September 11, 2020
By Tiffany Pham, Entrepreneur
By now, anyone who’s paying attention to workplace diversity, equity and inclusion knows that gender and racial representation are essential to organizational growth. Studies have shown time and time again that companies with diverse leadership teams are more profitable and innovative. Employees are also more engaged, and customer retention is higher.
Based on a study by legendary management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, when an organization has more gender and ethnic diversity, the likelihood of financial outperformance in the market is an average of 35 percent greater.
Achieving parity is a process
Diversity has proven to increase the bottom line. In 2017, companies in the S&P 500 closed the year at an increase of 19.45 percent. At that time,16 companies did not have a single woman on the board or in the C-suite. By the end of 2019, every company had at least one woman on their board — and closed the year at a nearly 30 percent increase. Plain and simple, diversity at the top is good for business.
So if the data is this crystal clear, why are women and people of color still so underrepresented in executive leadership? Recently, Mogul, the global diversity recruitment company of which I am CEO, held a “Diversity in Executive Search” webinar about this topic. Cathrin Stickney, the founder and CEO of Parity.org, a nonprofit that advocates for representation of women and people of color at the highest levels of business, shared insights with Mogul members.
She outlined that achieving parity in organizational leadership is a multi-pronged process and specifically highlighted the importance of making progress across representation. Recruitment is a foundational step in increasing representation. If you’re in leadership and looking to add diversity in your workforce — and you absolutely should be — there are five easily implementable executive recruitment strategies that you can take advantage of to give you the best chance to hire the top talent. Many of these I’ve come across in my personal executive search practice, and it’s changed the way we recruit at Mogul.
1. Eliminate unconscious bias at every opportunity. Unconscious bias is present everywhere and affects everything from recruitment to compensation, mentoring and promotion. Bias can create unintended setbacks in designing a truly diverse and inclusive workplace.