The philosophy of pursuitology is to change recruiting from the inside out. It is not enough to want diverse employees, you have to change your perspective on how you look at diversity and inclusion. In my “Must be Able to Drive a Zoo Vehicle” presentation at SourceCon, the audience and I discussed that when looking at implementing a diversity initiative, you have to look at whether or not your company is ready for such a move.
I got to thinking, “Where my girls at!?!” At my last company, all of the sourcing and recruiting team were women. The VP’s and other execs were men. In my experience, I have noticed that it seems there proverbial glass ceiling exists when it comes to women in executive positions. Look at recruiting conferences and check out the list of speakers, presenters and keynotes. How many are women vs. men? (Don’t cheat and look at conferences targeted at women!) Are companies doing enough to break the glass ceiling? Ella LJ Edmondson Bell, Ph.D, founder and president of ASCENT-Leading Multicultural Women to the Top wrote, “This year a record number of women are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies — but you still don’t need all of your fingers and toes to count them. (You don’t even need all of your fingers to count those running Fortune 100s).”
If you were to ask whether or not companies are effective in recruiting, promoting, retaining and developing women to be leaders, and the answer, as you might have guessed, split down gender lines. The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School survey, “Women in Business” to see what the real deal is. Kip Kelly, after interviewing 925 talent management professionals, found that more than 65% of men reported an increase in women holding leadership positions in the past 5 years. When asked the same question was asked of women, or 44% felt there was an increase. As a diversity recruiter, the scariest part of the article was the answer to the question “How important is Female Leaders’ Development to your Company.” The survey concluded 31% of males and 48% of women replied that it was not on the strategic agenda.
The same things I would suggest to be in place BEFORE you begin sourcing diverse candidates, are the same things that I recommend when implementing any retention plan for my client, diverse or not: “If you build it, they will come.”
Build what you ask? A company that will encourage employees to be comfortable with one’s differences at work regardless of race, gender, background, sexual orientation or any other factors that may not be shared by everyone working in the same area of the company. Depending on the size of your company, it could be beneficial to hire a diversity manager who has a commitment to making sure individuals feel free to retain their own sense of values and ethics while recognizing similarities as well.
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If you have a environment so ready you are screaming for your diverse candidates, you are ready for the next step. Develop a program that encourages open information sharing about new job openings and make it easy to refer candidates. Become aware of what biases you may have about people how are different then you. We will continue to examine the steps to implementing a diversity program that works. In the meantime, be honest with yourself and make sure that you are part of the solution not the problem. At the end of the day, if you are doing all of the hard work it takes to source diversity candidates but the company you work for is doing nothing to retain them then it is a waste of time effort and money. If you have questions about diversity sourcing and recruiting, please Ask Jackye by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.