Diversity and Inclusion

Business team lying on floor and clapping
0

Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion

Leaders have long recognized that a diverse workforce of women, people of color, and LGBT individuals confers a competitive edge in terms of selling products or services to diverse end users. Yet a stark gap persists between recognizing the leadership behaviors that unlock this capability and actually practicing them.
Part of the problem is that “diversity” and “inclusion” are so often lumped together that they’re assumed to be the same thing. But that’s just not the case. In the context of the workplace, diversity equals representation. Without inclusion, however, the crucial connections that attract diverse talent, encourage their participation, foster innovation, and lead to business growth won’t happen. As noted diversity advocate Vernā Myers puts it, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Numerous studies show that diversity alone doesn’t drive inclusion. In fact, without inclusion there’s often a diversity backlash. Our research on sponsorship and multicultural professionals, for example, shows that although 41% of senior-level African-Americans, 20% of senior-level Asians, and 18% of senior-level Hispanics feel obligated to sponsor employees of the same gender or ethnicity as themselves (for Caucasians the number is 7%), they hesitate to take action. Sponsors of color, especially at the top, are hobbled by the perception of giving special treatment to protégés of color and the concern that protégés might not “make the grade.” The result: Just 18% of Asians, 21% of African-Americans, and 25% of Hispanics step up to sponsorship (and 27% of Caucasians).

Another difficulty in solving the issue is data. It’s easy to measure diversity: It’s a simple matter of headcount. But quantifying feelings of inclusion can be dicey. Understanding that narrative along with the numbers is what really draws the picture for companies.

For example, we worked with a Chile-based firm that would seem to have no problems with diversity. After all, one of their most valued employees is an indigenous Peruvian, a man who is respected, well-paid, and included in the leadership team’s decision-making discussions. Yet in a one-on-one interview he confided that he saw no future for his ambitions at that firm. “I know they value me,” he said, “but I am an indigenous person, and they are white, legacy, and Spanish. They will never make me a partner, because of my color and background.” Conventional measures would never flag this talented man for a flight risk; it’s up to the narrative to tell the tale.

At the Center for Talent Innovation, we have constructed a unique, robust framework for measuring the things that matter. Our methodology relies on three streams of information: wide-ranging, anonymous, quantitative surveys provide the statistical foundation; Insights In-Depth sessions, a proprietary web-based tool used to conduct facilitated focus groups within companies, provide the stories to flesh out the statistics; and one-on-one interviews enrich the statistics with deeper meaning. Within that framework our research has uncovered four levers that drive inclusion.

Inclusive leaders. This kind of leadership is a conglomeration of six behaviors: ensuring that team members speak up and are heard; making it safe to propose novel ideas; empowering team members to make decisions; taking advice and implementing feedback; giving actionable feedback; and sharing credit for team success. Of employees who report that their team leader has at least three of these traits, 87% say they feel welcome and included in their team, 87% say they feel free to express their views and opinions, and 74% say they feel that their ideas are heard and recognized. For respondents who reported that their team leader has none of these traits, those percentages dropped to 51%, 46%, and 37%, respectively.

Authenticity. It’s not surprising that everyone expends energy by repressing parts of their persona in the workplace in some way. But according to our research, 37% of African-Americans and Hispanics and 45% of Asians say they “need to compromise their authenticity” to conform to their company’s standards of demeanor or style. Our research on women in the science, engineering, and technology industries shows that, regardless of gender, acting “like a man” can provide an advantage in becoming a leader in these fields. What a waste of employees’ energy, let alone their employers’ diversity dollars.

Networking and visibility. For women and people of color, the key to rising above a playing field that remains stubbornly uneven is sponsorship. A sponsor is a senior-level leader who elevates their protégé’s visibility within the corridors of power, advocates for key assignments and promotions for them, and puts their reputation on the line for the protégé’s advancement. For those who feel marginalized by their gender, ethnicity, age, sexual identity, or educational and economic background, sponsorship is particularly crucial in invigorating ambition and driving engagement. Having a sponsor increases the likelihood of being satisfied with the rate of career advancement. Conversely, lack of sponsorship increases someone’s likelihood of quitting within a year.

Clear career paths. For women, LGBT individuals, and people of color, the map to career success is murky. Our research shows that 45% of women off-ramp to take care of children, although elder care is increasingly pulling women off the career track, with 24% leaving to care for aging relatives. But a significant number of women also feel pushed off the ladder: 29% say their career isn’t satisfying, and 23% feel stalled in their careers. Comments from women in focus groups note that they’re frustrated by being passed over for high-profile assignments, and they have a general sense of missing out on the right opportunities. LGBT individuals and people of color, too, struggle to name a simple solution to open up a blocked career path. Ironically, it’s usually the majority group that presumes to identify the reason these people aren’t advancing, which too often results in the problem being oversimplified.

