EDI TOR’SLE T TER
Ivisited a consumer-products company recently that, like many companies we benchmark, had a lack of racial and gender diversity at the top. They wanted to know the
best way to develop a strong and lasting leadership pipeline,
and the talk naturally turned to mentoring.
Taking It to
the Next Level
How, they asked, did other companies ensure that
mentoring programs were consistent across all business units? Has anyone studied the best cross-cultural
matches and what type of cultural-competence training
is needed for matches that have cultural barriers? Can
mentoring occur across geographical borders? What
type of mentoring would work best for the specific
structure of their business units and their matrix type of
These are the types of questions we receive constantly and that have led us to start a series of research
reports that will enable us to get answers on a broad
level and on a personalized level for individual companies. In 2011, we will be conducting four in-depth
diversity-management research projects that will
involve data analysis, academic research and in-depth
interviews of corporate leaders. The reports—Effective
Employee-Resource-Group Structures, Mentoring
Results, Diversity Councils, and Supplier Diversity—will
each have corporate sponsors who will be able to
have a say in what questions are asked and will be the
only recipients of the full research. Executive sum-maries will be published in this magazine and on
What’s most important about this research is that it
will enable us—and our corporate audience—to find out
on a much more linear level what innovative approaches
are occurring and how they specifically apply to them.
Our model for this type of research comes from our
global-research project, now in its second phase. In
the first phase last year, we had 12 sponsor companies
determine which 11 countries we would study, and
they helped us with the questions for corporate entities with operations in those countries. We unveiled
the research from that study at our event last March.
In the second phase, now under way, we have 18 corporate sponsors and are researching 17 countries in
Europe and Asia, plus Brazil and Russia. We are studying the differences between U.S.-based multinationals
and companies based in those countries, and we are
finding, with the help of our sponsors, that there are
fundamental differences in perceptions of the topic as
well as methods of creating more inclusive workplaces.
Results will be available in 2011.
We know how rapidly the field of diversity management is evolving and that those who don’t stay ahead
of the curve fall rapidly behind. These research reports
will enable us to capture the wave before it crests and to
share that information with you.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, EXECUTIVE EDITOR
To better understand the stages of corporate diversity, contact Barbara Frankel at bfrankel@DiversityInc.com
These research reports will enable us to capture the wave
before it crests and to share that information with you. “ ”