I recently served as a Diversity Value Index Judge for the 2014 report commissioned by Diversity Executive Magazine and The Human Capital Media Group. It was a very rewarding experience that has remained on my mind for the past several months. The information that I analyzed didn’t surprise me, I personally believe the organizations that I assessed (judged) made a good case for being some of the top workplaces in this country for any employee to work and any diversity candidate to pursue as a potential employer.
What surprised me as I waded through the company question and answer forms was that in 2014 this issue still remains a critical one and that there still has to be extensive buy-in from the people at the top for real progress to be made. Let me repeat that…”buy in from people at the top”.
So if I’m reading the information that I was provided correctly and all of the information I received was gathered and prepared by the participating organizations, I can only believe that the companies know they have a problem and have under-performed, they want to be recognized as a solver of the problem but…the problem continues to exist. If I lost you…the problem here is the lack of organizational diversity.
This is almost like someone that is suffering from an addiction…let’s say alcohol. They know they drink too much, they want to be self-improving and solve their drinking problem but year after year they continue to drink excessively. Before you question my analogy…Please don’t make me out to be someone that trivializes the disease that is alcoholism. In a prior career-life I worked as a Family Counselor and I completely understand the malaise that is alcoholism but I’m speaking of the condition and ones inability or even unwillingness to address it with a real commitment to change. The condition is similar to what I see in the diversity scenario.
Companies and organizations of all sizes know that they can do better and they are very clear on the extreme value that is the “business case for diversity” and the social impact that exist inherently in the creation of responsible across the board diversity initiatives but they continue to appoint, reappoint and uncover a non-diverse pool of candidates to sit on their boards and run their organizations. Confusing…I know.
As a Diversity Recruiter, I’m not suggesting that the decision makers use age, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation as a singular means to making the hiring decision. I’m simply suggesting that employers make a concerted and committed effort to include some diversity in the pipeline.
Every day I come across very talented people looking for opportunities and advancement. They bring an array of cultural experiences to the table and many of them feel shut out in the current business climate. Yes! Things have improved but…it’s 2014 and the motivation and premise for this article comes from one that I read shortly after landing my first job in Recruiting nearly 20 years ago. We can do better…much better.
So now it’s time to announce the winner of the “Top Company for Diversity Award”. The winner is………………… You. Yes, your company! The title is there for the taking. I’m pulling for you; I don’t want my son, Khayel, to write the same article in 2034.
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