Organizations that promote diverse teams, especially within leadership, outperform homogenous teams. Understanding unique backgrounds of individuals can help companies appeal to a broader range of talent and reach diverse markets. Research shows diverse teams perform better — while homogenous teams may feel more effective, the presence of friction actually improves outcomes.
Diversity is most often thought of as covering race and gender, but it also includes veteran status, generation, disability, sexual orientation and religious affiliation. Whether you manage HR for a startup or global conglomerate, diversity and inclusion programs ensure there’s an opportunity for everyone to excel. Here are a few leaders in the field that specialize in how to improve your diversity initiatives.
Paradigm believes “that with the benefit of diverse perspectives, our clients will design better products, deliver better services, and build a better world.” Joelle Emerson, CEO of Paradigm, says “belonging” is a key benchmark, taking the idea of inclusion one step further. Being confident in your own environment disrupts the uncertainty that can reduce employee performance. “Creating a sense of belonging therefore empowers people to do their best work, ensuring people from all backgrounds have an opportunity to succeed and advance in organizations,” she writes.
[bctt tweet=”Creating a sense of belonging empowers people to do their best work” username=”reflektive”]
Last month, Emerson asked her team to choose a list of organizations for the company to support in 2017, specifically those whose work advances inclusion. Because of this, organizations like Black Girls Code — created for the sole purpose of unifying, educating, and encouraging women to excel in their technological fields — are getting the attention they deserve.
Where Based: San Francisco Bay Area
Companies Worked With: Pinterest, Slack, Airbnb, Twitter, Asana
To quote the executive director of the New York chapter, Lindsay Wagner, “ColorComm membership provides direct access to key leaders and decision makers. This professional sisterhood offers endless access to opportunities.”
Beginning as a luncheon series, ColorComm’s roots now connect female peers in public relations, corporate communications, advertising, media, broadcast, and digital. With chapters throughout the country, and a board of some of the strongest female minds in the communications sector, ColorComm continues cultivating the successes of women of color.
Where Based: Washington D.C., with chapters in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and LA, with more to come
Companies Worked With: Prudential, BET Networks, Edelman, Omnicom, The Coca-Cola Company
3. Lean In
Facebook COO and Lean In pioneer, Sheryl Sandberg said it best: “Men may fear that as women do better, they will do worse. But the surprising truth is that equality is good for men, too.” With 30,000 Lean In Circles in 154 countries, women are supporting each other across the globe as they ask for more, step outside of their daily norms, and push through that glass ceiling.
Lean In also recognizes the key role men have in aiding equality, and the happier, healthier, and more successful family dynamic that results. Couples who have equal partnerships have stronger marriages. Diverse teams that support both men and women produce better results.
The NGLCC advocates for diversity and inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)-owned businesses. Additionally, it also collaborates with America’s top corporations to ensure LGBT inclusion in all business matters.
Where Based: Washington, D.C., with local affiliated chambers across the country and around the world
Some companies worked with: IBM, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Motorola, American Airlines
The WWP matches veterans’ skills and experience to the needs of hiring managers. Likewise, the WWP supports employers themselves by connecting them with qualified candidates, educating on post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related injuries, creating an efficient onboarding process, and maintaining a strong, continuous relationship throughout a veteran’s career development.
[bctt tweet=”The Wounded Warriors Project matches veterans’ skills and experience to the needs of hiring managers” username=”reflektive”]
Together, employers and the WWP aim to foster ease in the adjustment and success for every generation of service members.
Where Based: Jacksonville, Fla., with office locations nationwide
Companies Worked With: DeWalt, Amazon, Warner Bros.
The NMSDC matches opportunities for more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses, connecting them to their vast network of corporate members. As a result, Asian, African-American, Hispanic and Native American suppliers are advanced globally.
Where Based: New York City, with 23 affiliate regional councils nationwide
Companies Worked With: Many of the largest public and private companies, as well healthcare companies, colleges, and universities.
With women currently holding only 4.4 percent of Fortune 500 CEO roles, it’s advantageous that Catalyst’s online learning platform permits larger numbers of individuals and organizations to participate in its leadership development curriculum.
Its global reach allows a unique foothold in researching and creating successful individual and organizational strategies, while solving career advancement barriers that occur no matter the location.
Where Based: New York, N.Y.
Companies Worked With: Catalyst clients span the globe, and include Campbell Soup Company, EY, TD Bank Financial Group
The ELC’s mission is “to increase the number of successful black executives — both domestically and internationally — by adding value to their development, leadership, and philanthropic endeavors throughout the life-cycle of their careers thereby strengthening their companies, organizations, and communities.”
Amongst their vast number of programs, they also have a Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF), specifically designed for high-performing women with an executive future.
Where Based: Alexandria, VA
Companies Worked With: Catalyst, The Prout Group Inc., the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP)
This field of diversity integration is not just run by large nationwide councils. Much smaller organizations see its importance, proving companies of all types and sizes, from a small business to a mega-sized conglomerate, can advance employment processes and change systemic norms.
Frame Shift Consulting is one such organization, helping companies raise the bar through workshops, consulting, and speaking engagements, training individuals on how to open doors to diversity opportunities.
Where Based: San Francisco Bay Area
Companies Worked With: Twitter, Airbnb, MongoDB, Pivotal, IBM, Foursquare, Stack Overflow, Patreon, Trello
As these above companies reflect, promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, even hiring a chief diversity officer, should not be treated as a box to check. If minorities are not included as decision makers, given a voice, and promoted to key positions, companies lose out on robust talent. When diverse employees are present in top leadership roles, this trickles down positively throughout the company.
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