Fostering inclusion and diversity in your own organization will help advance our society and help people change. It also offers perhaps the greatest advantage a business can have today; from attracting the most qualified employees to creating a happy workforce to fostering innovation and greater financial success. For diversity and inclusion to be successful, it requires the commitment of individuals throughout all levels and locations of an organization, led by strong and authentic leadership. Here are three types of leaders your company needs to make progress on D&I:
1. Culture Makers
A small group of leaders who are “ahead of the curve” and are more in tune with the workforce. In their “Culture of Equality in the Workforce” report, Accenture presents Culture Makers. These leaders:
✳️ Recognize the importance of culture and identify change as a personal goal.
✳️ Are much more likely to speak out on a range of issues, including gender equality and sexual harassment/discrimination.
✳️ Hold themselves accountable.
FUN FACT 👉 Culture Makers lead organizations that are growing more than twice as fast as those of their peers! In fact, they report their sales are 2.2x higher and their profits are 3.2x higher.
2. Role Models
People who celebrate diversity and inclusion and whose behavior can be emulated by others. BITC’s “Working with Pride” report discusses issues affecting LGBT+ people in the workplace. One of their core recommendations is to role model. D&I role models:
💟 Can be regular employees, ally networks, or executive and board “champions.”
💟 Recognize unconscious bias.
💟 Build a strong sense of community.
💟 Focus on creating an inclusive culture instead of diversity.
1. Reverse Mentors
Employees (often younger) who coach a more senior colleague. Reverse mentoring can come in a variety of forms. While it is often used to bridge generations, it can also be used to bring together workers with different backgrounds or life experiences, such as an LGBTQ employee coaching a non-LGBTQ senior leader. In their research, IMD identified four main benefits of reverse mentoring programs:
🔆 Increased retention of millennials.
🔆 Sharing of digital skills.
🔆 Driving culture change.
🔆 Promoting diversity.
In 2014, PwC launched a reverse mentoring program as part of its D&I efforts. The consulting firm now has 122 millennials mentoring 200 partners and directors, with the mentors meeting their mentees once a month. According to Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, reverse mentoring “helps foster diversity, skills development, the idea of lifelong learning, and an inclusive culture.”
👉 Bring everyone on board your D&I mission! Schedule a call.