groundbreaking show.”While “Ramy” became the first Muslim American sitcom to score a nomination with co-creator and star Ramy Youssef earning noms for outstanding lead actor and outstanding directing in a comedy series, there was less to celebrate for other minorities.Asian artists were not well represented, despite the third consecutive Emmy nomination for Sandra Oh in the lead actress in a drama series category for “Killing Eve.”Oh made history in 2018 as the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated in a lead actress category.The lack of Latinx representation — most notably EGOT winner Rita Moreno for her work in the comedy “One Day At a Time” — led Daily Beast writer Laura Bradley to highlight that “Tuesday’s Emmy nominations included only one Latinx actor, Outstanding Guest in a Drama Series nominee Alexis Bledel.””But not Rita Moreno, who has been killing it on One Day at a Time for four seasons. Not Laura Gómez, whose performance in Orange Is the New Black’s excellent final season was alternatively haunting and inspiring — and as timely as it gets,” Bradley wrote. “Not Melissa Barrera or Mishel Prada of Vida, a series that pushed past stereotypical Latinx stories to discuss deeper, more nuanced issues that pervade our community before it was canceled too soon.”In introducing the nomination ceremony on Tuesday, Television Academy chairman and chief executive officer Frank Scherma touched on the extraordinary times we are living in amid a global pandemic and a cultural reckoning with racism.”This year we are also bearing witness to one of the greatest fights for social justice in history,” he said. “And it is our duty to use this medium for change.”Viewers will be watching to see if that change extends to not just nominations, but also wins for people of color.The 72nd Emmy Awards will air September 20 on ABC.

Nike names new diversity chief

Dive Brief:

  • Nike on Tuesday confirmed to Retail Dive that its chief diversity and inclusion officer, Kellie Leonard, was leaving the company to “pursue other interests” after 18 years working at Nike in various roles.
  • Felicia Mayo will take over Leonard’s role with a new title: chief talent, diversity and culture officer. 
  • The change in the role constitutes a new way of approaching diversity and inclusion at Nike by bringing talent, diversity and inclusion, and culture together. It’s an intentional structural change to weave in those efforts from the start of the hiring process.

Dive Insight:

2020 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for diversity and inclusion efforts at retailers, as protests over the police killing of George Floyd put pressure on companies to make plans for actionable change in racial diversity and equality.

Athletics retailers found themselves at the center of some of those criticisms, as customers challenged their responses and pushed them for more accountability. Adidas, in particular, faced a wave of backlash from employees who formed a coalition demanding change at the athletics retailer. In response, the company in June announced new hiring goals and investments in the Black community. Later that month, the retailer’s head of human resources, Karen Parkin, stepped down.

Under Armour in a July 22 news post outlined its own recent steps to improve diversity and inclusion, which include publishing its employee representation statistics annually and filling 30% of director and above positions with Black, Indigenous and People of Color candidates. 

Even with various hiring goals announced, it remains difficult to understand the depth of diversity issues at athletics retailers when so few provide employee statistics on racial diversity. Nike is the exception, providing detailed statistics on company diversity in annual reports. Last year, the company was 56.3% non-white, but the number of people of color decreased markedly among more senior-level positions. 

Promises from Under Armour and Lululemon to publish similar annual reports, however, move the needle further on accountability.

While certainly not alone, the athletics space has been fraught with diversity issues for years, as retailers — including Nike — have faced sex discrimination suits, racial discrimination suits and criticism for catering to certain populations without backing it up in their leadership. Indeed, in 10 years of data Retail Dive collected about women in top leadership positions at athletics retailers, not much meaningfully changed, despite a heavy focus on catering to female clientele.

While by no means certain of success, this move by Nike is aimed at bringing a greater focus on diversity and inclusion into the company’s processes earlier, starting with hiring.

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Krissah Thompson named The Washington Post’s first managing editor for diversity and inclusion

The Washington Post has named Krissah Thompson, a veteran editor and reporter with nearly 20 years of experience at the organization, as its first managing editor for diversity and inclusion, a new senior position created as a result of a broad reckoning among news organizations in the wake of nationwide protests over racial inequities.

Thompson, 41, will be responsible for leading the newsroom’s efforts in the recruitment, hiring, promotion and mentoring of staff members, with an eye toward expanding the newsroom’s diversity.

Currently an editor in The Post’s Style section, she will join the news organization’s masthead as one of four deputies to executive editor Martin Baron. She is the first African American woman to become a managing editor in the newspaper’s 143-year history.

Her promotion follows an intensified focus within newsrooms, including The Post’s, on matters relating to race after the mass demonstrations that began in late May following the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

The Post announced last month that it will dedicate more than a dozen journalists to expand its coverage of race and related issues. In addition to the new managing editor position, the organization introduced new positions for reporters specializing in covering race as it relates to criminal justice, the environment, health and national security.