Companies should start from the simple but fundamental understanding that there are different perspectives, each of them valuable, and work to explore and identify the range of barriers holding these individuals back. Organizations can then formulate plans and programs that offer options and provide signposts that help women, LGBT people, and people of color find the path that’s right for where they are in their lives and careers.

Focusing on these four levers can elicit real change. Our research finds that employees with inclusive managers are 1.3 times more likely to feel that their innovative potential is unlocked. Employees who are able to bring their whole selves to work are 42% less likely to say they intend to leave their job within a year. Those with sponsors are 62% more likely to have asked for and have received a promotion. And 69% of women who off-ramp would have stayed at their companies if they’d had flexible work options.

Diversity without inclusion is a story of missed opportunities, of employees so used to being overlooked that they no longer share ideas and insights. But diversity with inclusion provides a potent mix of talent retention and engagement.

An article by Laura Sherbin and Ripa Rashid, published on Harvard Business Review
Source

Related Blogs

  • Oct 12, 2018
    Integrators VS Segmentors

    Are your employees integrators or segmentors? An organization has both integrators and segmentors. Being a segmentor is a tough ask. If you choose to be..

    0 Read More
  • Sep 28, 2018
    Avoid Toxic Team Members

    Are You Hiring a 'Team' Player -- or Someone Just Looking out for No. 1? How can leaders make sure they're not unwittingly inviting a..

    0 Read More
  • Sep 14, 2018
    Update Your Resume

    Updating Your Résumé Might Mean Updating Yourself It seems like a total no-brainer: you should update your résumé and online profiles when you are job..

    0 Read More
  • Sep 7, 2018
    Tap Into Your Motivation!

    Putting Yourself In Drive: How To Tap Into Your Motivation The one common component in every great success story is motivation: an ever-elusive elixir that..

    0 Read More
  • Aug 31, 2018
    Enhancing your job search

    How To Bounce Back When The Job Search Gets You Down With a dream job in mind, an updated résumé in hand and responses to..

    0 Read More
  • Aug 17, 2018
    Social media can cost…

    When 'What Happens In Vegas' Ends Up In Your Job Search   What happens in Vegas really doesn’t stay there. That “funny” picture about that..

    0 Read More
  • Aug 3, 2018
    Emotional Intelligence at Workplace

    How To Develop More Emotionally Intelligent Employees In the quest to develop leaders who will foster a culture of equity and inclusion in the workplace,..

    0 Read More
  • Jul 6, 2018
    Hiring the right people?

    5 Steps to Hiring the Right People for Your Business "Hire slow, fire fast" is great advice, but it's not always easy to follow. The..

    0 Read More
  • Jun 29, 2018
    Ready for Entrepreneurial Success?

    4 Entry-Level Jobs That Will Prep You for Entrepreneurial Success Success is a journey, not a destination, so think hard about where to start. Entrepreneurship..

    0 Read More
  • Jun 22, 2018
    Simple Work-Life Balance

    Work-Life Balance Is Simple. To Succeed at Work, Get a Life. With the right balance of health and business, entrepreneurs can maximize productivity. The Organization..

    0 Read More
  • Jun 15, 2018
    Experience or Talent?

    When to Hire Raw Talent vs. Job Experience Experience is a must for some jobs, but people with raw talent offer unique benefits. You have..

    0 Read More
  • Jun 8, 2018
    Back On Track

    How to get back on track when you’re having an unproductive day A rocky start shouldn’t dictate your entire workday. Do these things to reverse..

    0 Read More
  • Jun 1, 2018
    Value of Office Communication

    Why Office Communication is Highly Valued and Often Ignored A huge number of employees don't trust their bosses, and it's not hard to figure out..

    0 Read More
  • May 18, 2018
    General Data Protection Regulation

    Five Final Checks To Ensure GDPR Compliance It is just one week until the EU update to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance deadline of..

    0 Read More
  • May 11, 2018
    Employee Onboarding Strategies

    Seven New Onboarding Strategies You'll See This Year According to a study from Equifax, more than half of all employees who left their job in..

    0 Read More
  • May 4, 2018
    Strategic Workforce Tools

    Your Workforce Tools Are More Strategic Than You Might Think This is not a typical article about attracting talented job candidates or retention — while..

    0 Read More
  • Apr 27, 2018
    AI empowers HR

    AI will make HR more Human, Strategic and Innovated Artificial intelligence (AI) is a source of both huge excitement and fear across the HR function...

    0 Read More
  • Apr 20, 2018
    Engagement Strategy

    Don’t Let ‘Meaning’ Be Missing From Your Engagement Strategy Meaning is one of the five keys in building employee engagement and it may be the..

    0 Read More
  • Mar 30, 2018
    Inspire Change In Your…

    4 Ways To Inspire Change In Your Employees Have you ever listened to a speech that inspired you so much, you were ready to make..

