Authored By: Iris Garrett
“Diversity isn’t just good, it’s good for business,” a powerful statement by employment lawyer, Beth Robinson, that no company should take lightly. In an article in Above the Law, she says diverse companies not only perform better financially and in terms of staying power, but they don’t have to worry about poor branding, administrative conflicts, legal actions resulting from the lack of diversity, or the perception that their company is a biased place to work. All of which burden non-diverse companies on a daily basis.
Robinson says diversity reporting can show how a business stacks up in the industry, but not all companies are racing to see their numbers. When they’re subpar, businesses take to shallow diversity initiatives that only leave workers with a bad taste in their mouths. Instead of another initiative, Robinson provides these five steps for employers to enhance their diversity the right way:
- Remove Bias from the Initial Process: Robinson says the most diverse companies focus on hiring the best person for the role by removing the bias that comes with hiring shortcuts (hiring primarily based on referrals). Diversity breeds diversity, and she says when your candidate pool is diverse, the candidates that come in and interview will be diverse, too.
- Start at the Top: Robinson says to achieve real diversity, companies must include it in more than just the bottom ranks. Any business that wants to make diversity a priority should begin their efforts at the top.
- Don’t Make Your Handful of Diverse Employees “Tokens” for Diversity: Robinson says avoid making women or people of color an example of diversity. Instead, designate a leader who is not the target of your diversity initiative to bring more workers on board.
- Hire for Competence not Connections: Robinson says stop relying so heavily on referrals and recruit in a variety of places. She also says to emphasize a broad reach in your search and not just “diversity”.
- Companies with Healthy Cultures Retain Diverse Talent: Robinson says companies that value diversity will treat it as part of who they are. She says focus on building a culture where everyone is valued for their contribution and work to strengthen bonds based on what each employee has in common regardless of background or gender.
There is no quick fix to getting out of a diversity problem, but Robinson says being honest about why your business is the way it is (homogeneous in a bad way), and making these changes are a good way to start.
To read Beth Robinson’s full article, click here.
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