“A diverse staff makes our reporting better,” Thompson said in an interview Monday. “We’re better when we have more perspectives and we can cover communities as deeply and widely as possible.”

The Post, she said, has “done better than most” in diversifying its staff and reflecting that diversity in its news coverage, “but we’re not where we should be and where we’d like to be.”

Her goal, she said, is for the newsroom “to look like America and the communities we cover.”

Even after decades of recruitment efforts, non-Hispanic whites make up 77 percent of newsroom employees in newspapers, broadcasting and Internet publishing, according to a 2018 analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center.

The Post said last year that 71 percent of its newsroom staff is white, including 79 percent of top managers.

In a staff announcement, Baron said Thompson will be in charge of ensuring “significant, consistent progress on diversity and inclusiveness in everything we do” as well as “improved recruitment, retention and career advancement for journalists of color.”

He added, “Krissah’s vision is to have The Post become the most diverse and inclusive newsroom in the country — a place that is recognized for fostering talent, where all people feel supported and challenged, and where our journalism fully benefits from the perspectives of staffers who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences.”AD

Baron said in an interview that “the events of the past few months have brought into particularly sharp focus the need to make major strides in our coverage of diverse communities and to enhance the career opportunities” for minority journalists.

Thompson, who holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and a master’s in journalism from the University of Maryland, began as a summer reporting intern at The Post in 2001. She has spent her entire professional career as a reporter and editor at the news organization.

She has reported for the Financial, National Politics and Style desks, the latter for which she covered first lady Michelle Obama during President Barack Obama’s second term. Among other assignments, she was The Post’s acting bureau chief in Ferguson, Mo., after protests and violence in the wake of teenager Michael Brown’s death in a police shooting in 2014.

She was also the co-lead writer on The Post’s “N-Word Project” in 2015, which was nominated for a news Emmy award, and a contributor to its “Being a Black Man” series and book in 2006.

For the past three years, she has been an assignment editor in Style, leading the section’s coverage of politics, media and other topics.

6 year old creates magazine to reflect diversity

The magazine, aimed at girls aged seven to 14, has sold more than 11,000 copies since it launched in June.

A six-year-old Londoner has launched a magazine aimed at representing young black girls in the wake of global rallies for racial justice.

Faith, and her mother Selina, decided to design the magazine “Cocoa Girl” after seeing a lack of diversity in publications for young girls.

Selena Boyd, Mother, “This journey that she’s gone on to love her hair, to love her skin tone, to love everything about herself is the most amazing thing that’s happened. Just hoping other little girls can go on that journey too.”Follow this story to get email or text alerts from WRCB when there is a future article following this storyline.Follow this story

The magazine, aimed at girls aged seven to 14, has sold more than 11,000 copies since it launched in June.

Why this tech veteran doesn’t want to be just “on par” with industry diversity numbers

n the months since the police killing of George Floyd sparked global protests in support of Black lives, companies large and small have pledged millions in donations to social justice causes and made statements about creating more equitable workplaces.

But even leaders at companies known for prior diversity and inclusion achievements must contend with the fact that, in light of urgent calls to action, even recent gains in representation aren’t coming fast enough.

One such leader is Judith Williams, head of people sustainability and chief D&I officer at global software giant SAP. In the two years since Williams joined, SAP has been acknowledged for its efforts to recruit and promote a diverse workforce and was named by Forbes as the best employer for diversity in 2020.

Women currently hold roughly 26% of management positions at SAP, and the company aims to reach 30% by 2022. SAP’s Autism at Work program offers six weeks of pre-employment training to individuals on the autism spectrum; in 2019 the program made the most number of hires from the training group in a single year, bringing SAP’s global workforce of employees with autism to more than 175 workers.

Progress elsewhere has been slower, however.

According to the most recent data provided by the company in 2016, among 19,700 U.S. workers, 68% of SAP employees are White, 23% are Asian, 4% are Hispanic or Latino, and just 3% are Black. Less than 1% of employees are American Indian, Pacific Islander, or two or more races, respectively.

With renewed attention on the dismal representation of Black employees in many industries, especially in technology, SAP announced in June a goal to double its representation of Black workers, from 3% to 6%, in the next three years.

“We’re on par with tech industry,” Williams says. “We’re certainly not a leader yet, but our hope is to drive a pathway” for more equal representation.

Doubling Black representation at SAP in the next three years is part of a larger company goal: to make sure the workforce race and ethnicity makeup is representative of the United States, based on 2010 Census data, by the year 2030.

