Last week I participated in virtual team meeting where a supervisor job opportunity was discussed. An African American woman spoke up and said, “why bother to apply? None of the managers at this company look like me.” The comment, while jarring, was hard to dispute. The diversity at the managerial level was obviously lacking. And while this company has tried to improve in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, results have been slow and slim.
We are living in tumultuous times and the message we are hearing is loud and clear; we must do better.
Take a look Fortune 500 Leadership Statistics.They clearly represent a disparity in diversity of people at the some of the highest levels leadership.
There are only 33 Female Fortune 500 CEO’s (6.6%) … and only one is a woman of color
Just 11 Latino Fortune 500 CEO’s
And only 4 of the Fortune 500 CEO’s are Black
Diversity and Inclusion has been a goal for many companies over the years when it comes to leadership. So why is it that some employees still feel “left out” when it comes to career development and opportunities for advancement? The idea of providing equal opportunity is often, no more than an overarching philosophy that lacks teeth. Posting jobs for all to see is not the same as preparing people to feel confident to step up to the plate and say, “I’d like to be considered for that job”. Providing career development for “all employees” versus just the “high performers”, might be one answer.
Imagine creating a level playing field, where all employees are given the essential tools needed to advance their career beginning with foundational skills such as effective communication, problem solving and demonstrating accountability. Once these essential skills are mastered, individuals can focus on career-building skills such as confidence, influence, and developing their professional brand. Strategically integrate some stretch-projects, assign mentors, then watch the transformation begin. This “all inclusive” approach creates a WIN-WIN for all!
Employees become more engaged, better performers and learn the skills they need to promote.
Employers begin building a more diverse and inclusive workforce, while developing their leaders of the future.
As we move into the new decade, all organizations need to set bold and measurable goals to create diverse, equitable and inclusive work environments. Hearing comments like: “Why bother applying, or managers don’t look like me” needs to become a distant memory. We all have the power to make an impact and drive positive change.
To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can create a customized virtual career development program designed to elevate your employees to higher levels of responsibility and create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.