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Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Improvement

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) (28-slide PowerPoint presentation). Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are 2 sides of the same coin--each with its unique effect, yet they are inseparable and have to be considered together. D&I involves actions beyond policies, programs, or headcounts. Diversity pertains to representation of races, ethnicities, and other [read more]

Also, if you are interested in becoming an expert on Human Resource Management (HRM), take a look at Flevy's Human Resource Management (HRM) Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.

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Diversity pertains to representation of races, ethnicities, and other minority groups in an entity or in other words the make-up of an organization.  Inclusion, on the other hand, represents the degree of value given to inputs, existence, and viewpoints of various groups of people and the extent of their integration in a setting.

Analysis of the data on the companies being studied since 2014 by McKinsey endorses a convincing Business Case for both gender as well as ethnic and cultural Diversity in executive teams.

Even after evidence of a strong case for D&I, majority of the organizations struggle in some way to effectively implement D&I.  This is regardless of their type i.e., Leaders, Fast Movers, Moderate Movers, Resting on Laurels, or Laggards.

Justification for Diversity is becoming sounder and more certain—even then numerous firms seem incapable of ascending major obstacles in their endeavor to make solid and continuous progress.

Implementation of a self-assured and methodical approach to D&I and determined tackling of Inclusion is the only way to surmount these obstacles.

Great performance prospects exists for those firms that are willing to step up and execute what it takes to make substantial progress on D&I.

Scrutiny of Diversity front-runners and far-reaching insights from research and practice on D&I, has aided in ascertaining effective measures and practices of Diversity & Inclusion leaders.

Effective measures for D&I translate into a 2-phase approach, encompassing 5 key steps:

Phase 1:  Systematic Business-led Approach to D&I

  1. Guarantee representation of diverse talent.
  2. Build up Leadership accountability and aptitude for D&I.
  3. Facilitate fairness of opportunity.

 Phase 2:  Bold Steps to Strengthen Inclusion

  1. Foster openness and confront discrimination.
  2. Nurture belonging.

Let us delve into a little more detail of some of the steps.

1. Representation of Diverse Talent

Diversity leaders carefully contemplate on the forms of various Diversities that need to be prioritized, and their reasons.  Leaders not only put forth a business-driven case for D&I change, they also establish overall representation targets for themselves.  Emphasis is put on bringing forward several forms of Diverse talent especially in the executive, line-management, technical, and board roles.  Steps like these not only take care of Leadership selection but also take care of gaps in the corporate hierarchy.

2. Leadership Accountability and Aptitude for D&I

Diversity leaders position their core business executives and managers at the center of the D&I endeavor which is decisive in forming an Inclusive culture.  Pivotal to positioning of core executives are the Inclusive Leadership and accountability capabilities of the firm.  Both capabilities must go far beyond the executive team and reach middle management—where D&I is frequently consigned when more pressing business priorities arise.  Front-runners in Diversity have to—and do—go further than typical mechanical bias training.

3. Fairness of Opportunity via Impartiality & Openness

Equality and fairness of opportunity is a critical area that requires consideration for fostering Inclusion, and thereby keeping and increasing Diverse talent.  Diversity leaders ensure Equality and Fairness of opportunity with regard to Leadership attitudes as well as conduct and abilities.

Impartiality of talent processes, chiefly in the context of career progression and equal remuneration, ensures such an environment.

Interested in learning more about all the step for D&I Improvement and specific steps by types of D&I companies?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Improvement here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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For additional best practices available on Flevy, have a look at our top 100 lists:

24-slide PowerPoint presentation
Modern organizations recognize that to be leaders in their industry, they need a workforce that represents the society in which it exists. But while many companies are putting their best efforts into recruiting a more diverse workforce, it's the experience created for employees that will ultimately [read more]

Want to Achieve Excellence in Human Resource Management (HRM)?

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The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure our organization achieves success through our people. Without the right people in place—at all levels of the organization—we will never be able to execute our Strategy effectively.

This begs the question: Does your organization view HR as a support function or a strategic one? Research shows leading organizations leverage HR as a strategic function, one that both supports and drives the organization's Strategy. In fact, having strong HRM capabilities is a source of Competitive Advantage.

This has never been more true than right now in the Digital Age, as organizations must compete for specialized talent to drive forward their Digital Transformation Strategies. Beyond just hiring and selection, HR also plays the critical role in retaining talent—by keeping people engaged, motivated, and happy.

Learn about our Human Resource Management (HRM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

Readers of This Article Are Interested in These Resources

30-slide PowerPoint presentation
Diversity pertains to representation of races, ethnicities, and other minority groups in an entity or, in other words, the make-up of an organization. Inclusion, on the other hand, represents the degree of value given to inputs, existence, and viewpoints of various groups of people and the extent [read more]

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About Mark Bridges

Mark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

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