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The numbers are crystal clear — companies who cultivate a diverse workforce are more productive, creative, and innovative.
Diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets.
Diverse companies are 87% better at making decisions due to bringing a diverse perspective and skill sets to the table.
Inclusive teams are nearly two times more innovative because they collaborate better with one another.
Companies with a highly inclusive culture have almost three times more cash flow per employee because employees are more engaged and take better care of customers.
The list of benefits goes on and on. In short, diversity is good for business.
But organizations still haven’t put in the necessary effort to move the needle in a meaningful way. So why don’t more companies put more of a focus on building a diverse workforce?
I’ve worked with over 500 companies from the Fortune 1000 and fastest-growing startups through my company, Mogul, and for many organizations, this is a how problem.
Most businesses understand the benefits of diversity and want to be more inclusive and equitable. Many are unsure where to start in a meaningful way that does more than just “check off the boxes.”
Here are the four steps I and my team at Mogul prescribe:
1. Start at the top
First, companies must develop a board and leadership team that is committed to diversity. The way they do this is by expanding their network to find diverse talent.
90% of executive roles are filled through networking, but historically, 85% of executive leadership positions are held by Caucasian men. Companies need to expand their network and develop a diverse slate of candidates so hiring managers can focus more on skill sets and qualifications. Once they diversify their hiring pipelines, they can then focus on middle management and wage-level positions.
2. Utilize artificial intelligence
Machine learning and artificial intelligence might be the most significant trend happening in recruitment sourcing today.
These tools allow you to screen and sort through large volumes of candidate data and find more accurate matches. We believe that sourcing tools are now the essential part of business for sourcing specialists.
3. Leverage diversity groups
The best way to develop your future leaders is by implementing Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Currently, 90% of the Fortune 500 have ERGs in their workforce. But the vast majority of ERG leaders say they are underutilized and underfunded.
Nothing meaningful can happen with capital allocation, so we suggest that companies properly budget their ERGs. ERGs are crucial for creating an inclusive culture, and when utilized properly, can double as an internal focus group that can bring tangible business innovations.
4. Set the standard
Finally, we suggest more companies standardize how they promote from within the organization. Every employee should know their growth trajectory from the start of employment if they meet or exceed expectations.
The bottom line goal is to overcome biases at every possible turn. Everyone has biases, and we’ve discovered that unconscious bias training can only mitigate the effects.
The companies that stand head and shoulders above the rest at the end of this decade will be the ones that learn how to source effectively, hire, retain, and champion diversity within their organizations.