    0 Read More
  • Mar 23, 2018
    Employees Feel and Act…

    7 Ways to Incent Employees to Feel and Act as Owners Building accountability into your business culture is a leadership process. It can't be driven..

    0 Read More
  • Mar 16, 2018
    Don’t Shuffle People Into…

    Don't Shuffle People Into the Wrong Job Just Because They're Already on the Payroll You grow your company by putting proven performers where you need..

    0 Read More
  • Mar 9, 2018
    The Best Internal Candidate…

    Why the Best Internal Candidate Might Be from an Unlikely Part of the Company Nearly a decade since Gallup released its bible, Strengths-Based Leadership, which..

    0 Read More
  • Feb 26, 2018
    Minimise Workplace Negativity

    Tips for Minimizing Workplace Negativity To Deal with Negativity in the Workplace, Use These 9 Tips Nothing affects employee morale more insidiously than persistent workplace..

    0 Read More
  • Feb 16, 2018
    Fail at Switching Jobs?

    This Is the No. 1 Reason Why People Fail at Switching Jobs (and What to Do About It) There's a reason changing careers is so..

    1 Read More
  • Feb 2, 2018
    A Technique To Get…

    Didn't Get Your Dream Job? This 1 Technique Could Get You a Second Chance Every job seeker experiences this at least once, if not several..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 26, 2018
    Prepare new employees for…

    The Best Way to Set New Employees Up for Success Create an onboarding program that's both meaningful and memorable Congratulations; you've just hired a terrific..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 19, 2018
    First Hour, Day, Week,…

    Do This In Your First Hour, Day, Week, And Month Of Your New Job Getting settled into your new job is the ultimate act of..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 5, 2018
    7 Ways Modest Leadership…

    7 Ways Modest Leadership Increases Team Success When we imagine the traits of successful leaders, whether they are managers, high level executives, CEO's or owners..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 15, 2017
    Employee stress during Christmas

    Managing employee stress during the festive period More than half of employees feel stressed in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with most calling for..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 8, 2017
    HR in 2022

    What's HR going to be in 2022? A Study sheds some light... A recent study shows us a glimpse of what HR might look like..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 1, 2017
    Appreciating your employees

    How to Avoid the No. 1 Reason People Leave Their Jobs William James, the father of psychology, stated that the most fundamental psychological need is..

    0 Read More
  • Sep 15, 2017
    Lost your Job?

    Nine Things You Should and Shouldn't Do If You Lose Your Job Most of us wouldn’t think to associate the words "joblessness" and "fun," but..

    0 Read More
  • Sep 1, 2017
    Research on Gender Gap

    There’s Still a Gender Gap. How It Varies Depends on Who You Ask According to a survey, there’s a vast space between the views of..

    0 Read More
  • Aug 16, 2017
    Write your first CV

    It's all about potential: how to write a CV with no work experience Follow these tips to stand out among competing candidates – from research..

    0 Read More
  • Aug 4, 2017
    Is it time to…

    The Best Ways to Reward Employees. Having an effective reward program in place can help solve many of your HR issues. Every company needs a..

    0 Read More
  • Jul 28, 2017
    Burnout: exhausted or lonely?

    Burnout at Work Isn’t Just About Exhaustion. It’s Also About Loneliness More and more people are feeling tired and lonely at work. In analyzing the..

    0 Read More
  • Jul 21, 2017
    People don’t take HR…

    People Don’t Take HR Seriously; Here’s Why That’s Dangerous Legacy beliefs like being the bad guy and a lack of strategic vision isolates HR, and..

    1 Read More
  • Jul 19, 2017
    21st Century, Cyprus –…

    Congratulations to our Director Kyriacos Anastasiou who has been selected as one of the 200 entrepreneurs in Cyprus of the 21st Century!!  

    0 Read More
  • Jul 17, 2017
    Social media data protection

    Bosses told to stop snooping on employees' Facebook profiles Bosses should not snoop on employees’ Facebook and Twitter profiles even if their accounts are publicly..

    0 Read More
  • Jun 30, 2017
    Career Development

    Think Strategically About Your Career Development In a world where the average employee sends and receives 122 emails per day and attends an average of..

    0 Read More
  • Jun 2, 2017
    Advance Your Career

    How To Advance Your Career In A Crappy Entry-Level Job Yes, you can still bring yourself one step closer to snagging that dream job even..

    0 Read More
  • May 8, 2017
    Interview Preparation

    Interviews are generally regarded as the primary decision-making event in any recruitment process. Regardless of your academic credentials or career thus far, it is crucial..

    0 Read More
  • May 2, 2017
    Employee Burnout

    What causes burnout and how it can affect both the employees and the organisation How HR Can Help Prevent Employee Burnout An engaged workforce. It's..

    0 Read More
  • Apr 3, 2017
    Interview questions you have…

    Studies have shown that structured interviewing is more than twice as reliable a predictor of future employee performance than unstructured interviewing. That is why most..

    0 Read More