Struggling to Build a Diverse Team? Review Your Diversity at the Leadership Level.

Struggling to Build a Diverse Team? Review Your Diversity at the Leadership Level.

Many companies are working to build diverse teams – and struggling to do so. Despite their verbal commitment to diverse, inclusive hiring, these organizations often find themselves hiring from the same uniform pool of candidates again and again!

 

Why? Often, it’s because the organization hasn’t taken an honest look at its own leadership. Companies with diverse leadership teams are two steps ahead. Here’s why:

Diverse leadership makes better decisions.

One of the biggest reasons organizations are embracing diverse, inclusive hiring is because diverse teams gain strength and resilience from the inclusion of multiple viewpoints and life experiences. However, these benefits perhaps apply even more to leaders, who have a larger sphere of influence, than front-line workers.

 

As a Forbes article notes, a diverse leadership team has more experience and perspective, allowing it to better understand the views of employees, clients, and other parties, including job seekers. Such a team also has a deeper capacity for innovation and a larger well of experiences and ideas to draw from when it comes to tackling business challenges. The benefits you want from a diverse workforce can also be gained by building a diverse, inclusive hiring team.

Candidates see whether you walk your talk.

Companies aren’t the only ones committed to diversity in hiring – many candidates are as well.

 

A 2020 survey from The Manifest, for example, found that 70 percent of job seekers valued a company’s commitment to diversity when they were looking for a new job. In other words, most job seekers want their new employer to demonstrate diverse, inclusive hiring.

 

A leadership team that doesn’t reflect diverse, inclusive hiring practices communicates to these job seekers that the company may talk about diversity but not practice it. Diversity-minded applicants are likely to apply elsewhere if they determine an organization does not share their commitment to an inclusive workforce.

Diverse leaders foster stronger teams.

Finally, diversity in leadership improves the quality of diversity, inclusivity, and engagement among the entire workforce. When employees see themselves reflected in leadership, they’re more likely to trust the decisions of leadership. They’re also more likely to feel secure in raising issues that leaders might not see, but that might have a negative impact.

 

Employees in companies with diverse leadership are more likely to remain engaged and build their careers in-house, thus reducing turnover. Job applicants are also more likely to be committed to their new role upon hiring, as they see how the company fosters career growth and embraces diversity.

 

When leadership at an organization is diverse and inclusive, the results impact hiring as well as day-to-day work. As we’ve seen with many of our clients, diversity in leadership can lead to a stronger organization.

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