Diver­si­ty isn’t just a moral issue.  There is a busi­ness case that can be made for pro­mot­ing diver­si­ty and inclu­sion in the work­place.  From recruit­ment to men­tor­ing, human resources has a main role in the strategy.

Defining Diversity

What is diver­si­ty?  That’s a two pronged answer.  There is inher­ent diver­si­ty.  It involves traits a per­son is born with… gen­der, eth­nic­i­ty, and sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion for instance.  Then there is acquired diver­si­ty.  These are traits gained from expe­ri­ence.  For instance, an employ­ee who has worked abroad will be more inclined to appre­ci­ate cul­tur­al difference.

The Har­vard Busi­ness Review con­duct­ed a study focused on two-dimen­sion­al diver­si­ty.  A per­son with 2‑D diver­si­ty is said to have least three inher­ent and three acquired diver­si­ty traits.  In the study, com­pa­nies with 2‑D diver­si­ty out-inno­vat­ed and out-per­formed those with­out it.  Those com­pa­nies were 45% more like­ly to report growth over the pre­vi­ous year and 70% more like­ly to report cap­tur­ing a new market.

Diversity in Practice

Tran­sUnion con­tin­ues to focus on diver­si­ty and inclu­sion ini­tia­tives and has even made key changes in lead­er­ship.  Instead of posi­tions being held by just men, the com­pa­ny has added some women to the ranks.  But it isn’t some­thing that hap­pened overnight and the work con­tin­ues into 2019.  Debra Wasser­man is the Senior Direc­tor of Com­pen­sa­tion and Ben­e­fits at Tran­sUnion.  She said Tran­sUnion used a top-down approach.

“We start­ed with the senior-most lead­ers and fol­lowed it down through­out the orga­ni­za­tion,” Wasser­man said.  “I think to some degree, there need­ed to be some aware­ness.  So, we had to get this front and cen­ter in front of everyone.”

From there, Wasser­man says the com­pa­ny has start­ed look­ing at pay equi­ty.  She said some states already require this, but they’ve start­ed look­ing at it as a glob­al issue as well.

“We don’t have all the answers.  We’re just start­ing to ask ques­tions at this point, but we’re try­ing to make a move toward a more diverse sit­u­a­tion,” Wasser­man said.

Impacting Diversity

Diver­si­ty and inclu­sion con­tin­ues to be one of the dom­i­nant top­ics for HR pro­fes­sion­als.  There are some way’s HR can real­ly impact change for their respec­tive companies.

In most com­pa­nies it can be dif­fi­cult to get a clear pic­ture of what diver­si­ty is like for that par­tic­u­lar organization.

To com­bat this, HR teams should mon­i­tor diver­si­ty.  This can be done through audits.  This should be done, not only for cur­rent employ­ees, but in recruit­ment prac­tices as well.  This will allow for progress to be mea­sured effectively.

When it comes to diver­si­ty, HR should focus on build­ing a diverse work­force through recruit­ment or devel­op­ment. There are a myr­i­ad of ways of doing this.  Some can be through inter­nal or exter­nal partnerships.

Like recruit­ment, men­tor­ing can be inter­nal or exter­nal. For instance, some HR pro­fes­sion­als work with schools or local youth groups. This helps with fos­ter­ing tal­ent ear­ly and mak­ing sure more diverse indi­vid­u­als are aware of the opportunities.

HR teams should under­stand it is vital to ensure the diver­si­ty of your sup­ply chain.  Fur­ther­more, it should reflect your con­sumer base, but also that there is a busi­ness case for sup­ply chain diversity.

In Summation

It is clear HR has a role in diver­si­ty.  Com­pa­nies should start, if they’re not already, think­ing about mak­ing these changes to recruit­ment, but they will have to imple­ment them as soon as possible.

That said, these steps can help pro­pel the com­pa­ny onto a pos­i­tive tra­jec­to­ry.  Even with pos­i­tive changes in recruit­ment, oth­er areas such as men­tor­ing, sup­pli­er chain diver­si­ty and pro­gres­sion and lead­er­ship still need to be focused on to ensure com­pa­nies are aid­ing eth­nic minor­i­ty pro­gres­sion with­in their organizations.

By Mason Stevenson

Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on hrexchangenetwork.com