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You Can’t Win If
You’re Not in the Game
We recently met with two
very different companies
that had a few
similarities: Both were beginning
to benchmark their diversity-management initiatives and both
had inclusive corporate cultures.
Both companies initially were
hesitant to participate in The
DiversityInc Top 50 Companies
for Diversity® survey because they
feared poor performance would
reflect negatively on the diversity
department. Both purchased
knowing they needed to thoroughly
assess strengths and weaknesses,
especially against industry
competitors and the best in class
(the DiversityInc Top 50).
Here’s where the major
differences come in and why
I think Company A—and not
Company B—is poised to become a
DiversityInc Top 50 company.
Company A has some real
diversity challenges; while the
CEO is supportive of diversity, no
one has yet explained to him its
critical connection to the business
objectives and competitive success.
This company, in the tech industry,
is heavily overrepresented with
Asians and has real gaps in its representation of Blacks, Latinos and
women, especially in management.
When we met with senior
executives at this company—and
asked why the CEO was not invited
to the meeting—they didn’t cross
their arms, roll their eyes or flinch.
They talked honestly and openly
about what they needed to do and
how to change public perception so
their company could be branded as
a place where everyone wanted to
work. They invited us to stay and
participate in their strategy session,
and they’ve followed up with us
as they implement their plans and
share their data with everyone at
the highest levels, especially the
CEO. They also decided to participate in the DiversityInc Top 50,
knowing that if they don’t make
the list, we won’t publicize their
participation. By sharing their data,
they are helping us provide better
industry and general benchmarks.
And they know that for that reason, we only write in this magazine
and on www.DiversityInc.com
about companies participating in
the DiversityInc Top 50.
Company B also professes to be
eager to improve its diversity management but is unwilling to go the
extra mile. This financial-services
company is limiting who sees its
data and is wary about shaking
anything up. The CEO and his top
team are being kept in the dark.
The company has so far declined to
participate in the DiversityInc Top
50, saying “we’re not ready yet.”
You can’t win unless you’re in
the game. You can’t become a diversity leader unless you compete,
see where your challenges are and
address them. That means letting
everyone in on the “secret” that
things have to change—and getting
the CEO on board.
Senior Vice President,