According to 2010 Census data, 60% of Americans are White, 19% are Hispanic or Latino, 13% are Black and 6% are Asian.

Little has changed in an industry notorious for its lack of diversity

The tech industry is notorious for its lack of representation among women, Black and Latino workers despite public calls for change for many years now. According to CNBC reporting, six years after many major tech companies began publishing annual diversity reports, few have moved the needle in improving representation of Black workers.

In 2018, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter reported shares of Black employees in the low single digits. Apple’s workforce is 9% Black — but that drops to 3% when looking at leadership roles. 

Noting SAP’s target to have a nationally representative workforce in the next 10 years,“it’s a big goal for us,” Williams says. “We’ve not grown at that rate historically, so we’re going to have to really shift our focus in our talent attraction strategy to make sure we’re sourcing differently.”4:53The youngest-ever female trader on how companies can promote diversity on Wall Street

Some of the biggest changes will come from hiring and building a more inclusive culture, she says: “You have to identify talent and have an employment value proposition such that talent from diverse backgrounds want to work with your organization. You have to have inclusive policies and a reputation that embraces difference.”

Competing for diverse tech talent in a tight candidate pool can be difficult, Williams says, because unlike buzzy tech companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft or Facebook, SAP isn’t a large consumer-facing brand.

But one initiative Williams will turn her focus to is SAP’s Project Propel partnership, in which the company teaches its software to undergraduate and MBA students at historically black colleges and universities. The hope is that participating students can use these learned skills to start a career with the company or one of its enterprise partners after graduation.

Williams says discussions are ongoing about how to focus diverse hiring efforts in certain departments or levels of seniority within the organization. She adds that SAP’s CEO Christian Klein, whom she currently reports to directly, has tasked managers with determining specific hiring and promotion numbers in order to improve representation across the board.

Using data to lead the way in diversity

As a data-driven leader, Williams doesn’t shy away from putting numbers on headcount goals.

“We measure everything,” she says. “We measure employee engagement scores, leadership trust scores, the lines of code our software engineers produce. Everything we do in our business has a number attached to it — that’s just how business works. If someone said to you, ‘this quarter we’re going to sell more,’ you’d probably fire them, because that’s not acceptable. 

“If we want to make change,” she continues, “we have to have a target and accountability. If [a goal] is important, we attach a number and a timeline to see if we’re making progress on that.”

Williams’s commitment to stating numbers-driven goals follows years working in the tech industry when, as recently as the early 2010s, she recalls her employers were resistant to share diversity numbers. But even after companies released employment reports and the public called for greater accountability, many organizations responded to calls for more diversity through what Williams calls a programmatic approach.“If we want to make change, we have to have a target and accountability. If [a goal] is important, we attach a number and a timeline to see if we’re making progress on that.”Judith WilliamsHEAD OF PEOPLE SUSTAINABILITY AND CHIEF D&I OFFICER, SAP

“We often get fixated on: Are you launching an unconscious bias training? Are you launching a mentorship program? Are there employee network groups having events celebrating Black History Month?” Williams says. “And all that stuff brings the attention of workers. But once you have that attention, it’s the hard work of having to change culture.”

Part of changing the culture will include recognizing that hiring, development and promotion efforts need to remove the barriers that keep underrepresented talent from succeeding with the company. Reports indicate that corporate America’s widespread diversity efforts continue to fail Black workers, who face systemic barriers to success whether through microaggressions in the workplace, lack of access to development opportunities or managers who perpetuate affinity bias and maintain predominantly White and male leadership circles.

Williams sees her role in diversity and inclusion as leveling access for underrepresented talent to contribute to the increasingly influential tech industry, reap its lucrative rewards and build products that will drive social equity at large.

“We’re building the engine that drives our innovation and the future,” she says. “I honestly believe brilliance is equally distributed among populations, but opportunity is not. And my job is to distribute that opportunity. I categorically reject the idea that if we hire more women or people of color, we’re in any way compromising our search for brilliance.”

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Google Employees To Work At Home Until Next July Due To Pandemic – Report

FILE – This Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, file photo shows Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, reports financial results Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Google employees will work from home at least until next July due to the coronavirus pandemic, a decision that makes the search engine company the first major U.S. corporation to commit to the year-long stay-at-home plan.

According to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal, Google’s plan affects nearly all of the company’s 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google parent Alphabet Inc. WaPo describes Google’s decision as among the “cautious camp of companies” with regard to remote working. The newspaper reports that the decision was made last week by Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai.

Sources tell WaPo that Pichai made the decision “in part by sympathy for employees with families to plan for uncertain school years that may involve at-home instruction…”

Some Google staffers have already been notified, with a general announcement expected as early as today.

