Find out what companies are doing to boost their diversity numbers — and how you can benefit.
Although diversity and inclusion programs may seem like a standard part of nearly every corporation’s workplace initiatives, recent research indicates some diversity efforts may lack focus and follow-up.
Seventy-six percent of organizations, for example, had no policy addressing gender identity and/or gender expression. As of 2013, 35 percent didn’t have a policy that addressed sexual orientation-related work discrimination, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s most recent research. Sixty-six percent of organizations had no way to know if their initiatives were even working.
A number of organizations, however, are getting it right. Some, like PepsiCo, are publicly acknowledging diversity and inclusion program influencers’ efforts with annual awards.
Others, like PricewaterhouseCoopers — which several years ago gave $500,000 in grants to four universities for scholarships and hands-on career exploration programs — are helping to expand talent pipeline efforts in an entire industry.
Pepsi and PricewaterhouseCoopers aren’t the only organizations making serious diversity and inclusion program strides. Other workplace equality achievers have found success through:
Varied talent pipeline efforts: Medical research and development company Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation has earned the top spot on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list for two years in a row, in part because of its underrepresented group-focused talent pipeline plan. According to DiversityInc, NPC is now a better place for women to work than any organization that’s participated in its survey for more than 15 years.
The company’s diversity and inclusion program talent pipeline endeavors involve a hybrid of internal development efforts, such as mentoring, and initiatives that include onboarding programs. NPC uses its 19 employee resource groups, which more than half of the company’s employees participate in, for recruitment — and includes resource group leaders’ work in their performance reviews.
Lending an internal helping hand: In addition to external talent pipeline-focused efforts, some companies are placing a strong emphasis on developing existing talent in highly personal, individualized ways. In the past year, Johnson & Johnson has doubled its percentage of female corporate executives through diversity and inclusion program initiatives such as stretch assignments, offering employees a chance to try out new roles and responsibilities, and internal sponsorships. Both helped women transition into roles that may not initially have seemed to correspond with their background. Women now comprise 40 percent of senior management at the health care company, which was named one of the National Association for Female Executives’ Top 50 Companies for Executive Women in 2015.
Supplier-centric diversity plans: AT&T, which nabbed the No. 1 spot on DiversityInc’s Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity list, created its Prime Supplier Program in 1989, which requires major contractors to create and achieve diversity goals. Eighteen percent of the global communications company’s first-tier contractor spending involves minority-owned businesses.
Measuring results: In today’s work environment, simply having a diversity and inclusion program isn’t enough. To truly gauge a program’s effectiveness, companies must periodically revisit their original goals and have a way to gauge if they are being met. Organizations need to ask: Has diversity-focused talent pipeline work been successful? Are hiring targets realistic?
Organizations such as Lloyds Banking Group, which earned one of the top spots on Stonewall’s 2015 Workplace Equality Index, have made considerable strides to estimate what diversity and inclusion program initiatives are effective. The U.K.-based financial services organization has publically pledged to increase its LGBT employees’ engagement scores to 60 percent by 2020. Lloyds plans to measure its results through an internal survey.
Diversity and inclusion programs, much like the organizations they support, often need to change over time. Growth, market alterations and other factors can influence your company’s goals — and success rate.
If your diversity program needs some inspiration (or adjustments), get new ideas in our recent blog post on the current state of corporate diversity intelligence — and find out what talent pipeline, training and other elements your diversity program should include.