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Diversity jobs - Lip service

Lip Service

The practice of paying lip service ( all talk - no action ) to diversity jobs is a common practice at some of the most unlikely organizations. The lip service begins with a announcement to improve their diversity / inclusion work culture. The announcement is even better when it includes the introduction of a new corporate chief diversity officer . Quiet - waiting for the storm When Slack publicly pledged a future built on diversity in 2014, its desire to embrace more of a 21st century-style workforce was widely praised. Three years later, the company openly admitted via its diversity report card that committing to diversity had been a bigger challenge than it had anticipated. That September of 2015, when Slack first released its diversity and inclusion data, fully 89 percent of its engineers were white or Asian. By contrast, in 2016, African-Americans filled just 4.3 percent of the company's technical roles. Fast-forward to 2017: That figure has inched up only half a percentage point. Why was investing in diversity so hard? In a nutshell, Slack realized that while setting and announcing diversity goals may have been commendable, actual implementation couldn't happen without deep changes to an entrenched Silicon Valley culture that hinges on a relatively homogeneous workforce. Startups and small businesses can learn a lot from Slack's initiative and the obstacles the company faced. Without changes to human resources practices and a commitment from leaders to look beyond particular attributes and the same, familiar places for candidates, diversity will always remain a goal -- but never an actuality. The elusiveness of workplace diversity While much hyped in business today, diversity too often is a sound bite with little bearing on the physical makeup of the workplace. This fact becomes especially apparent when we examine the distribution of work roles in a given organization. According to a report from Bloomberg, even a company as vaunted as Facebook has few people of color employed in engineering roles; those in leadership positions are still predominantly white and male. Post annoucement of It seems employers who lack a well balanced diversity work culture take a first step of announcing their intention to pursue more diversity recruitment. The reality of how difficult that goal is smacks these employers immediately. The difficulty in attracting diverse men and women to apply at your firm is comprised of many employer internal issues in addition to outside obstacles. So, many companies seldom get beyond their initial "lip service" An article written by Sona Jepsen, guest writer, to the website –Entrepreneur- highlights a number of employer self-inflicted practices, in addition to "lip service", contributing to an employer's difficulty to improve diversity recruiting. Click here

The elusiveness of workplace diversity

Diversity too often is a lip service sound bite with little relevance to the employer’s workplace. Take Facebook for example, according to a report from Bloomberg - Click here 

Paying Lip Service To Diversity

“Facebook’s hiring process hinders its effort to create a diverse workforce” is the title of Bloomberg Technology’s article describing Facebook’s recruitment goal to bring in female, black and Latino software engineers. Yet within Facebook’s engineering department, achieving this  goal is hampered by a multi-layered hiring process that gives a small committee veto power over promising candidates. This practice hinders progress on achieving diversity goals since it allows committee members to exercise their own hiring biases.

Old habits die hard

Facebook started incentivizing recruiters in 2015 to find engineering candidates who weren't already well represented at the company – women, black and Latino workers. But during the final stage for engineering hires, the decision-makers were risk-averse, often declining the minority candidates. The engineering leaders making the ultimate choices, almost all white or Asian men, often assessed candidates on traditional metrics like where they attended college, whether they had worked at a top tech firm, or whether current Facebook employees could vouch for them.

Managing Recruitment Funnels

Ms. Jepsen points out “You’ve heard of a “sales funnel” but what about a “recruitment funnel ?”. It can help you make “diversity” much more than just a lip service buzzword. She recommends the following”:

Managing Recruitment Funnels - Paying Lip Service To Diversity
  1. Change your recruitment funnel to enlarge your talent pool and eliminate implicit biases. Hiring managers typically look at skill sets alone when filling positions. Organizations need to begin assessing candidates through a different lens, by restructuring their recruitment funnel and prioritizing individual potential and talent.

Like a sales funnel, a recruitment funnel will continue to produce the same results if you never revise it. Consequently, if your company seems to be headed toward a non-diverse workforce, you'll need to alter your hiring channels in order to get different kinds of people to walk through your door.

  1. Create an environment where everyone has a voice. Without equal access to opportunity or the ability to move into major decision-making or change-instigating roles, employees who "bring diversity" to a startup will do so via numbers only.

Team trust and openness are essential for diversity to thrive. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information indicated that even if you have women on your team, they'll be discouraged from contributing if their opinions are consistently squelched. Not only will your startup lose potential opportunities to evolve and will suffer higher turnover, but you'll also create a culture where inclusion is only skin deep.

  1. Encourage diverse populations to become advocates for diversity. Minority employees with leadership roles must be empowered to help peers or potential employees achieve similar results, but this doesn't happen nearly as often as it should.

In sum, Ms. Jepsen say’s while shouting "diversity!" from the rooftops is a good first step, employers need to take a comprehensive approach to upending their practices and making diversity more than a buzzword. Evolving hiring practices, creating an inclusive work culture and advocating for greater change will not only manifest a more positive working atmosphere, but will foster success by appealing to diverse customers and clients.

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DATE: 01-29-2022