Can remote work really improve workplace diversity?

Many parents choose to live in areas that have the best schools. They research test scores and determine what district and neighborhood they think their children will receive the best education.

I chose to live where the schools had the most slices in the pie chart for diversity. I understand the value of thought diversity and being exposed to differences at a young age. And I’ve seen the positive impact from this choice as my children navigated college and entered the working world. They were able to have a broader perspective, are more open to diverse ideas and add more value to conversations.

Diversity matters. A recent McKinsey & Company report reinforced the link between diversity and company financial performance stating, “Gender and ethnic diversity are clearly correlated with profitability but women and minorities remain underrepresented.”

As a Black woman leading a company that has operated fully remote for more than 12 years, I’ve seen many of the benefits remote work has on diversity and recognize the opportunity remote work provides to improve workplace practices.

When looking at diversity practices, location is often left out of the equation, yet it can be a huge factor in reaching diverse talent and building a diverse workforce. As adults, many of us choose where we live based on the job we get. We don’t get the luxury of comparing diverse pie charts or choosing locations that add value to our lives. Many of the most desirable companies are in expensive, unaffordable markets and within areas with minimal diversity.

The top 10 most expensive cities in the U.S.—listed recently by Investopedia—are also the hubs for many coveted career industries such as tech, marketing, and finance.

Even if these companies have robust diversity practices, life outside of work can be difficult for people of color. As companies recognize the value of diversity, they also need to understand the impact of location bias, the challenges of attracting diverse talent, and where remote work fits in to help the process.

Here are a few key areas to consider to improve diversity as companies build out a more remote workforce.

FOCUS ON RECRUITING

Without the restriction of location, companies can recruit talent from nearly anywhere. This eliminates location bias, expands the talent pool to reach diverse candidates previously not accessible, and creates opportunities for more inclusive hiring practices.

Begin with a focus on creating more inclusive job descriptions and postings. Language matters and there are nuances to be aware of both culturally and geographically. Ensure the use of diverse hiring teams and interviewers and focus on performance outcomes.

INCLUDE COMPENSATION MODELING

Remote work allows for employees to choose where they live based on cost of living preferences and environments that add the most value to their lives, holistically.

Companies can offer more competitive pay without the additional overhead. As the hiring manager, your compensation strategy should include calibration tools that remove bias and ensure equal and fair pay.

For example, at our company, we calibrate our compensations quarterly to ensure they are aligned with market rate and check for pay disparities to avoid unintentional discrimination. Our executive team also reviews talent and compensation cross-functionally to account of unintentional bias.

ADJUST TO CULTURE ADD VS. CULTURE FIT

Many companies are evolving to focus on a culture add versus a culture fit. Instead of seeking people who “fit right in” with everyone else, look at what perspective gaps are missing and who adds this much-needed value to the team. When companies are restricted to a location, trying to get people to relocate or find the best culture adds can be difficult.

It is to your benefit to take advantage of remote work and its ability to tremendously open up the talent pool.

CULTIVATE BELONGING

It’s important to understand how belonging fits in. It’s not just about the “numbers” and increasing the ratio of diversity but ensuring employees have a true sense of belonging and that their diverse perspective is welcome. Many companies worry about culture in general in a remote environment. There are many tools that can help to foster engagement and close-knit environments with a distributed workforce.

It’s not just the tech tools, those are basics for remote work. It’s important to provide tools and resources that foster communication, understanding, and connection.

For instance, we use behavioral assessments, both on a group and individual level, from Predictive Index, to help our employees better understand themselves and each other to foster better communication and more collaborative environments. We have employee resource groups for BIPOCs and allies, as well as, for family matters, finance, and other areas our employees may need support in.

At our company, we have weekly “life hack” and “family fun” calls where we get to learn about each other, get our families involved, and connect on the things we like to do outside work. Ensuring diversity, inclusion, and belonging are anchors as you set up remote business practices are key to a positive, productive workforce.

This year, many companies were forced to fully rely on remote work capabilities, and as a result, a good number of these companies are expanding their models to permanently offer remote work options.

Remote work creates the opportunity to build strong thought diversity across levels, functions, and teams. Candidates bring diverse perspectives from being in different locations, as well as coming from diverse backgrounds. These perspectives are important across not only working teams or management but in key roles that impact company practices such as human resources, finance, and tech. Building these types of teams and integrating diversity across key roles are factors in the positive impact on company performance.

With the addition of diversity to cost-saving and productivity benefits, your company will improve its overall performance.


Corean Canty is the COO of digital agency Goodway Group. She has worked in media and advertising for over 20 years with experience in radio, digital, and e-commerce working with top brands such as Walmart, Target, and Home Depot.

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