Leaders need to set a positive example, emphasizing the value of diversity by mentoring people who are different from themselves, writes Army officer Richard Farnell. "Otherwise, we do what's comfortable, and we risk saying with our actions that we care about cultivating the talents of a homogeneous few," he cautions.
Despite continued research indicating gender parity is a business imperative, at the current rate of change, it will take 168 years for parity to be reached globally, according to a World Economic Forum report. When talking about something that would boost global GDP by $28 trillion, it is important to explore new tools, such as augmented intelligence, to fix bias and move us toward a more equal society.
Millennials thrive on teamwork, and they value the opportunity to share input and make their voices heard, experts say. Managers need to follow through on promises made during the hiring process and should make time for one-on-one meetings with millennial employees.
A professional who had spent much of his career in finance and tech strived for diverse interaction after realizing his professional network comprised largely people of the same gender, race and socioeconomic background. He started by tracking the gender composition of meetings and worked to network with more women.
Organizations must develop a culture and structure that fosters diversity and inclusion to achieve any lasting effect, writes Kate Brodock, CEO of Women 2.0. That requires leaders to think over the long term about how best to incorporate diversity into both hiring and retention processes, she suggests.
Diversity and inclusion efforts begin at recruitment, and leaders should consider how their job listings may exclude different groups. By using more inclusive language, hiring managers can have a broader field of talent to interview, and it will be easier to end up with a more diverse team.