This week I discus the importance of monitoring diversity at different levels.
Diversity programs in the corporate world are failing. Tyronne Stoudemire, senior diversity consultant says that diversity programs become stagnant, rather than “mixing it up” at every level, including amongst Executives. Harvard University Professor of Sociology Frank Dobbin explains that the lack of diversity in upper echelons of corporate organisations happens because Human Resources focus on hiring but not on promoting talented workers of diverse cultural and gender backgrounds. A better model is for managers & CEOs to monitor progress through a diversity taskforce.
We interview a lot of HR managers and top managers at firms, and we ask them how they’re doing on diversity, and they say, ‘Oh, good, 40 percent of our staff is female or minority. Then we ask how promotion up the ranks is going, and they’ll almost uniformly say, ‘Terrible.’
Dobbin argues that setting up a taskforce works because it’s about making top managers and Executives personally responsible for improving diversity:
They work very well because they give the job to the managers. If I’m the CEO and I say, ‘I need six department heads to form a diversity task force that will meet once a month for a year, and I want to see some results,’ there will be results.
The diversity taskforce might provide diversity training for hiring committees; they would regularly review avenues for promotion; they monitor equity and diversity practices; and provide Executive leadership opportunities for minorities.
Read about Dobbins’ research on the benefits of diversity managers and diversity taskforces.
Over to You!
Has your workplace established a diversity taskforce? Wondering how you can improve the retention and promotion of minorities in your workplace?
Top photo: Cydcor Offices via Flickr