While we’ve made progress, deeply-seated biases and preconceptions may be holding us back. In a recent article written for the Network of Executive Women or NEW, Rufino Cabang writes, “Stereotypes, social norms and unconscious bias are contributing to a widening gender gap at work, according to a new international study commissioned by Unilever.”
Inclusion, we like to say, is a business imperative. Not something that is the right thing to do (although it is), or a nice thing to do (although that’s true to). We’re in business to be successful as are the clients we serve. We see the real, bottom-line benefits of diversity and inclusion. But, we also understand that it can be difficult to demonstrate a concrete link between diversity/inclusion and the bottom line.
What event or events would you say have had the greatest impact on the United States during YOUR lifetime? The Pew Research Center asked that question to 2,025 adult survey respondents in a June–July 2016 poll, the results of which were covered by Claudia Deane, Maeve Duggan and Rich Morin. The research points to important differences between the various generations in terms of what they see as the defining moments of their lifetimes.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, writing for the New York Times, recently covered Starbucks’ board of directors, which — thanks to three newly announced additions — is set to be one of the nation’s most diverse boards.
“The new directors, who will require shareholder approval, will be Rosalind Brewer, an African-American woman who is president and chief executive of Sam’s Club and vice president of Walmart Stores; Satya Nadella, an Indian-American who is chief executive of Microsoft Corporation; and Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, the Denmark-born executive chairman of the Lego Brand Group,” writes Sorkin.
So why is this a big deal?
Companies have gotten wise to the idea that their customers want to see diversity in their organizations, both within their employee ranks and incorporated into their public messages, such as advertisements. A CNBC article by Michelle Castillo from 2016 titled “Study: Americans want more diversity in ads” says Americans want to see the growing diversity of the American populace reflected in their advertisements. According to the article, “A new study by BabyCenter and market research company YouGov that surveyed over 2,000 people finds that 80 percent of parents like to see diverse families in advertisements. Sixty-six percent said that brands that showed reverence for all kinds of families was a considering factor when purchasing a product.”
Given this customer preference, it’s no surprise that all kinds of organizations are looking for ways to display their
In 2014, Katherine W. Phillips wrote an intriguing article for Scientific American titled “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter.” The article was republished by Scientific American in the wake of President Trump’s executive order on immigration, so we thought we’d revisit it as well.
We’ve written a great deal about the impact that unconscious bias can have on important decisions. Biases that we are completely unaware of can push us to make sub-optimal choices. That means we may not only be unfairly treating those who are different from us, but also acting against our own self-interest. National Public Radio recently aired a report by NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam titled “How Biases Affect Stock Analyst Predictions,” which underscores this point very nicely.
After a confrontational presidential election and the recent inauguration of the nation’s 45th president, employees have flooded their leaders with questions about diversity and inclusion efforts.
According to a post-election article in Bloomberg (Nov. 11, 2016), some CEOs — instead of trying to respond to specific questions about potential actions that the new president could take — asked employees to move beyond the election turmoil. At Starbucks Corp., for example, Howard Schultz told employees in a letter: “We have a choice in how we treat one another,” regardless of which candidate they supported.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde, feminist and civil rights activist, 1934-1992
When millions of people participated Jan. 21 in the Women’s March on Washington and in cities worldwide, their voices and presence were intended to send a signal to the new administration, according to a variety of news reports.