FountainBlue’s November 11 When She Speaks event was on the topic of The Business Case for Diversity. Below are notes from the conversation.
Today, more than ever, it’s important to bring the diversity business case to the forefront of the conversation. Being open to diverse points of views and backgrounds, being truly inclusive independent of gender, age, political and cultural backgrounds, facilitates the success of individuals and teams and companies overall. Leaders who think, speak and act with open-minded and empathetic inclusiveness draw out a wider range of perspectives, ideas and input, which ultimately leads to increased innovation and an increased ability to meet the needs of a diverse set of stakeholders. (See resources below.)
The twenty years of globalization has not only led to expanded operations and increased market share, but it also to an increased pace of innovation, a more empowered, more demanding, and more diverse customer base. Successfully serving the needs of the market and customers involves increased complexity, increased partnerships, as well as a more diverse and more educated worker.
Recruiting, retaining and developing the diverse workforce is core to success. Below is an aggregated list of best practices for embracing diverse perspectives into the workforce.
- Create a culture that thinks, talks and walks in alignment with diversity values. From the top down, from the bottom up, with each and every conversation, work toward embracing diversity, especially when it makes you feel uncomfortable. Take specific and immediate action if the alignment falters because of specific words, actions, and events.
- Be curious about what others around you think and invite their perspectives at every turn, building bridges in every direction, at every opportunity.
- Work with allies and partners to communicate directly, clearly and transparently, and follow up with clear and consistent, measurement-based actions.
- Be curious especially when their may be an ‘unconscious bias‘, one that is so engrained that you didn’t know that it existed.
- Be selective about the thoughts, words and actions you use, to make sure that you’re making the impression you want, whether you’re the one being evaluated, or the one that is doing the evaluating.
- Enable managers and leaders to succeed, proactively welcoming their questions and curiosity, while also providing training and education, and even rewards specific to diversity and inclusion measurement improvements.
- Adopting tactical practices such as blind resume reviews, interview panels and anonymous code review may help managers more consistently address unconscious biases based on gender and other factors.
- Offer job rotation opportunities so that people can participate in different functions and see the business from a wide range of perspectives.
- Be emotionally intelligent, so you can recognize and read your own emotions, and that of others, so you can discern what is said and what is meant, so you can manage the labels placed and mis-placed, and ultimately so you can guide thinking and behavior – your own and that of others.
- Be Patient for change takes time.
- Be the Role Model you want to see.
- Find the Role Model who will stretch you, and give you the opportunities to succeed.
- See the promise in others, and allow them to step up, while giving them a leg-up.
- No matter what your background, do a good job – be competent, work hard, be pure of intent. Your thoughts, words and actions will build momentum and catch attention.
Contact us for a list of measurement-based resources which may help you measure your diversity efforts.
Please join us in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s November 11 When She Speaks event was on the topic of The Business Case for Diversity and to our gracious hosts at Symantec!
- Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Executive Coach, Tech Adviser and Leadership Consultant
- Panelist Weiping Cai, Sales Director » Product Development & Marketing | Sales & New Account Acquisition, ASML
- Panelist Nolwenn Godard, Director of Pricing Product and President of Unity, Women@ PayPal
- Panelist Andria Jones, Senior Corporate Counsel, Office of Ethics and Compliance, Symantec
- Panelist Chhavi Upadhya, Head of Engineering, Strategy and Operations, Nutanix